Why does social media matter? Social media gets you seen. Posting content to your website is great, but if you aren't driving users there, it will never get seen. By posting content to social networking sites, you are bringing the information directly to the user. You are creating a dialogue, building trust, establishing your authority, and providing a place to communicate with your users.
Getting attorneys to embrace social media as part of their marketing strategy is a challenge. Many see social media sites like Facebook and Twitter as a way to waste time. However, no matter your personal feelings on this topic, it is clear that Google and Facebook are changing the way your prospective clients search for services. If you don't embrace the change, you'll be left playing catch-up.
Facebook offers a platform to share information about yourself as well as your business. By humanizing yourself, your users will feel more comfortable with you as a person. Keep your Facebook business profile professional. It should provide information to your users about what you do, what you know, and things that they want to hear. Your personal profile can be more focused on you as a person, but keep it clean. You want to support your professional profile, not discredit yourself.
Facebook encourage users to share information about businesses they like and use, experiences they've had and content they find compelling. The "share" and "like" features are critical to you, as studies show that online users trust the opinion of their friends more than anything else when it comes to making a decision.
This is the most important thing for lawyers to digest: people trust their friends. Your clients have friends. You need to woo not only your clients, but also your potential clients and their friends. Building trust is integral to online marketing these days, and social media is the way to do this.
Skeptical? Google is getting on board, too. They have rolled out a feature that shows web searchers search results that have been recommended by their friends. This changes how attorneys do online marketing - it means a slick website and informative content are not enough - you need to win the hearts of your clients and potential clients so they feel comfortable recommending you to their friends and family.