In part two of this two part series, we’ll be focusing on how commercial law firms can improve the Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) of their firm’s LinkedIn account and how to measure success on LinkedIn over time.
If you remember from Part 1, SEO relates to Google ranking. It’s the process of improving the quality and quantity of website traffic to a website or a web page from search engines such as Google or Bing.
SEO works the same way for the firm’s LinkedIn account as it does for an individual’s account. The key is to keep generating content that your followers can engage with.
For a demonstration on how to implement any of the suggestions below, please see our webinar: LinkedIn for Beginners
Content - Formats
There are a number of formats that can be used to push out content on your firm LinkedIn account. Of course, there are articles that your lawyers write, but you can also promote publications such as white papers, conference papers and eBooks as well.
Videos are also very popular and introduce an interactive component. Use different types of videos such as formats with voice over, people talking to camera, interviews or panel discussions. They are easy to shoot on your iPhone and it can then be edited professionally for a very reasonable cost. Short, animated videos are also very eye-catching.
If your firm records podcasts, edit two to five minute segments and push these out over your firm LinkedIn account.
Finally, create your own poll. People love to see how their answers match with other responders and it’s a great way to get people to interact with your LinkedIn profile.
What Do I Post?
Naturally, most of your content will be technical content about legal issues such as legislation changes and high level commentary on topical legal subjects. There are different ways to present this other than a straightforward article. Structures such as ‘Tips and Traps’ or ‘Top Ten’ lists and checklists are always popular as well as the other formats mentioned above.
Also, think about your public relations content. This consists of your firm announcements and firm news. Some examples would be firm awards, firm anniversaries, mergers, acquisitions of new partners, if you’re moving office, etc. Also, if there is a firm event coming up such as a seminar for clients, use LinkedIn to promote it and/or to do a wrap up afterwards with photos.
Finally, it’s important to include human interest stories. Although technical content is crucial, human interest stories are often the most popular. Include staff profiles; this could be an article or a video. Also, if the firm is involved in the community via a sponsorship, working with a charity, has an environmental project or is doing pro bono work, etc. your audience will genuinely enjoy hearing about it. Include stories about your staff’s achievements such as board or committee appointments, graduations or awards, as well as staff promotions. Your clients will want to celebrate with them.
Just a few tips for your content. Firstly, pitch your content to your audience. Don’t talk over their heads by being too technical, but don’t talk down to them either.
Think about the ‘so what?’ factor, particularly for the public relations content. Why would your audience care about your content? What’s in it for them? Inward-focused communication does not perform well. For example, when working for a firm that went through two mergers in less than 12 months, we received the feedback that clients did not want to hear any announcements about the mergers. They considered it an internal matter. All they wanted to know is that they would be able to continue working with the same people for the same fees.
Make the content as interactive as possible. Videos, animations, podcast excerpts and polls involve the audience and help with engagement.
For technical content, make it as practical as possible. It should have takeaways that clients can use and apply in their business and personal circumstances.
There are a number of ways you can track your progress and success on LinkedIn.
The first and most obvious is to track the growth of your followers over time.
It takes time to build followers and start to see real improvement in your metrics. Consistency in applying all the principles discussed thus far is the key to achieving good metrics over time. However, if you do, good results can be achieved. For example, these principles were applied in a small, mid-tier firm and they were able to achieve a 400% growth in their LinkedIn Followers over three years.
2. Post Statistics
Please note, you must be an Administrator on the firm’s LinkedIn account in order to see these statistics.
LinkedIn provides statistics for every post for firm LinkedIn accounts. Some of the statistics, such as clicks, shares and comments, are obvious. However, there are others that are a bit confusing. Here is a breakdown:
- Impressions: The number of times a post was shown to LinkedIn members.
- Click Through Rate: The number of clicks divided by the number of impressions. Your CTR tells you how interesting your ads are.
- Reactions: Likes, hearts, claps, etc.
- Interactions: The number of engagements (reactions, comments or shares) on your post.
- Engagement: The number of interactions divided by impressions.
You can use these statistics to analyse how individual posts have performed, discern what content is working for your audience and continuously improve your content.
3. Advanced Analysis
If you are just getting started on LinkedIn, it’s probably best to stick to tracking followers and post statistics for the first six to 12 months, mainly as LinkedIn won’t have enough information to create meaningful advanced analytics until it has six to 12 months’ worth of content.
To access Analytics, you must be an Administrator on the firm’s LinkedIn account.
LinkedIn provides analytics on Visitors to your LinkedIn profile, on your posts (Updates) and on your Followers.
The Visitors analytics allows you to see how many people are visiting your page, how many times your page is being viewed and whether anyone is clicking on any custom buttons (eg. Link to your website). Also, whether those numbers have increased or decreased from the previous 30 days. The daily traffic is also graphed. Visitor demographics are broken down by job type/function so its possible to see if you are hitting your target audience.
The Update analytics provides an idea of how your posts are performing. It shows the number of reactions (likes, heart, claps, etc), comments and shares on your posts and whether those numbers have increased or decreased from the previous 30 days. A graph tracks daily impressions of posts and a table summarises the metrics for all posts including date, impressions, clicks, CTR, reactions, comments, shares, follows and engagement.
Follower analytics tells you about your followers including total followers and the growth on the last 30 days. A graph tracks the daily changes in followers. There is also a list allowing you to track the latest followers and click through to their profiles. Another graph breaks down follower demographics by location allowing you to track changes if you post geographically targeted content. Finally, LinkedIn provides a list of companies similar to your own with their metrics so you can compare your performance. This includes total followers, new followers, number of updates and engagement rate.
Social media is a great way to communicate with your audience and potential audience, but it is best to set realistic goals as it takes time to build traction. As previously mentioned, consistency is the key. If you are willing to persist, good results can start to be achieved within 12-18 months.