Here’s my best advice from my 1828+ day social media career: stay weird! The online realm is a competitive venue, but you can stand out with a few easy steps.
50 million people took the Twitter plunge in the past year for a grand total of 270+ million active users. Over 300 billion tweets have been sent to date. According to Lori Taylor, if you have a Twitter account, you are following at least five brands and there’s a 30% chance you’ll buy from that brand.
What does this mean for legal professionals?
Five years ago today, I bet you didn’t use Twitter for marketing and business development. You had a website (of course) but you didn’t use social media (you might have dabbled in LinkedIn).
Times have changed. Today, I’m reading, “January 2015 Top 100 Lawyers to Follow on Twitter.” Lawyers and legal professionals are using social media professionally.
All successful legal tweeters are unique.
In other words, they all share one common trait – quirkiness! According to the Urban Dictionary, quirky means something that is strange/not normal but cool. You can’t buy a popular social media presence, and there isn’t a one-size-fits-all strategy for law firms. You need to be different and you need to be memorable. Here’s how.
1. Research the competition
What are other law firms and lawyers in your practice area doing? What kind of status updates do they share? Do individual lawyers tweet or does the law firm tweet? How often do they tweet? How can you stand out?
2. Let your personality shine
Are you obsessed with Hay Day like me? Five years ago, I was an avid World of Warcraft player, and my social media friends knew it. What do you like to do in your spare time? Where can I find you on your days off? Your social media followers love finding common ground – it’s how they “connect” with you.
3. Have an opinion
Social media isn’t vanilla. Don’t be afraid to share your views online. Is there something in the news that relates to your practice area? A rule change? A judgement? Check out legal blogs in your industry for inspiration (but don’t copy them!). Some people suggest having an opinion crosses potential clients out, don’t listen to them. You can’t “please them all”.
4. Make sure all your contact information is correct
Strangely, this is a simple way to stay one step ahead. Most professionals don’t complete their social media profiles, and/or they forget to update their contact information should it change. Your social media contact information must be consistent. Think about your business cards and advertising materials – it would be odd if they had different information right? Keep it up-to-date and accurate and Google will like you too.
5. Don’t start using five social networks at once
If you’re new to social media, start by opening one social media account. Each network is unique. For example, it’s common for Twitter users to share their articles numerous times per day; however, this isn’t the case for Facebook. Facebook users check their newsfeeds all day, every day – and they don’t like seeing promotional content – it has to be subtle (and relevant).
6. Define what success means to you
Don’t expect “x” number of new clients from Facebook. Instead, define what success means to you. Set up Google Alerts to see how many times your name is mentioned online. Carefully track your “source of work” – most new clients check you out on multiple places before contacting you.
Word-of-mouth is still number one, but, what happens if a potential client is given two lawyer referrals? How do they decide which one to choose? They ask around and they check Google.
I hope the above tips will inspire you to be different online. It works (and it’s free). Do you have any tips to share? Share them in the comments below!