It is now 2016 and social media still hasn’t disappeared – and it’s still affecting your business. If you haven’t taken the time to research social media best practices, the opportunities missed here are significant. More and more people are reaching out to lawyers via social media. Younger people in particular are often plagued by telephone anxiety, and feel it’s rude to call people without making some sort of digital contact first. Filling out a form online can also be intimidating to someone who has no experience with the legal process. By opening yourself up to talking to potential clients on platforms like Facebook and Twitter, you position yourself to reach people who need an attorney’s help – but don’t know it. Here are some ways you can enhance your social media presence to achieve that end:
Don’t Take a Back Seat.
Make sure that you have admin access to your firm’s Facebook page. You can hire a company to post for you, but people can tell the difference between a post from an agency and a post from the attorney. For users the real value of the page comes from you. Interact with commenters, respond to private messages – be present on your firm’s page! Doing so will make you appear approachable and open. If people get the sense they “know” you, they’re more apt to call you when they need a lawyer’s help.
Use Your Own Social Media Accounts.
Your law firm should absolutely have a social media presence. But at the end of the day, people are far more interested in what individuals have to say than what a company has to say. That said, there’s no need to invite the world into your personal life. Set up professional accounts on the platforms you use regularly. If you don’t use any regularly – start. Reach out to people in your community. Answer people’s questions. Share content you find interesting or relevant to your business. Take the opportunity to share your expertise. Doing these things will help increase awareness of your brand and establish your firm as a voice in your local community. When you use social media platforms such as Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter properly, you will increase your brand awareness, lead generation and overall exposure.
So many lawyers miss the boat on this one it’s become a joke. It’s not enough to post something everyday that may or may not be of interest to people. Think of social media platforms as a large conversation in which you would like to participate. You wouldn’t barge into real world discussion with some irrelevant statement about yourself. So don’t do it on Twitter.
Don’t Spread Yourself Too Thin.
You might be tempted to try and keep up with every new social media platform that presents itself. Posting the same content across too many platforms is not only tedious – it’s also watering down your presence. Part of the value of social media is the feeling that you are active and available to speak with through these platforms. When you mass blast across 5 social media outlets, you’re giving the impression that you’re not personally active on these accounts. Further still, the quality of your efforts will be diminished as a different approach is required to be successful on each platform.
Engage Complementary Businesses.
Consider the other services your clients seek when they’ve been in an accident, and form a relationship with businesses that provide them. Figure out who the best mechanic is in your area and reach out to them. Know a good chiropractor? Find out if they’d be willing to share your content in exchange for sharing theirs. You could expose people to your brand who would otherwise never find you.
Take Cues From Other Professionals.
One of the most valuable things any professional can provide on social media is their insight. Do as other successful people have done and position yourself as a thought leader in your niche. You can do this by staying abreast of current events that are relevant to your business and offering your assessment. Are worker’s compensation laws in your state changing? Get on social media and explain in layman’s terms what that will mean for the people who live in your state. Follow other professionals on Twitter and Facebook to see how they approach their personal accounts. Try new approaches and figure out what works best for you.
Don’t Be Left Out of the Conversation
There is a learning curve involved with social media, but it’s well worth your time to explore it and get good at it. It’s okay to fail. This will likely be a trial and error process for you. As you move forward, think of it less a megaphone and more as a way to talk to people who may need your help. The fact is, most attorneys haven’t bothered to get savvy and utilize these tools to their full potential. Doing so will not only help your brand awareness and establish you as an authority in your area of practice – it will also put you miles ahead of your competition. The only thing it will cost you is time.