On the 10th Day of Social Media, Your SIG Leaders Gave To You: 10 Simple Social Tips!
Yesterday, we talked about 9 Social Media tools, those things that should help make your life and job much easier when dealing with the day-to-day use of social media. Today is all about tips...social media marketing tips...to help guide you and your attorneys in the use of social media to strengthen their business.
It's very easy to dive head first into social media, signing up for one site, or many, and getting lost in them because there is an unbelievable amount of information and human contact there.
Have you ever gone into Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram and, before you know it, you've been there 30 minutes? I didn't mention Pinterest because you and I both know that you can get lost in there for an hour or more!
Suddenly you snap out of it, and wonder what you have actually accomplished. Allow me to propose 10 simple tips that might help focus the limited social media minutes that your attorneys have available. These aren't the only 10 that are important, but they are 10 that might be useful to you.
10 Simple Social Media Tips For You To Share With Your Attorneys
- Set A Few Goals: Our goals will all be different because we have different practices, different businesses, different services and different target audiences. To make the best use of social media, you need to know why you're here. That comes from having spent time defining what you do, for whom you do it, how you do it, where you do it, and what you charge for it, all compared to your clients' needs to make sure you are in sync. If you don't set meaningful goals, you probably won't achieve them. All marketing, including social media marketing, then falls out of those goals.
- Choose 5-10 Keywords that define you and your practice, your clients, and what issues are important to them. After you do that, I then want you to use them naturally in your social profiles, content, and everywhere else that has to do with communicating. Don't force your keywords into use just because you know it might be good for SEO (search engine optimization) as forced can look unnatural and below the standards we have set for ourselves in the legal profession.
- Integrate Social into everything else you do. If you sponsor a table, or your little league, or make a major donation to your local law school, always ask this question: How can we use social and digital media to extend our commitment and our message? This doesn't mean you are self-laudatory, but it does mean that you might be able to give that organization additional exposure via your firm- or personally-owned media. It only takes a few seconds to mention causes, clients and companies that are important to you.
- Create an Editorial Calendar: Although you can't know all of the topics that will be important to your audiences 3, 6, 9 or 12 months before they happen, there are issues that are always important, or that you want others to know about because they are services you can provide that will help their business. Deliberately plot these out in an editorial calendar so that you know, in advance, what areas of interest you will be focusing on, when you will create content around them, who is responsible for each component, and where it will be distributed. Leave space at regular intervals for those topics or issues that are breaking news.
- Don't Forget Your Referral Sources: Jeanne Kugler Wilson, Owner Director at Markbeech Marketing suggests that you "take the time to promote and advance their content. Share, retweet, like and comment on their social media posts. They will love it and can really help you grow!" This lets them know they are appreciated, and also helps them with their businesses. Reciprocity is always a good practice when it comes to referrals.
- Be Present: It takes time to build up a following via social media, but you are in charge of building your community there. No one can or should do that for you. I won't do much to help you build relationships with your political leaders if I go to the reception tomorrow night on your behalf to meet new City County Councillors, nor will you build genuine relationships if someone else is conversing for you on digital media. You can't just join these media. You have to use them.
- Be Consistent: Whether you publish on LinkedIn's Publisher platform, which I would like to see you do, or on your own platform, which I would also like to see you do, or you offer to write for legal or industry trades, you need to do it regularly if you expect people to think of you when they need someone with your skills. This was as true when I used to buy radio, TV, billboards and other traditional media, as it is today with digital and social media. The more consistently you spread your message, the more often people will remember you even when your activity takes a break. If you are consistent, they will think you are still there because they are accustomed to seeing you regularly.
- Repurpose Your Content: Create a laundry list of social and traditional media tools available to you that you can use to extend the life and the reach of every piece of your content. For everything you produce, think about distributing it in at least 3 other places, and preferably more. If you recently presented to a local organization, take 10 of the most important points you made, or that resonated with your audience, and place 1 major point on each slide (you will see what I mean below this post). Make sure your slides are more visual than they are copy-heavy. Put a title and a contact slide on each end, then post it on Slideshare, on your website, on JD Supra, linked at the bottom of your email signature, on your LinkedIn profile, play it on a monitor in your lobby, etc. Better yet, using your presentation software, record audio over these 10 slides, and distribute it as a video.
- Build Your Distribution List: You need to be able to communicate regularly with your clients and potential clients. This means you need an ever-growing email list. No, email is definitely NOT dead. If you have a significant piece of communication you have prepared, perhaps a white paper, a series of 3 videos explaining a recent change in your client's industry, a transcript of a presentation you made at a national conference, or perhaps a new podcast, then create a page that you direct potential clients to via social media so they can sign up to receive it, or to be notified when you publish something new. These are often called landing or opt-in pages, and those names can feed directly into your email distribution list so you can deliver the information they have expressed a desire to receive.
- Kick Fear To The Curb: I still hear from many lawyers that they don't want to use social media because they are afraid of damaging client confidentiality, or saying something that will get them in trouble. I respect you and them for being cautious, but we need to manage that caution so that you can move forward with these communication tools we now have at our disposal. They aren't going away, and they are becoming even more important to the way our clients do business. Remember that if you can't do it offline, you can't do it online. Respect the rules that have been established in every jurisdiciton where you and your firm practice, and adhere to the strictest among them. Building relationships is about turning contacts into connections, and doesn't have to mean that you share secrets and privileged information online. It's okay to just converse and be friendly. Relationships are built this way every day.
You no longer have to sit around and wait for someone to publish information about you in order to get noticed by those people who are critical to the growth of your practice and your business. Via social media, you can extend and build your community if you really want to. You just need to lay the groundwork, then practice. It will become more natural as times goes by. I promise.
In other words, relationship-building and business development have no more geographic boundaries.
The world is literally at your fingertips. You just need to reach out.
It has been my complete pleasure to be able to share 3 of our 12 Days of Social Media with you. I am thankful to have these opportunities to connect with you. I wish you the happiest holidays, and the most fulfilling 2015 possible!
Stay close to those you love, okay?
And one last point - the 12 days of Social Media are just part of what you get when you're a SIG member. To get full benefits: join the Social Media SIG, join the LinkedIn LMA Social Media SIG private group, join the LMA Social Media Private Group on Facebook, and if you're not already a member of LMA, join here. As a member of the Social Media SIG, these posts will be sent to you automatically via the Groups ediscussion Forum.If you're new to our SIG or LMA, you may also want to check out last year's 12 Days of Social Media, as well as our 12 Days from 2012!
Happy Holidays from your Social Media SIG Leaders!
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If you missed any of our previous 2014 Days of Social Media, here they are!
- 9 Strategic Social Media Tools
- 8 Helpful Hashtags
- 7 Twitter Tools to Try
- 6 Inspiring Innovators
- 5 Fave Social Personas
- 4 Fabulous Resources
- 3 Leading LinkedIn Groups to Join
- 2 Legal Marketing Conferences to Check Out
- ...and A Prediction for 2015
See you Monday. Thanks for stopping by!