Social media, at this point, is hardly a new concept in law firms. People have been debating its merits for a few years now and more and more firms are getting into the game with Twitter and LinkedIn accounts, a Facebook presence and a JD Supra page. But for the still-averse among firm leaders, what’s the absolute last word? In my opinion it’s this: Get in the game! While you don’t have to jump in the deep end immediately, not participating in social media can only serve to hurt your firm. It keeps you connected to clients, colleagues and referral sources and allows potential clients to gain information other than simply what’s on your website. That being said, there are some basics to remember when joining the online community. Here are few…
Five over, and you get a traffic violation. If for example, you mail out 500 invitations using each of the three heavily promoted methods of building your social business network, this is a very realistic consequence. 10 out of every hundred you emailed, members or not, accept your invitation. You now proudly have a quick 50 person business network of your own. Acceptance exposes the other person’s email so you can send personal emails if desired. One in a hundred of the people you sent invites to, respond with “I don’t know you”.
Social presence is also a must nowadays so go ahead and create Twitter, Facebook, Buy LinkedIn Accounts Online. Customize your profiles and make them look good. Twitter and Facebook require no further presentation but you should know that LinkedIn is a social network for business professionals so it might be a good place for you to make contacts in your niche.
If your market is on Facebook, you need to have a presence. Even in the B2B world, companies are finding that some percentage of their market spends time on Facebook. You can create a company page associated with your account. Since you are just getting started, a Facebook profile and company page is fine. Even if you do not use it right away, it is a good idea to secure the account name.
GROUPS. There are numerous groups on LinkedIn that will help you network with people of similar interests, geography, or backgrounds (like alumni groups). The update will show which groups your connections have joined in the past week. You may find they know a new group you’d like to join.
Once your profile is created, LinkedIn offers several ways to stay active. You can post status updates similar to Facebook. With LinkedIn, you will probably want to keep these updates more professional. Remember that those you want to do business with are the ones who will be seeing them.
It is also very important to use a photo in your profile. If people don’t know what you look like, in this day and age, they are likely not to do business with you. A photo is one of the most important parts of marketing your business online. It speaks volumes to those looking to utilize your services.
Word of mouth seems very much like an old-fashioned type of marketing method and one that leaves a lot to chance. But in today’s technological world, that is not the case. Offer incentives for existing customers to refer you to their friends and family. With Twitter or Facebook, it is easy to track who is being referred by whom. Make it worth the while for the referrer.