April 19, 2010 – Having a social media networking presence is more than just setting up a Twitter account and slapping your logo on a Facebook fan page. Once you establish social media profiles, you’ve got to USE them to get any sort of return.
Tip #1 – Engage your fans with questions. One of the biggest draws to social media networks is the ability to publicly share your thoughts and opinions. What better way to do than by answering questions? Make a habit of posing questions to your fans in your status updates. This invites them to not only share their opinions (and give you insight about what they like/need/hate) but also shows you care about what they have to say.
Answering back to replies is also a “must” to continue the discussion! You may end up starting a long chain of replies that gets you thinking in a whole new way about how to reach out to your clients. You don’t always have to make your topics relevant to legal issues, either. Ask about favorite movies, what their weekend plans are and other general topics that are fun to discuss. You’ll learn more about your clients than you think!
Tip #2 – Listen to your followers. The best way to serve your clients is to know what they’re talking about. You don’t have to stalk their Facebook profile to see this – pay attention to how they respond to your updates. There are also analysis tools out there like Google’s Blogsearch and Icerocket that let you search for hot topics being blogged about. Give it a shot! Type in your practice area keywords and search. You’ll get blog posts and news updates that are talking about YOUR practice.
We ran a test on the keywords “personal injury attorney” and returned with nearly a MILLION hits. One of the most interesting results we found was included in a blog post where the writer asks his readers to respond with a PERSONAL recommendation for a personal injury attorney in Santa Monica, CA. The blogger goes on to provide his readers with the following caviet: “Please don’t just pick a name from a site like YellowPages.com”. Your potential clients are turning to social media to find their next attorney!
The more you know about your clients’ legal needs, the more targeted you can be with your marketing. If you are constantly coming across blog posts or status updates where local users are discussing their specific legal needs, you’ll know what the people want. For instance, you may encounter a blogger venting their frustration in trying to find a simple answer to the local car insurance requirements. This lets you know what kind of content is relevant to your fans.
Part of social media is being a good listener, not just a good talker. Watch the buzz around you and join it – active participation in discussions lets people know you’re not just a company profile; you’re a person!
Tip #3 – Use video to give your practice a face. When most clients think “lawyers on the TV” they think of sleazy “call me now, I’ll win your case no matter what” accident lawyers – the so-called “ambulance chaser” stereotype. Video is a powerful tool, as it has been for decades, allowing us to see things we may never experience in our lifetimes.
If you’ve ever been lucky enough to meet a celebrity in person (FYI – great question to ask your Facebook fans!) you may have had a feeling that you already knew them through watching their movies. This is because video allows you to see and hear a person without ever having met them in real life. We’ve heard it from countless lawyers that say new clients feel they already know them because they saw their videos online.
Don’t just make your videos all about legal cases, either. Your clients aren’t lawyers, so they’re not going to want videos explaining cases in legal jargon. What they are going to want is evidence that you’re a competent lawyer, a real person, and someone who cares about their clients on a personal level. They like to see you as a person, and not just a suit.
Check back tomorrow for part 2 of our 4-part series of tips for your social media success! Learn how YouTube keywords can be more valuable for lawyers, the power of SMS messaging, and how to put yourself in your clients’ shoes. Remember that We Do Web Content can help you reach the new generation of clients through the power of social media! Contact us today! 1-888-521-3880