Client Development

Join the social media conversation. Teach – don’t sell.

April 26, 2016

Social media is no longer an option for your small and medium sized law firms, it’s critical for your success.
– Kevin O’Keefe, Founder of LexBlog

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Although many lawyers were late to the social media party, their numbers are growing. In fact, the number of lawyers using social media has risen dramatically in the past four years. According to the American Bar Association’s 2014 Legal Technology Survey Report, 62% of respondents reported that they use networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn, LawLink, or Legal OnRamp, compared with 55% in 2012, 43% in 2011, and 17% in 2010. According to a study by LinkedIn reported in February 2014, 81% of small and medium businesses surveyed use social media.

For more stats on social media and lawyers check out this cool Social Media Infographic – posted in 2015, but still quite relevant – from Nicole Black at the MyCase Blog.

75% of B2B decision makers use social media to learn. Be a teacher – not a seller.
– Gerry Moran, Head of Social Media at SAP North America

Change how you think about social media. Don’t think of social media networks as merely marketing tools for your firm. Instead, think of them as learning tools for your clients, potential clients and referral sources. Social networks have created new ways of communicating with your referral sources, current clients, and even potential clients. On a broad scale, social media allows you to establish your credibility, share your knowledge, and be viewed as a trusted advisor. Social networks give you the opportunity to expand your influence far beyond your local community. And although social media is not a replacement for relationship marketing, it will support and enhance the personal marketing you do. Social media allows you to build your brand in a variety of ways.

Expand your network. Social media gives you the ability to create relationships with people you would never be able to connect with otherwise. You can connect with people all over the world. You never know where that next “A” client might come from. I’ve worked with more than one attorney who has received “A” clients as a result of a robust presence on LinkedIn.

Build your credibility. Use social media to educate your followers. Give useful knowledge away through articles, blog posts and white papers. Post articles you’ve written or articles that would be of interest to your network. The greater your presence on the Web, the more credibility you have. Social media lets you become THE source for news in your practice area for your network. LinkedIn and other social networks make it easy to share articles from a wide variety of news sources with your connections.

Start relationships online; follow-up offline. When you connect with people on LinkedIn or follow people on Twitter or comment on interesting blog posts, you’re opening the door to not just online communication, but offline, real-world relationships. If you connect with someone in your city, ask them if they’d like to get together for coffee so that you can learn more about their business. If your connection is in another part of the state or country, look for opportunities to connect with them when you’re traveling.

These are just a few ideas to get you thinking. How are you using social media in your firm?

 

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