How Law Firms Make The Best Use of Social Media

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Lawyers Confused by Social Media MarketingIf you are thinking this is an article you’d never see associated with me, I understand.

For a long time I was not only anti-social media, I actively campaigned against it.  My theory:  Your time is better spent using another business development method to attract clients and engage referral sources.

I’d scroll through Facebook and see people discussing their cats, what they had for lunch and re-posts of chain letters and I’d shake my head and wish for that time back.

Then a couple of things happened.

First:  I began reading articles about Google’s view of social media.  You see the geniuses in Mountain View believe your friends help shape your opinion about everything from vacation spots to hiring a lawyer.  After hearing that from them for about the sixteenth time, I gave it some thought.

Here’s what I suddenly remembered:

  • When we purchased our last television we asked our friends what they purchased, why they liked it and where they bought it.
  • In looking for a dentist I asked my friends who they used.
  • Swimming lessons for the kids – we checked with our neighbors.
  • Best movies out now? – Sister-in-law
  • We needed a babysitter.  Three families at church recommended the same kid.
  • Bottle of wine for the guy who referred me some business – call my buddy who knows wine.
  • Car mechanic – the folks in my business networking group.
  • Cleaning service – back to the neighbors.

So it seemed that in “real life” we (and everyone else we knew) were already being influenced by the recommendations of our friends and the people we trust.  And yeah, sometimes we have to listen to boring stories about cats and what they ate for lunch before we ask them for their opinion.

Google sees this trend taking root on line and they want to consolidate these opinions and serve them up right when you need them.

They are doing this through direct examination on their own social network, Google+, and also by scraping data from the other social networks and building it into their search algorithm.

Second:  I started using these social networks to drive traffic to my website.  And it worked.  It worked really well.  In fact, it is working better than traditional Search Engine Optimization.

So I was wrong about social media.

Law firms can use it effectively for marketing.  It can be used by consumer focused practices to generate leads and it can be used in a business to business law firm to generate interest from referral sources.

Side note:  The B-to-B connection was the last one for me to make.  Know what did it?  I was having a discussion with a client about the cost of radio advertising in a market about 300 miles away.  We wanted a ball park rate for airtime.  The client whipped out his cell phone and searched for the market and “radio advertising cost.” A Google+ link to a blog article came up and it contained some rates.  He called the author and ended up using him to book the media, right on the spot.

Hmmm.

As this media matures will this sort of thing become pervasive or will it fade away?

I was wrong about social media but I’m correcting that error.  Here’s my video apology and the next thing I’m going to do to help you get up to speed.

Get on board with this now while you can still take advantage of the ability to influence your market with minimal effort.  The timing is analogous to being one of the first people to advertise on television.  You can reach your audience in a new way that has enormous credibility.