When I bring up social media as a marketing tool, a lot of doctors and lawyers immediately dismiss it. They don’t think it has anything to do with their practice. They don’t believe anyone would hire a lawyer or choose a doctor on Facebook. They think social media is only for kids and flashy start-ups. They worry that it’s too personal or casual for a professional business.
In short, they think it's kind of a waste of time!
However, social media is no longer just a place where people go to share pictures of their cat and talk about their lunch. It’s no longer just a place to market trendy digital products or quirky local restaurants! In reality, around 75% of Americans are currently social media users, and studies reliably show that what they see on social media sites has a huge impact on their buying decisions.
Still don’t believe me? Well, let me give you a little more food for thought.
According to the American Bar Association, around 42% of small law firms (between 2 and 9 attorneys) that use social media gained new clients from their efforts. And according to Health Research Institute, around 41% of patients said that social media influences their choice of doctor, hospital, or medical facility—and around 42% go to social media to look for health-related consumer reviews! Of course, none of those statistics even touch on some of the more indirect benefits of getting involved.
So, if you’ve been hesitant in the past, it’s time to reframe how you think about social media. Here’s what you need to know to start putting it to work for your practice.
Why Social Media Is Actually Your “Secret Weapon” for Marketing
Social media can be directly responsible for new leads and clients, but that’s not all it can do for you. Some of its biggest benefits are the ones that are hard to measure, including:
Getting your name out there. Social media is now a place where people make serious buying decisions and do serious research about their medical and legal questions. If you have a positive presence and some education to share, it’s going to make an impression. Social media puts you in front of your community, and a regular posting schedule keeps you at the top of people’s minds. As people start to recognize you and learn about what you do, you’ll gain an edge over bigger businesses, drive more word-of-mouth referrals, and grow your audience of potential clients.
Building trust and connections. Especially in the anonymous world of the internet, people want to buy from people they like. They want to buy from brands they trust and understand! This is especially true for the legal and medical industries, where people are looking for help with potentially sensitive concerns. If they regularly see your posts, see positive reviews, and think of you as part of their community, they’re going to feel more comfortable reaching out to you or referring a friend.
Building excitement about campaigns and offers. Social media offers some unique opportunities to support your other marketing efforts and harmonize the whole. For example, sharing your blog posts on social sites can increase traffic back to your website. Promoting your current marketing campaigns and offers on social media opens them up to new audiences and builds excitement. Feedback through comments and “likes” shows you what people respond to best. And—as a bonus—social signals may improve your performance in Google Search. Some social networks, like YouTube and Twitter, are even indexed by Google!
Of course, the price is also right. Getting involved with social media is cheap, and it can actually save you money by making the rest of your marketing machine work better. It’s one of those rare occasions where you can get “powerful” and “cheap” in the same package!
So, make it your secret weapon, and start reaping the rewards.
How to Get Serious About Social Media Marketing
Do some groundwork. Take a look at what other practices are doing. Are they active on Facebook? Do they tend to Tweet more? What do they post? How often do they post? If your competitors already seem to be getting good results—lots of comments, likes, and shares—on a particular social media site, start there. Or, if you don’t see a big presence on a particular social media site, you might even take advantage of the lack of competition. It can be a risk, but just start small and see what happens. One of our attorney clients surprised everyone by slaying it as an early adopter on TikTok!
Set yourself up for success. Don’t think you can just post on social media when you “feel like it.” Social media marketing works best when you have plans and processes in place to make it happen. So, make your social media posts a part of your regular content calendar. Assign a specific person to do it, and make sure they have what they need to do it effectively. There are many social media tools available that let you track progress, schedule future posting dates, and overall make your social strategy faster to work through and easier to maintain.
Concentrate on building a following. It takes time and consistency to build up a social media following, so post regularly and create engaging social media content that people want to read and respond to. Ask people to like and share your posts, and be responsive in the comments. Brand your profile pages using the same color, logo, and image styles you use on your website so that people recognize you—and don’t forget to let your personality shine through. Over time, you should see your audience grow.
And, finally, don’t be afraid to get some advice from the experts. There’s a lot to learn about using social media the right way, and there are lots of ways to optimize what you’re doing. Just give us a call at 888.886.0939 with your questions, or request a personalized marketing analysis to get pointed in the right direction.
If you take it seriously, you CAN achieve social media success—and we’re here to make it happen for you.
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 888.866.0939 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.