Attorneys who post and participate on social media sites should welcome the results of a recent FindLaw survey that revealed a majority of consumers are likely to the hire an attorney who is active on social media.
In a survey of a demographically balanced sample of 1,000 American adults, 54% said they would be likely to hire a lawyer who is active on social media. For adults between the ages of 18 and 44, that number goes up to 69%.
Of those adults surveyed by FindLaw, 84% said they use at least one social network, with Facebook being the most popular (73%) followed by Instagram (28%), Twitter (27%), Pinterest (24%), LinkedIn (21%) and SnapChat (16%).
The survey also found that 34% of consumers have already used a social network to assist them with finding local service providers, including lawyers and doctors. For consumers between the ages of 18 and 34, almost half — 48% — said they have used a social site to find a local service provider.
Whether you are already active on social media or not, here are some rules that every attorney should know — use them to guide your efforts.
#1 – Different social media platforms reach different markets. You have to know your target market in order to choose the best social network to spend your time and effort. Consumer law attorneys should be active on Facebook. Business law attorneys should spend their time on LinkedIn. Choose second tier social networks according to your target market demographics.
#2 – Don’t use social media as just another advertising channel. To effectively use social media, you must have a deft touch. Social media is about engagement, building trust and establishing relationships, not ambulance chasing. While having a live chat button on your website or social media page to allow interested prospects to easily connect with you is a good thing, you must be careful not to see social media as just another platform for pushing promotional messages.
#3 – Produce great content. The quality of the content you provide on social media is a direct reflection of how people will perceive the quality of your law practice. When you put something out on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter, it must be something your prospects and followers find valuable, informative and interesting. We recommend that 80 percent of your content be educational and nonpromotional. If you’re posting or retweeting another’s content – a great way to consistently add value – make sure that the content meets your criteria for excellence.
#4 – Engage with others. If someone posts a comment or response to your article or post, be sure to respond in kind. The first word in social media is social! Don’t fall into the trap of only connecting with people you already know. Use social networking to expand your sphere of influence.
#5 – Focus. Specializing in your area of practice helps you to build trust and authority, so focus on messages that reflect what your practice is about. If you have multiple practice areas, spend 80 percent of your time promoting the area that makes up 80 percent of your business.
#6 – Be authentic. Write for those people you want as clients or referral sources, not for other attorneys. Let your personality come through in your posts.
For solos and small firms, the goal of social media is lead generation and business development, pure and simple. How you get there is by building targeted relationships, providing solid content, and consistently adding value. Attorneys we have worked with at The Rainmaker Institute regularly receive 100-250 new leads every month just from efforts online and via social media.
Learn about the social media networks that will work best for your firm and how to leverage them to get more leads by watching my latest free webinar – Leveraging the Power of Social Media.
During this free one-hour webinar, you will learn:
- 3 low cost marketing tools for maximizing your results from social media
- The 3 biggest mistakes lawyers make with social media and how to avoid them
- Top 10 steps to jumpstart your referrals on LinkedIn
- Using Facebook to connect with potential clients and referral sources
- How to get qualified leads on Facebook for 90% less than on Google PPC
- How to use content marketing to position yourself as an industry thought leader
- Insider secrets to getting more leads from your blog
If you want to discover real-world strategies that work for attorneys when it comes to generating and converting leads using social networks, learn how by watching this free webinar.
Register online now for immediate access to this free one-hour webinar.