Marketing Your Lawfirm Using Social Media #HowTo

Social media marketing is all about relevance and connections, dominating discussions, and being the “it” that’s happening now. In short, it’s a world of what’s hot and what’s not. And, hey, what’s hotter than legal filings and the U.S. Code?

In the world of traditional marketing, the four Ps are paramount: Product, Packaging, Placement, and Price. Brick & mortar businesses tend to follow the four Ps when developing their brands. But social media follows a different set of rules; fortunately, these rules are readily available. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn want you to use them to market your law firm. When you grow, they grow–the relationship is symbiotic.

Now, there are some principles that apply to all platforms of social media for marketing your law firm and a few that are specific to each.

 

Here are three to follow that cuts across them all, albeit, this list is not all-inclusive:

  1. Understand the role of social media in your practice. Have a clear understanding of your message and how you want to communicate your services. Do you want to be witty and whimsical, or somber and serious?
  2. Know your platform. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, et al. each have their own style of communicating and each has their audience. You may choose one over the other or utilize them all. However, your message must be consistent across each platform since many members are users of multiple social media sites.
  3. Ensure your message feels organic. You cannot simply re-package your print media and slap it on the Web. Social media is about creating a sense of community. Engaging and developing two-way dialog is essential to capturing an audience. Give them a mechanism to respond and be prepared to interact.

Here are some things that are specific to Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Facebook believes in establishing an entire ecosystem of networking. You have Friends, Fans, and Groups where you can interact on multiple levels of social contact. You can promote your law firm with ads and sponsorships, or you can develop a fan base through “Likes.”

Facebook has kindly published three best practices for growing your practice in this new phylum called social media:

  1. Build. Create an identity for your law firm that is personable that people want to connect with on a frequent basis.
  2. Engage. Publish content that allows you to engage in conversations, deepen your relationships, and develop “fans.”
  3. Amplify. Take advantage of their News Feed system which creates word of mouth advertising. You can pump this up even more with Sponsored Stories or Ads which increases your distribution among your friends and fans.

Twitter is all about right now. If you think yesterday’s paper is old news, try sending a tweet about a movie after its premier. Cold pizza gets more play than that. With that said, there is no better place for top-of-mind marketing than Twitter. When legal news breaks, you should be the one with hammer in hand. Your tweets conveniently linked to your website or your blogs on the subject establishes your firm as “in the know” and relevant to the discussion. 

Here are three things to remember about Twitter:

  1. Trends. Yes, I said it again. Trending is what everyone is talking about now. This is gathered by the number of tweets with a particular word or phrase. Think SOPA. How many times did we hear that word during the Wiki Blackout? Promoted trends amplify this effect by giving you premium page positions when users check in.
  2. #Hashtags. Hashtags create a searchable stream of conscientiousness on a subject that users can easily find. Say you’re chronicling what’s new on privacy laws; try sending tweets with #Privacylaws. Now folks can follow and join in using the hashtag #Privacylaws.
  3. Promoted Accounts. Dominate the discussion through promotion. This will get your law firm positioned in front of users that show interest in topics related to your practice.

LinkedIn, by far, is considered the adult in the room when it comes to social media. Don’t be fooled, however, they follow the same rules as above, with some slight differences.

You guessed it–here are three Dos for LinkedIn:

  1. Connect. …With everybody! The only rule here is to have some sort of loose association with them so stalking is not an issue. The more the merrier. Introduce yourself and make new friends if they have the same interest as you.
  2. Customize. Complete your profile and customize your page so it reads like a resume. Ask satisfied clients to write recommendations.
  3. Be Compelling. Starting conversations and answering questions is how you become established as a thought leader. People start wanting to connect with you once they see you know what you’re talking about.

Last word. Once you start, don’t stop! Have a social media plan and hire help. You must be writing all the time which means you must be reading all the time. But, your audience, fans, friends, followers, groups, et al. will love you for it and hopefully reward you with more business. #ThanksKLF