Law firms are some of the most generous entities in existence. I’m not aware of any other industry where the professionals are expected to do work for free as part of their duty. Pro bono work on an individual level is often not publicized, but the work you do in the community as a firm should be. Here’s how to ensure both you and the charities, nonprofits, etc. you’re supporting gain the maximum amount of exposure and awareness for their causes.
As a law firm marketing leader and strategist, this process will involve you and your team, and also require a nominal amount of effort for those doing the charitable work. Before we all had social media available at our fingertips, the good work you do would be relegated to those present at an event, or to those who happen to read a specific publication. Now, with very deliberate activities, we can magnify the effects of your efforts through the social media channels you control and maintain as a firm.
Utilizing social media before, during, and after firm sponsorships events will help to gain the attention of the audiences both you and the organizations themselves would like to reach. You can easily highlight your involvement by showcasing the work you and the nonprofit organization are doing through the systematic process detailed below. The organization itself will benefit from the added awareness that you are doing on their behalf, while you demonstrate your generosity and engagement.
Amplify your efforts by following these tips for before the event, during, and after.
Before the Event
In advance of the event, compile a list of the following social media account handles:
- The host organizations;
- Speakers or dignitaries;
- Other sponsors; and
- The venue (where the event is being held).
These social media account handles will be used during the event to engage with audiences who both are attending the event and those who can’t (but are passionate about the cause). Additionally, they will be used to showcase highlights from the speakers as well as the event organizers. Both groups will feel appreciated and will most likely share your posts with their networks as well.
Following the event, the social media account handles can be used to provide key takeaways from the speakers and thank everyone involved for attending and/or speaking.
Create and Utilize the Event Hashtag
This hashtag should be utilized before, during and after the event. The creation of a hashtag can create great public awareness of the event and the people involved. The hashtag also has the ability to connect yourself as an individual to the event for future inquires. Hashtags that are created should be creative and positively represent the event and utilizing hashtags can increase engagements with the social media posts.
Often, event organizers will create an event hashtag for the attendees to use. If this is the case, ensure you both utilize the hashtag in your posts and also engage with others using the hashtag as well. If you show others you’re listening to them, they’ll love you for it.
Sample Social Media Template
Sample: Were thrilled to join @sponsor and @sponsorB in supporting @event with @guestspeaker. Look forward to seeing you there! #eventhashtag <and include a link to the URL of the event itself>.
Instead of simply hoping people will see your sponsorship, let’s make sure they do. Using social media ad platforms, advertise your posts to audiences interested in the organization, cause, team, etc.
Platforms for posting can include Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. When posting, ensure you include the date of the event and scheduled time frame. Also, before posting, consider creating an advertising budget and analyzing your audience. By gaining a deeper understanding of who should see your post, you can set an audience in the social media ad manager programs.
Example for a promotional strategy: You and your firm sponsor a walk to raise money for cancer research. After posting your support and involvement on social media, use the platforms’ respective advertising functions to target those whom have shown an interest in cancer support groups or cancer-related research. Further narrow that audience to comprise a geographic radius near your firm’s office(s). For a very nominal amount of money, both current and prospective clients will be made aware of your involvement. In this example, the organization conducting the walk will also benefit from the awareness you’re bringing to their cause.
During the Event
Take photos and videos of your attorneys, staff, clients and business partners attending the event. While the event is happening, post the content on social media and tag the handles from the sample above.
Tagging those whom are at the event increases the probability of your social media posts to be viewed by others because they likely will share your posts with their audiences.
Using the script from the sample above, post facts about the event (attendance, money raised, significant news, etc.). Consider adding an advertising component to promote this post to the target audience as well.
Share “thank you” posts on social media to help ensure those individuals responsible for organizing and running the event feel appreciated. Engaging with those who were also at the event is a good way to reach new audiences, while liking, retweeting, and other engagements with posts (utilizing the hashtags) associates yourself with the event.
Both you and your firm spend significant time & money to participate in and promote your involvement in sponsorship events. Social media is a fantastic means to amplify that message with a small investment of time, and if you choose to advertise, a nominal promotion budget. Start taking advantage of the power of social media to promote worthwhile causes today.
Spencer X Smith is the Founder of AmpliPhi Social Media Strategies in Madison, WI, and his company services law firms around the country. Spencer can be reached via his website at spencerXsmith.com.
The views expressed in the article are those of the authors and not necessarily the views of their clients or other attorneys in their firm.
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