Many law firms today are looking for places where they can expand their social media reach and attract more new clients. Today's hyper-competitive market demands a hyper-competitive social media presence, but how do you go beyond Facebook and into fabulous? This guide will give you seven great ways to get ahead of the competition and get the best social media presence you can—all without costing an arm and a leg!
#1: Get In With the Group
Many social media sites have “group” pages, including Facebook and LinkedIn. If you're not already using groups, you need to be. Consider making a group for attorneys at your firm, and joining groups of people who are already in groups that are relevant to your practice areas. Groups are a great way to get to know people who may be able to help you make connections in your local area. They can also help you learn about the latest events going on locally, nationally, and internationally when you have a specific interest area covered by the group.
Of course, just joining the group isn't enough. You need to be active and participating a reasonable amount in the group in order to have it make any impact on your bottom line. Don't just affirm what other people say, try to create new conversations and get dialogues started between people who have different viewpoints.
#2: Consider a Viral Promotion
If you're looking to promote based on free consultations with a freebie included, you need to be talking about it in social media. When promotions go viral, it can get you a big batch of new clients in a hurry, all without spending tons of money on the initial advertising.
However, be very careful: if you're giving away physical objects, for instance, you'll want to either limit the number of freebies you're planning to give away, or simply get enough that you can cover the number of new consultations scheduled.
#3: Blog, Blog, Blog!
Blogging is one of the best ways to ensure that you've got a stream of content to link to in your other social media websites. Blogging lets you write in longer form, which can often be very useful to attorneys. Try not to make your blog entries too long—in fact, consider changing up the length, so that some of your entries are 1000 words while others are just 200-300. If you're just reposting a link with something brief to say about it, feel free to write a short, 50-100 word blurb—but make sure you're posting original content most of the time.
When you do post content from other sources, always make sure it's appropriate. People will judge you based on what you link—so be sure that you're linking things you can be proud to share with the public.
#4: Consider Social Bookmarking
Social bookmarking sites like Reddit.com can help you to get your blog entries and other content into the world. These websites generally allow anyone to post a link to whatever content they want, allowing the audiences on the website to decide which posts will succeed and which will fail. If you're not already using social bookmarking sites, make sure to look around and get a feel first. Many companies have been roundly mocked after having tried too hard too fast, without understanding what people on a particular social bookmarking website were looking for.
#5: Make Friends Online and Off
Today, since Facebook has over 1 billion users worldwide, the odds are very good that even people you meet in the offline world will be active users of social media. This means that when you start introducing yourself to people, you should also be proactive about finding out whether you can connect to them on social media. You may also want to adapt your business cards to include URLs for your main social media profiles.
Keep in mind that people who know you offline can often be your best online cheerleaders. Making new acquaintances and work connections in the real world is one of the best ways to make sure your network keeps growing online instead of staying with the same core group of people for a long time. While having a core is great, keeping your social media presence vibrant relies on always having some new people coming in.
#6: Participate in Events
Participating in networking events, or just participating in the events you're invited to from your friends' Facebook invitations, can be a good way to make sure you're getting some social media attention. Often, these events will result in some photographs that you can put up on your social media pages, making sure to tag your staff.
Events are a good way to make sure that your firm is getting involved not only in work related networking, but with networking in the community as well. Many event invitations are for community and charitable events, which can be a great place for you to find new social media connections that can talk about your brand with even more friends and acquaintances. Make sure that all attorneys in your firm are thinking about the firm's social media presence at events and that they're sharing your social media contact information with friends and acquaintances.
#7: Answer LinkedIn Questions
If you're on LinkedIn, like nearly 90 percent of attorneys, you should consider going into the Questions segment of the website. Answering LinkedIn questions is a great way to be able to interact with potential clients and show your skills in understanding legal problems and interfacing with the public. Keep in mind the limitations on what advice you can offer someone online without meeting for an actual consultation.
Because LinkedIn gives your contact details, answering questions there makes it very easy for people who see your answer and like what they see to give you a call. This increases conversion rates and makes LinkedIn Answers a great choice for getting clients quickly.