Capitalize on Digital Media to Increase Your Law Firm’s Exposure
You’ve now built an informative and aesthetically pleasing website and started driving traffic to it with paid advertising. So what’s next? Social Media is a powerful and important tool in your digital media toolbox. It is not only a way to advertise your firm, but a way to interact with your current and prospective clients. How you respond to a current customer’s complaint on your Facebook page, for example, could dissuade a prospect from working with you because they felt your response wasn’t adequate.
It seems like every few months there is a new article saying Facebook is fading away and some new up-and-coming platform will replace it. Don’t believe the hype. Facebook is bigger than ever and the most used social media platform.
But it does take a certain kind of finesse for businesses to be successful on Facebook, especially those that aren’t in the business of posting cat videos every day. This article from New Media Campaigns details some of the most common mistakes law firms make in utilizing Facebook. What is most important with Facebook is engagement – don’t just post links to your content. Ask questions, invite feedback – provide ways for your followers to interact with you. Facebook ads are constantly evolving and a great way to get your information in front of users who don’t currently follow you. By targeting specific demographics and geographic locations, you can tailor the audience that sees your ads.
Need some inspiration for your Facebook page? 5 Law Firms “Doing It Right” from JDSupra.com
Twitter is generally thought of as the more professional of the widely used social media platforms (outside platforms like LinkedIn that are specifically for professional networking and prospecting). More news sharing and thought sharing tends to happen on Twitter than say, Facebook or Instagram,and therefore a great platform for marketing yourself as a thought leader.
Twitter is a great way of engaging with your prospects and clients by providing them useful or interesting information. It is important that all that information doesn’t come from you and your website, however. Make sure you are sharing articles, tweets, and posts from other thought leaders that your followers will enjoy. If you only ever talk about yourself, you’ll find your audience dwindling.
Don’t think to small and just in terms of your firm either – as this post from Legal Marketing Review outlines, your expert partners and associates should have professional accounts they can use to cultivate a Twitter following as well. Keep in mind that there is a balance to be found in how much you tweet every day – as LawyerMarketing.com points out, you can’t go dark for long periods of time nor should you tweet a slew of articles rapid fire. Spread your messaging out and stay as consistent as possible.
Twitter ads allow you to target followers of similar accounts, with specific interests, who use specific devices, and much more. You can fine tune the audience that sees your ads, making sure you get the best ROI for your campaign.
Yelp isn’t just for restaurant reviews – consumers rely on Yelp for information on almost every business they are considering. Legal reviews are a huge section of Yelp and how you are portrayed there can directly affect your incoming business - what people are saying about you plays directly in to your marketing presence. You don’t need to respond to every review, or even every negative review, but some definitely should get a response. Prospects will be looking to how you handle negative reviews as a factor of considering hiring you and your firm.
Yelp has their own advertising offering, but it isn’t as lucrative as Twitter and Facebook. The numbers don’t seem promising and Yelp users are there for other users’ recommendations, not ads.
AVVO isn’t technically a social media platform, but they are a big name in lawyer referrals and a place you and your firm need to be listed in your online marketing efforts, which is why they are included.
AVVO does the hard part of getting traffic to their site for you – they have invested in marketing their site to consumers. Once they are on the site, it is up to you to get them interested in you and your firm. How you utilize AVVO has a lot to do with that. Make sure you know the ins and outs of the site, like those discussed in this article on SEO For Lawyers. A key point? Make sure you are answering questions in the forums. Not only does this improve your rating, it helps establish you as an expert and thought leader.
No matter the platform, when dealing with customer reviews and complaints remember to be as calm and understanding as possible. If a complaint deals with something that requires a hand-on approach, invite the user to contact you directly to resolve the issue. If the complaint deals with something that requires correction, you can generally handle that online. For example, if a customer is complaining that you don’t have weekend hours and you do, kindly respond that you do in fact have them and what they are.
In Part 4 will we discuss staying current in your technical prowess and how that relates to digital marketing.