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Take Advantage of Social Media

Learn how to stand out from the crowd

Take Advantage of Social Media

All the little birdies on Jaybird Street
Love to hear the robin go tweet tweet tweet...
 ♫
– Music and Lyrics by Thomas Jimmie, recorded by Michael Jackson.

Would you pay attention to an emerging marketing platform that has seen a 663% increase in people over two years looking for recommendations around professional services? I would imagine you would. Twitter is that platform. Now: how many of you have a thoughtful, continual and strategic presence on Twitter that engages the community from which you draw your clients? While we are at it, how many of you have a digital media marketing plan that includes Twitter and other social media platforms? If not, according to research carried out in the UK by Orange Business, you may be overlooking a big opportunity: “[S]econd on the list are solicitors, who may not be aware of the fees they could be missing out on by not engaging with the public and other businesses via Twitter.” (bit.ly/bt1219p26-1)

Orange notes that lawyers need to do more than just be “on” Twitter. You need to demonstrate your expertise, show that you know what you are talking about and share information far and wide. In other words, your Twitter presence should be part of a comprehensive and strategic social media marketing plan (a “SMMP”).

How do you build your SMMP?

First, you need to learn about how social media (“SM”) is being used by lawyers in your area(s) of practice. Look inwards and determine which services you provide that you wish to market and learn how other lawyers (perhaps in other jurisdictions) are using SM in relation to these services. Are they engaging on Twitter and if so, what hashtags are they using? Did they create YouTube videos that speak to their knowledge of an area of law? Are they on Facebook and if so, have they posted videos, articles or interviews? How about Instagram? Reddit? Quora? Snapchat? The idea is to think beyond LinkedIn, which frankly, every lawyer should already be on.

Now, determine what people are saying about you and your firm on SM. Research using Google, Facebook, Twitter and other SM platforms and see what is being said about you and your firm, if anything. This gives you a starting point together with an assessment of the SM landscape.

Determine how your target clients are holding conversations in SM that are relevant to you and your firm. What topics are they discussing? This gives you a target of where you need to be in terms of platforms and topics.

Next, set your strategy. How are you going to go about SM posts? Videos? Photos? Articles? Will you engage in Twitter conversations on select topics? Comment on recent cases (hint: don’t use your recent cases — too easy to breach client confidentiality). Establish SM goals for your marketing focus.

Schedule your time and updates for SM. You will need regular, consistent and timely updates. How much time and money will you expend? Set a budget.

Set up the metrics that you will use in determining if you are meeting your goals. You need to see if your efforts are bearing fruit.

Reach out and experiment and start to build your SM networks. Follow people. Comment. Experiment. Learn how people use the different platforms and become part of the community. Don’t hesitate to consult with SM experts to save time and speed up the process.

Your SM presence should aim to refer people back to your blog where your more detailed content is located and where people can learn about you (after all, this is social media). Your blog is where you demonstrate your in-depth knowledge via the posts that you have written and people can find your contact information.

Unlike an advertisement, SM is a dialogue with your potential clients. Your skillful tweet tweet tweet can take you from being just another birdie in the tree to a rocking robin.

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