Using Social Media as a Law Firm Marketing Tool
Networking is imperative for attorneys to build their practice and develop a strong client base. With today’s age of technology and new media, social networking is exploding and has proven to be a useful marketing tool. While the legal profession tends to be more traditional than other industries, law firms and attorneys must begin to include a social media strategy to their marketing plan.
Undoubtedly, many have heard of social networking and social media sites. Understanding each, how they differ, and what they offer to users will allow you and your firm to utilize these outlets to your advantage. As with any network and marketing tactic – personal or virtual – it is an interactive and ongoing process. Here are just a few of the most used social media sites:
Facebook: With almost two billion registered users, Facebook is the largest social network in the world. It allows users to create a profile, post photos, video and have streaming news feed; as well as make connections, develop a network and share virtually unlimited content. While it started as a college-only network, it has evolved into a useful tool business and networking tool. Facebook tends to lend itself to personal relationships over professional connections, but it is another way to develop your network of contacts. Facebook also allows users to create pages for businesses and brands, giving you a way to market your firm.
Twitter: Twitter is a microblogging service that allows users to create profiles and post updates on desired topics, enabling its users to send and read other users’ messages called tweets. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 280 characters displayed on the user’s profile page. Users may subscribe to other author tweets—this is known as following and subscribers are known as followers. Twitter is a less gated method of communication or social networking. It allows users to share information with people that they wouldn’t normally exchange email or Instant Message (IM) with, opening up their circle of contacts to an ever-growing community of like-minded people.
LinkedIn: LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network with over 450 million members. LinkedIn connects you to your trusted contacts and helps you exchange knowledge, ideas, and opportunities with a broader network of professionals. Through the development of your profile, you can add contacts. Within your network and extended network, you can view other profiles, whether they are potential clients, experts or referral sources. LinkedIn also makes it possible to find business opportunities, jobs and job seekers—allowing you to build and extend your professional network.
YouTube: YouTube is a video-sharing website, which users can upload, share, and view videos. The site uses Adobe Flash Video technology to display a wide variety of user-generated video content, including movie clips, TV clips, and music videos, as well as amateur content such as video blogging and short original videos. One of the key features of YouTube is the ability of users to view its videos on web pages outside the site. Each YouTube video is accompanied by a piece of HTML, which can be used to embed on a page outside the YouTube website. This functionality is often used to embed YouTube videos in social networking pages and blogs.
Pinterest: Pinterest is an online pinboard and reaches 175 million active users around the globe monthly. Pinterest allows users to share photos or videos on virtual bulletin boards. Think of it as visual bookmarketing. Users can save images and categorize them on different boards. Pinterest is fast becoming a formidable source of traffic to company websites.
Blogging: Blogs are usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Most blogs are interactive, allowing visitors to leave comments and even message each other. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, Web pages, and other media related to its topic. Blogging is notably recognized for its powerful influence on a trend, person, business or idea. Blogs help drive traffic to a website, increase SEO and develop a network/readership – as well as position you as an expert on a given subject.
Instagram: Instagram has over 600 million global users with more that 400 million checking Instagram daily. Instagram allows users to share their picture and videos online on various websites and social media networking sites. Instagram allows you to take a photo on your iPhone or Android, add a quirky filter, and share it on Instagram’s website or on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Foresquare.
Flickr: Flickr is an online photo management and sharing application. Flirkr allows you to store, search and share your photos and videos online. You can access Flickr from the webs, mobile devices, and home computers. Flickr allows you to share these photos on their website, use RSS feeds, use email and more.
Google+: Google+ or Google Plus is a social network and identify service from Google. Google+ is designed to help Google personalize all your products and improve ad targeting. Google+ allows you to group contacts (friends, business contacts, etc) in circles; allows you to handout in virtual chat rooms; allows for group messaging and more.
Social Media sites are an extension of your website, current networks and directories, and they are interactive tools to help create and maintain relationships with existing and new contacts, potential clients and business referrals and partners. For questions on implementing social media into your marketing program, contact BARD Marketing at (561) 637-2575 or firstname.lastname@example.org.