Most lawyers have a profile on LinkedIn and possible one or two other social media sites. Some have made a great success of it. But many aren’t really sure what they’re doing there. So, they pop in once in a while, join some groups, post some news and share some articles, all to try and garner a bit of attention for their firms. They may even have encouraged their staff to do the same.
All the while, that little voice inside their head is asking them why they bother at all. It just seems to be such a waste of time.
And, I’m not going to lie to you. Often it is.
But, don’t blame the site. That’s like going to a networking dinner, speed walking the room in five minutes flat, handing out a deck of your business cards and then leaving because it was a bad event. Well, did you find out who was there? Did you talk to anyone? And, more importantly, did you give them a chance to talk to you?
So, today’s tip is to decide once and for all if social media marketing is a waste of your time. If it is, then stop second guessing yourself. Get on with it and focus your marketing efforts elsewhere. If it isn’t, then get serious. Just as you would for any other aspect of your practice, develop a plan to win… which may just include the need to bring on professionals for strategic advice.
To get you started, here are five steps that break this tip into manageable steps:
1. Assess where you are today. What percentage of your market is on social media? Have you connected with them? Has your team? In particular, take a close look at those individuals that you’d like to build your practice with – whether they be prospective clients, clients you’d like to keep or referrers that have been particularly supportive.
2. Find out what your target market is doing online. Are they participating in discussions? Joining groups? Posting content? What do they respond to? Do they respond to you and your firm?
3. Find out if your competitors are online. Do their posts get any traction? With whom? Why or why not?
4. Take an objective view of your firm’s social media presence, including your own. How do your profiles read? Where do they land on the spectrum, from compelling advertisement to tax form that answers questions as accurately – and dryly – as possible?
5. Be honest. Are you listening? You know the old adage, ‘we have two ears and one mouth, so we can listen twice as much as we speak’? Well here’s how it translates for social media (and I wish I knew you wrote this!!), ‘we have two eyes and one mouse, so we can read twice as much as we write’. How much do you read what others post? How much do you respond to them? What have you been posting? Would you respond?
So, now you know who is out there, whether you wish to build or pursue those relationships and how well you’ve fared to date.
Whether social media marketing has been a big waste of time to date, isn’t really the question after all, is it? If you’ve figured out how to size up the opportunity it offers your firm, the real question is, what are you going to do about it?