Industry Expert View: Elena Manukyan

Elena Manukyan is a solicitor and law firm founder who, earlier this year, launched her second start-up business ‘Socially Legal’, a social media agency for the legal industry. Here, Elena explains what inspired her to take the leap from lawyer life and what firms could be doing to boost their online presence and better connect with consumers.

Socially Legal fills a gap in the market that I didn’t even know existed until I needed it myself.

I set up my first business ‘The Injury Solicitor’ in December 2020 and, with no marketing budget, was forced to build up my client base organically through social media.

Despite launching in lockdown and witnessing the implementation of the never-ending reforms in personal injury law, I got busier and soon realised that I couldn’t do everything myself from marketing and finance to running the cases.

Although it was one of the parts of the job that I enjoyed the most, social media seemed like an obvious thing to outsource, but I really struggled when it came to finding a company that could replicate what I was doing for myself. Many social media agencies I spoke with said they didn’t service the legal sector because they couldn’t guarantee all content would be factually correct, which is clearly a priority for those of us working in the law!

It started off as an experiment to see if the demand was there and, as soon as I started asking around, I realised there was a gap in the market for legal social media marketing. In June of this year, I decided to take the plunge and pivot away from running my law firm so that I could focus on Socially Legal full-time.

I think many firms shy away from social media because they don’t fully recognise its value and often don’t have the right resources in place. Larger organisations can typically afford to employ someone in-house, but with SMEs it tends to be a task that either falls to the owner or is given to junior staff members who, whilst keen, are not usually experts and are also expected to do it on top of, rather than instead of, their usual job.  

That’s not to say that employees with an interest in social media aren’t up to managing your channels, but only if they are given the appropriate support. That includes extra time to create content – we’re talking hours, not minutes to achieve the best results – and an ‘access all areas’ approach so they can gather the best, most relevant and engaging material.

At Socially Legal, we create content for LinkedIn, Instagram and TikTok because they’re the three platforms that we believe have the best reach and return on investment for our clients. LinkedIn is the best for B2B, TikTok for B2C and Instagram is a good all-rounder. TikTok tends to be a surprise to most law firms, but research indicates that the majority of users are aged 18-34, with many increasingly using the platform as a search engine over Google.

Whatever platform or platforms you choose to use, the key is creating relevant, useful content that speaks to your target audience. It could be answering the most common questions you get asked by clients or explaining the different kinds of work you do. There are multiple ways you can present each piece of content too, from blogs to static images with text overlaid to recording audio or video clips.

My advice would be to look around and see what your competitors are doing, but more importantly, to experiment and see what works best for you. Too often, businesses get hung up on everything having to be perfect and ‘on brand’, but sometimes the most popular content ends up being things that are not. I would choose progress over perfection every time.

Be consistent if you want to build up a following. If you are on LinkedIn and Instagram, for example, I recommend posting at least once a day, Monday to Friday, and two to three videos per week on TikTok. Make sure you also have the resource to communicate with users on their chosen platform should they ask you any questions.

Decide how much budget you have available to put behind posts. Reaching and growing your target audience organically is possible but is likely to be a lot slower. 

Finally, remember that social media is not a silver bullet and should instead form part of your overall marketing strategy along with other tools like a modern, working website and PR. Think of it as a chain, which will only work if there are no broken links.



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