Everything About Small Business Social Media Marketing
You may be surprised (or maybe not!) to learn that small firms are almost twice as likely to use social media for business marketing as large firms—70 percent to just 37 percent. However, there's a big difference between just using small business social media marketing and using it effectively. From outdated social media profiles to boring blog content, most lawyers are making big mistakes when they use social media for business marketing. This guide will help you stop making those mistakes and start exciting your clients.
Why Smaller Can Be Better in Social Media
There are definitely advantages to being a large law firm when it comes to using social media for business marketing. Almost 20 percent of large law firms now have a full-time social media specialist helping to design their campaigns. But what if you don't have the money for a social media specialist? How can you maximize your small business social media marketing without spending more than your firm can afford?
There are two things that make small business social media marketing substantially easier than marketing for a big firm. The first is flexibility. Using social media for business marketing is only effective when you are good at responding to comments and joining in on conversations. Small firms can excel at this kind of responsiveness if even one or two attorneys are interested in contributing to your small business social media marketing presence.
The second big advantage your firm has when it comes to leveraging social media for business marketing is branding. Small business social media marketing depends a great deal on your ability to successfully differentiate your business from competitors. When you don't have a lot of red tape and bureaucracy, it can be easier to figure out what you stand for and what the brand personality of your business is.
Social Media For Business Marketing: Expanding What You Have
A lot of attorneys at small firms have already made small, tentative steps toward small business social media marketing. Maybe you've got a Facebook profile, not just for yourself but for your law firm as well. Maybe you occasionally update a blog. Perhaps you casually surf websites like Reddit, Dig, or StumbleUpon.
When you start using social media for business marketing, start with what you know. Every website is a bit different, and it can be hard to learn the etiquette for several sites at once. In a small firm, you may be able to divvy up responsibilities for small business social media marketing: the attorney who already has a personal Twitter account can start tweeting for the firm, while an attorney who spends a lot of time surfing Reddit can start submitting blog posts to the site.
When you start by engaging with the social media communities you're already connected to, you already know the rules and—more than that—you can have fun with what you're doing. It shows when you genuinely enjoying your conversations when you use social media for business marketing, and that kind of enthusiasm can translate directly into new leads and new clients.
Social Media For Business Marketing: Building a Reputation
In today's small business social media marketing world, it's not enough to just make a series of great entries on a blog or to get a few ratings on Yelp. Getting ahead of your competition means building a reputation, and that takes two things: time and content.
Content is incredibly important, because even if you have a great deal of fantastic content, you need to keep it fresh and new. On the internet, information seems to have a short shelf life, and waiting too long to post about the next new thing can mean that your posts go unread.
Stay abreast of new developments in your field, and always look for new opportunities to develop your small business social media marketing content. A client's question, a disagreement in a meeting about a legal issue, a judge's decision, a link you read elsewhere—all of these can be fertile grounds for creating engaging content for your blog or social media feeds.
Social Media For Business Marketing: Mistakes and Missteps
When attorneys start using small business social media marketing, they often make mistakes, big and small. Sometimes, what starts as a small mistake—a faux pas in how you talked to a commenter, or a minor gaffe on your website—can seem to spiral out of control in the social media world. When this happens (and odds are, someday it will), you need to know how to handle it.
Start by acknowledging your mistakes, which isn't always easy for attorneys. Some companies have managed to turn social media nightmares into positive experiences by promptly apologizing in an authentic way. View the mistake as a learning experience: if you can, ask for feedback that can help you to avoid similar mishaps in the future.
While a mistake can certainly be embarrassing, and can even feel like it's destroying your small business social media marketing, keep in mind the old saying: This, too, shall pass. The same short internet shelf-life that makes it necessary to keep producing content will mean that soon, your gaffe will just be yesterday's news.
Social Media For Business Marketing: Staying Ahead of the Competition
In the same way that you continue your legal education with seminars and online classes, you should give serious thought to getting formal training in small business social media marketing. It's not a bad idea to make sure that everyone in your firm understands at least the basics of using social media for business marketing, just so that all staff members are on the same page.
You should also make sure that you're keeping informed about changes to the social media platforms that you're using, so that you don't get blindsided. For instance, even small changes to the way profiles are displayed could have a significant impact on your LinkedIn advertising. Avoiding technological surprises is key to making sure that your social media marketing strategies succeed.