Word Count: 1043
Time to Read: 3-4 minutes
The legal profession’s use of social media is in its infancy, but the future of social media for the legal industry is huge according to Jennifer Barber of SiteLab Interactive, an interactive agency in La Jolla, CA. “More and more law firms are creating social media profiles to interact and engage with clients, potential clients and referral sources. At first, most of these profiles were individuals and smaller firms. However, larger firms are starting to get involved now because they’re seeing the power of social media to generate business.” says Barber.
Social Media not only gives your firm 24/7 online exposure, but potential clients are able to research you and your firm and recommend your business to others. Every time your exposure increases, so does the potential to increase your client base. In fact, "Lawyers in the top 10% of the profession spend a minimum of 3-5 hours each week on practice development," otherwise known as meeting new people and networking with existing contacts (Source: LexBlog). Lawyers can spend a portion of that time on Facebook, a tool proven to be powerful for attorneys to build, maintain and renew relationships, which can lead to referrals. “Don’t just limit your communication to the most popular social media site, Facebook.” Barber advises, The key is to interact and connect with potential clients where they are communicating,” which could be Facebook, LinkedIn, or even your favorite legal blog. The most important thing for attorneys to keep in mind is to take an educational (“pull”) approach to social media, rather than a sales (“push”) approach. Though the approaches are different, the goal is the same: to build your list of leads! You start by building up content that will position you as a thought leader in your community, grow that community and foster relationships online using social media. Then develop strategies that will get you noticed, attract visits to your blog or website, increase opt-ins to your list using a free special report or free newsletter and eventually … build your list of potential client and referral sources (= new business)! Before you jump into social media with both feet, do some research online and off for a reality check. Make connections with other industry members so that when they know of someone in need, they can refer you as a credible source. Talk to your existing clients, respected industry leaders, and your office staff about how they would like to connect with you and your firm in social media. In addition to the "how", ask:
Now that you’ve established where your audience is, what to share, what you can offer, and when, it’s time to get started. Here are some tips from SiteLab Interactive for each of the social media sites where attorneys participate most:
Twitter and Facebook
Why? Build your personal brand and profile within the industry. Monitor client industry news and trends. Nurture referral sources. Stay on top of legal industry trends, news, and regulations.
Why? Use client feedback to generate useful marketing ideas to help your firm make important changes. Showcase expertise and create a brand identity.
Readers may respond more favorably to certain attorney’s posts.
Why? Build stronger personal connections with colleagues and peers. Learn from influential/thought leaders. Expand your business development network with prospects.
How do you plan to use social media to connect with your community and grow your business? What kinds of challenges do you anticipate? How will you overcome them? Wolf Management Consultants can help. Contact us today to learn more.
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