Facebook can seem a little bit daunting if you're not used to it. While some law firms dove happily into Facebook and used it as a tool easily, not everyone has the same amount of internet familiarity. If your law firm has been hesitant to jump into Facebook because you're not sure what it's all about, don't worry. Help is on the way. This guide will give you some step by step instructions on how to make Facebook a vital part of your firm's marketing and brand.
Step 1: Get To Understand Facebook With a Personal Account
If you're really new to social networking, that's fine, but you don't want to dive right in with a business account representing your law firm first. It's fairly likely that you'll make mistakes in the first days and weeks that you're involved in social networks, and that's okay—you actually want the freedom to make mistakes and be corrected by other people you're connected to.
The best thing that you can do to familiarize yourself with Facebook is to get a personal account first. A personal account will only be read by people who have a personal connection with you as long as you set your privacy settings to only share your Facebook updates with friends. This gives you a safe place to experiment, get used to Facebook, and cultivate some friends on the site before you decide to dive in with a business account.
Step 2: Get Started With Your Business Account
Once you feel fairly comfortable with your personal account, including making it personalized with Timeline entries and photographs, it's time to create your business account. Make sure that you have professional photographs of your attorneys and your office for posting on Facebook. Having these photographs can give people a better and more realistic view of what it's like to actually consult with attorneys in your office. This, in turn, makes people more likely to convert.
When you start your business account, you should also consider updating your Timeline to include a variety of important events from your law firm's past. While not everyone who looks at your law firm's Facebook page will notice these Timeline entries, having them filled out is a nice way to show that you do care about the website's features and are familiar with how to enngage with Facebook users. Try to give your Facebook Timeline entries a bit of narrative depth while keeping them relatively short and simple.
Step 3: Keep Both Accounts Active and Posting
Both your personal and business accounts should be kept quite active if you want the maximum effect from Facebook. Forgetting about your accounts is one of the fastest ways to lose friends and stop influencing people. By keeping business and personal accounts both active, while remaining separate and posting about different things, you'll make sure that you're maximizing how many people contact you about things they read in your Facebook entries.
Step 4: Import Contacts and Make Friends
When you start your Facebook account, one of the first things that you'll be asked is whether you want to invite friends to use the service with you. If you want, you can even have a program take a look at your address books and let Facebook see if any other users of their service are already people that you talk to. Importing a contact list can be a great way to make sure that you start your Facebook account with a fairly large number of friends.
Make sure that when you're talking to people and trying to make friendly connections, you also send some kind of personalized message. Not everyone will take as kindly to someone trying to reconnect, especially if your email contact is several years old.
Step 5: Expand Your Social Network
One of the best aspects of Facebook is that it lets you make friends with people that you might not otherwise have known. For that matter, when you're using Facebook as a business tool, the website actually lets you target people with your advertising who are friends of the people that you have already established friend connections with.
Using this kind of advertising can be very useful if you're trying to get new clients in a relative hurry. Remember that people tend to befriend others in similar demographics, and if your demographics are very specific, you're likely to find other ideal clients in their groups of friends. For example, if you're a divorce attorney whose clients are following your firm's site, marketing to your clients' friends is likely to find a significant number of other people who are considering divorce or separation.
Step 6: Learn What Potential Clients Want
When you're using Facebook, keep in mind that it's a two-way communication medium. Facebook is not like television or radio, where you're just telling people what to think. Conversations are shaped by both consumers and brands on Facebook, and if you hear your commenters consistently asking for the same thing from you, you need to make sure that you're listening.
By reading all the comments people leave for you—consider very strongly using a social medialon dashboard, which can streamline this process substantially while ensuring that you don't miss any comments or questions—you'll learn what potential clients care about and what their most commonly asked questions are before giving you a call.
Step 7: Use Social Connections for Referrals and Testimonials
If you can build a rapport with people on your Facebook wall based on long term interactions, gradually it's likely that you'll see referrals start to happen even without asking for them. This does require acting with long term relationships in mind, being authentic and true to your brand for months or even years.
You can also solicit testimonials from past clients that can help you get new clients on your website or through social media channels. Having real testimonials on social media makes it much easier for people to become new clients and pick up the phone for a first consultation.