May 12, 2010 – Many small businesses look at social media as a complicated jungle dominated by the big business names. Companies like Best Buy, Starbucks, and Apple seem to overshadow all the homegrown, small-town businesses with their huge promotions and brand recognition.
In the right hands, social media can be just as powerful of a tool to your small law firm or personal practice as it is to the big guys. Following these 5 tips will help you stand up against even the national law firms that seem to be one step ahead.
Tip #1 – Make your social media profiles about more than just your practice areas. Of course you want to explain you’re a family law attorney or a personal injury lawyer, but go beyond those generic titles. If you help accident victims in the downtown Philidelphia area, give your fans some tips on safe travel during rush hour, discuss the new construction near the train station – make your profile personal to what your firm does.
Tip #2 – Offer value. Your social media profiles should have all the information necessary for fans to contact you however they want; Email, postal mail or phone, etc. Once they know how to contact you, give them an incentive to. This is where you offer them free information, books, CDs, or whatever else you have for potential clients to consume in their search for knowledge.
Tip #3 – Be consistent. Too often, lawyers jump on a new social media bandwagon, set up a profile, and then never touch it again. Even worse is when they abandon one profile for another when that service is still alive and kicking. You should create a schedule to update your social media profiles on a regular basis, but be careful not to get too frequent or you could annoy your fans with endless updates. Keep your content relevant and don’t over-saturate your profile by posting for the sake of posting.
Tip #4 – Be diverse and connect to your fans. Your fans aren’t going to want to see post after post about the latest legislation changes in your area. While a little legal news is good, it’s more interesting to see your latest case results, or your team participating in the local 5k walk for the cure. Change up what you post and don’t be afraid to get fun with it once in a while. Above all, make sure to engage your fans in discussion, or even invite a little controversy. Make sure you’re answering comments posted to your profile!
Tip #5 – Be competitive. Take a look around and see what other lawyers and small law firms are doing on their social media profiles. If you’re the only one in the area – congrats, you’re a pioneer! You get to set the bar for how well other lawyers do in your wake. If there are others to look at, see what’s working (and not working) for them. Evaluate their strategy, then make it better for your own practice.
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