How to Fix the Most Common Social Media Mistakes Lawyers Make/Part 2My post yesterday introduced the topic of the most common social media mistakes lawyers make and focused on remedying the #1 mistake by learning how to develop a social media strategy for your law firm.

In this series of posts, I’ll be sharing with you the ways to fix all these common social media mistakes:

1.  No social media strategy (see 7/21 post)

2.  Taking on too many social media platforms at once

3.  Focusing on follower quantity instead of quality

4.  Putting too much focus on your firm

5.  Treating all social media platforms the same

6.  Ignoring the “social” part of social media

7.  Neglecting to budget properly for a social media marketing program

Mistake #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. You can find demographic breakdowns on the most popular social networks from the Pew Research Center’s 2014 Social Media Update.

Mistake #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.

LinkedIn has a great tool called Advanced People Search that allows you to leverage your current contacts to find potential prospects in their LinkedIn circles and groups. Just click on the “Advanced” link next to the search box at the top of the page.

Mistake #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. Here are the five types of posts that get the most social media shares:

How-to: These types of posts are perfect for attorneys since they pose a problem, offer a solution and detail the steps in-between.   For example, How to Create an Estate Plan for Your Blended Family or How to Document Your Car Accident.

Lists: Lists are very popular on social media because they’re easy to scan and, frankly, humans just seem to like lists! Examples: Top 5 Ways to Beat That DUI Rap or Top 10 Reasons You Need a Lawyer for Your Startup.

What: Many of these focus on a particular topic and sometimes make comparisons. Example:What Attorneys Used to Know About Social Media and What They Know Now or What the New Florida Spousal Support Law Means for Women.

Why: The “why” post gives people your reasoning for reaching a particular conclusion on a chosen topic. Examples: Why You Should Talk to a Real Estate Attorney Before You Buy or Sell Your House or Why You Need to Review Your Estate Plan Every 2-3 Years.

Video: Nothing works better than video to illustrate a point or legal concept, and to give people a feel for what it would be like to do business with you. Even videos that have nothing to do with your area of practice but just evoke a pleasant emotion are worthy of sharing on social media.

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