This article originally ran in The Record Reporter, an Arizona newspaper and website that covers legal business news:
I recently presented at the American Bar Association annual conference in San Francisco on “Why Tweeting Doesn’t Make You a Twit!” I was shocked and amazed at the number of attorneys I spoke to who still don’t believe that using social media is an effective way to acquire more clients, establish credibility and get a steady stream of referrals.
More often than not I heard comments such as:
“Social media is for younger generations;”
“People don’t use the Internet to look for attorneys;”
“I know firms that spent money on social media and never saw a return;” or
“The type of people who I want to do business with aren’t on social media”
These statements are categorically not true. In fact, believing these statements can be detrimental to the success of your law firm. Actively and appropriately engaging in social media is no longer a “nice to have” it is a “must have” if you truly want to build a successful firm.
Think about your own experience. If you are considering buying a new product or service, and you go onto the Internet and can’t find information on a website, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Amazon or any other number of social media platforms, your enthusiasm and interest in that particular company or product begins to diminish.
You may even find you trust the company less, are more skeptical of the product or service and begin to seek out competitors who offer the same product or service.
When people search for legal help the process is no different. It’s human nature to want to avoid making bad decisions that cause us financial or emotional harm.
Our fears are calmed and our skepticism is lessened when we can read and learn about the product or service we are about to invest in. When we read or watch third-party reviews we feel safer. When we see that a company is actively offering valuable and powerful information to those who may need the product or service, we believe we are mitigating the risk of a bad decision.
You must always remember that people buy emotionally and justify logically.
That’s why Twitter is one of the fastest growing online social media platforms. When used correctly and ethically it is a powerful part of a firm’s overall online marketing strategy.
Some basic and impressive statistics about Twitter easily demonstrate why this platform must be utilized.
- There are 200 million active users;
- 20 percent of individuals who “follow” a company on Twitter do so to give feedback and share ideas;
- 71 percent of individuals who positively review a company on Twitter (with a Tweet, Re-Tweet) go on to suggest the company to his/her peers;
- 56 percent of consumers would be more likely to encourage friends and family to try new products from a social brand than in person or over the phone;
- 63 percent of consumers agree that social experiences make them more interested in a brand’s product;
- 64 percent of consumers have made a purchase decision based on social content;
- 67 percent of 18-34 year old consumers prefer to do business with social companies;
- 91 percent of 18-34 year olds using social media are talking about brands.
If the above reasons don’t compel you to jump on Twitter and actively use it to grow your firm, here are three additional reasons to use Twitter.
With Twitter, you can build a massive platform:
A platform helps you effectively grow the number of people who know who you are, know what type of people/companies you are qualified to assist and know how you are different than every other law firm out there.
Twitter helps you establish credibility:
People do business with people they know, like and trust.
Being active on Twitter helps you establish yourself as a thought leader.
You can effectively position yourself as the “go-to” attorney for your practice area and geographical region.
You offer followers powerful, relevant and helpful information that begins to build a relationship and positions you and or the firm as a valuable and credible source of information.
Drive traffic to your website:
You can engage people on Twitter with powerful information and then direct them to your website. It is your website’s job to educate, engage and compel the viewer to take action and call or email the firm and/or set up an appointment with an attorney.
On your website you can showcase who you are and how you are different from other firms. If you do not actively display how you are unique and different from all your competitors out there, people will begin to make decisions based on price. This is the single worst position you can find yourself if. You never want to get business because you are the “cheapest attorney out there.”
There you can also give viewers the opportunity to: Learn about you and the firm, hear about others’ interactions with you through testimonials (when permitted by state) and case studies (demonstrate expertise), and discover how you can help them navigate their pressing legal issue.
Twitter of course, must be used effectively and ethically. Marketing is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. You must invest either the time or money into these strategies consistently so your efforts can gain traction and eventually give you a return on your investment.
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