7 Social Media Sins Lawyers Shalt Not CommitBy now, most attorneys have gotten religion when it comes to the importance of making social media a prominent part of your marketing mix. Yet there are still many law firms that routinely commit social media sins that hinder their ability to capitalize on all the benefits social media offers.

Here are 7 social media sins you should avoid like the Biblical plague:

#1: No social media strategy. You should never begin any marketing initiative without outlining a solid. When developing a strategy for social media marketing, you need to give serious thought to the “5 W’s and the H”:

  • Who is your target market
  • What you want to accomplish
  • Where you will be participating (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.)
  • When you will be posting for maximum benefit
  • Why you want to use social media
  • How you will execute and measure your plan

Created and executed correctly, a social media marketing program can help you connect with prospects you may never have found otherwise and drive the engagement on to more richly rewarding places like your blog, website or newsletter. Just don’t start the journey without a map.

#2: Taking on too many social media platforms all at once. Many law firms make the mistake of jumping in to social media by putting up profiles on every network and then find they don’t have the time to maintain them all.

You don’t need to be everywhere. You just need to remember that the most important thing in identifying the right social media platform for your firm is to know your target market.   Once you know the demographics of your market, you can then focus on the social media platforms that do the best job of reaching that audience.

If your market is business-to-business, then you want to have a robust presence on LinkedIn.  If you market to consumers, then Facebook is your best bet.  If you want to go after a female clientele, then be sure you have some presence on Pinterest.

Once you have done the necessary homework on knowing your prospect inside and out, then it’s much easier to find the best places to reach them.

#3: Focusing on follower quantity instead of quality. While it may boost your ego to have thousands of follower and fans on social media, it will do nothing to boost your ROI or user engagement if you are just counting heads instead of gathering users who have a real need for your services.

The key here is to use social media to build real relationships and you can start with the relationships you already have. Once you join a social media network, your first step should be to find all your contacts there and invite them to connect with you. Once you do, and they like or comment on what you post, that will spread to their networks as well.

#4: Putting too much focus on your firm. When crafting social media posts, remember the 80/20 rule — 80% of your posts should be about something of use or interest to your followers and only 20% should be about promoting your firm.

One of the goals of participating on social media is to spread your influence beyond the circle of people who already know you. This occurs when your posts are interesting enough to share.

#5: Treating all social media platforms the same. According to the ABA, 78% of attorneys are on more than one social network. However, many law firms make the mistake of posting the same information in the same way across all social media networks. They neglect to take into account the unique attributes of each social media site, and their results suffer for it. \

#6: Ignoring the “social” part of social media. Social media is a 365/24/7 world, allowing you to engage with prospects at any time, and they with you. You must be vigilant about responding to posts and questions the same way you would in responding to a prospect that calls or emails you. Every point of contact is an opportunity to make a great impression.

By truly engaging on social media regularly, you strengthen your relationships with people you already know and start building new relationships with people you don’t know – your friends’ friends and followers.

#7: Neglecting to budget properly for a social media marketing program. While it won’t cost you a dime to sign up on social media networks, maintaining a robust presence on these sites does cost you – either time or money, it’s your choice. Social media is a long-term play, and you need to commit to spending the time and money (either yours or hiring someone else) to achieve success.

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