A new study done by Experian Marketing Services shows that, in the U.S., internet users spend 16 minutes of every online hour using social media sites. This represents 27 percent of the total time spent on personal computers. Social networking beat out shopping, email use, and entertainment. But what does this mean for you as an attorney?
It means that you better be involved in social media and, beyond that, have a plan that allows you to make the most of your social media accounts. It's not enough to get a Facebook page for your law firm and leave it at that. You need a plan, and it better be good.
4 Steps to Social Media Success
There is so much advice out there on social media for attorneys that it can be hard to decide where to start. Because of this, we have boiled down our best social media advice for attorneys into four easy-to-follow steps.
Four Steps To Improve Your Social Media Marketing
Consider Your Audience.
Before you go whole hog and set up accounts on all of the social media outlets, think about your audience. Are they the type to follow along with their favorite people on Twitter? Or are they more likely to spend time on Facebook? This, along with our #2 tip, can help you decide how to make the best use of your time on social media.
Choose the Right Social Media Sites.
The major players in social media are Facebook and Twitter. If you're unfamiliar with any of these sites, your first step should be to check them out. Before you set up an account for your law firm, get a personal account. Use this account to get a feel for the sites, and while you're there, see if your competitors are using them. This will give you a good idea of where you need to spend your time. For example, if your top competitors are successfully using Facebook, it may be best to spend the majority of your efforts there.
Now that you've picked the best site or sites for your law firm, it's time to set goals. These goals can be getting a certain number of likes or followers, increasing your referral traffic by a specific percentage, or getting a new case through your social media marketing efforts.
Monitor Your Accounts.
To see if you are achieving your goals, check on your accounts often. Use analytics to see if people are visiting your site via social media accounts, and review your accounts to see if you are getting good feedback, such as likes and comments on your posts.
Like anything worth doing, running an effective social media campaign will take some work. If social media isn't your cup of tea, consider getting help with your social media accounts.
Are Your Social Media Postings Interesting Enough to Keep Your Followers Attention?
We are not insulting your friends, family, and clients by comparing them to goldfish. A recent study done by Statistic Brain found that, since the year 2000, the average human’s attention span has dropped four seconds—down from twelve seconds to eight. The average attention span for a goldfish? Nine seconds.
So Goldie, circling in her tank, seemingly mindlessly, can focus for longer than the average modern human. Sad? Yes. Is it an important factor to consider when posting in social media today? Yes!
How to Make the Most of Those 8 Seconds
With people unwilling—or unable—to spend more than eight seconds concentrating on a single task, your posts better stand out. They must have something unique to offer or something that will stick out and separate your law firm from the fray. After all, you're competing not only with short attention spans, but with other, perhaps more interesting, individuals and businesses.
To attract and keep the attention of your audience, our law firm social media experts suggest that you:
- Keep it hot. All links you share should be current. An article even six months old is considered stale. Tip: To get the latest news delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for Google Alerts that fit your practice areas.
- Make it fun. As an attorney, your reputation is probably anything but fun, and you're not helping matters by using social media just to promote your services. Tip: Find fun links that relate in some way to your practice areas. For a family law attorney, consider linking to a funny blog about parenting. And any attorney could post a relevant cartoon to lighten the mood and improve his or her image.
- Shorten it up. People don't want to read through even a long paragraph on social media. The shorter and more interesting, the better. Tip: Trim down any long posts by boiling your message down to the shortest, most eye-catching post possible. When in doubt, ask a question. Everybody wants to be heard!
- Include images and video. Studies have shown that people are much more likely to click on a link with an interesting image or video. Tip: Be sure that every third post or so contains an image or video. This not only captures the attention of your audience, it makes your wall appear more graphic and interesting.
- It's not all about you. Nothing will bore your audience more than your same content, voice, and links over and over again. You're not the only one with good ideas or interesting facts, so link out more than you link in to your website. Tip: A good rule of thumb is keeping your ratio of content at 8:2. Eighty percent of your content should be from other people—links to high-authority websites and blogs—and 20 percent should be your own, unique content.
Is Your Law Firm Or Medical Practice Getting Leads From Your Social Media Marketing Efforts?
Not convinced your current social media marketing is converting leads into clients? No worries! Foster Web Marketing can help. Please contact us online or call our office directly at 866.497.6199 to schedule your free consultation with our experienced marketing team. We have been helping clients throughout the United States and internationally since 1998 and are confident we can help you not only reach, but exceed your goals.