A Beginner's Guide: How to Use Social Media to Attract Clients
In the past decade, the world has seen a surge in the number and popularity of social media sites. With three-quarters of all Americans using at least one social media platform, now is the perfect time to start using social media to attract new clients to your law firm. Not sure where to start? These simple steps will help you build your online presence:
Step 1: Identify and Find Your Target Audience
Are your clients using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or other social media platforms? With so many social media platforms, it often does not make sense to canvas every platform in hopes of striking the right audience. Conducting thorough research can help you determine where you should focus your social media marketing efforts for optimal results.
Start by creating client persona profiles and be as specific as possible. For example, your target may begin as, “men in their 40s”, but it is crucial not to stop there. Include details about income levels, education, career placements, etc., to determine who your law firm is trying to reach with its content. Once you’ve defined what your target audience looks like and how they behave online, the next step is to find where they like to interact with influencers and gather industry updates. Sites like Pew Research Center periodically gather demographic information specific to each social platform. Social Media Today goes a step further by identifying which general industries gain the most attention and engagement on each of the most popular social platforms. Using these insights, you should be able to match your audience personas to the most viable platform for your marketing efforts.
Another good practice is to compile a keyword list that captures your law firm's areas of expertise. Consider how your potential clients might use those keywords or talk about the topics your firm covers. By going through each social platform and searching for those terms, you’ll be able to tell where your audience discusses your area of business the most. You might even learn more about your target audience in the process. For example, if you are a personal injury lawyer in Sacramento, you may consider conducting a quick search on Facebook with the following phrase:
As shown in the image above, simple keyword research will help you to source relevant conversations, or even competitors in your area. Diving a little deeper into this wealth of information should give you a solid frame of reference and help to direct your content strategy in the coming weeks. Remember: Becoming an influencer to your target audience isn’t just about about creating the conversation - it also means adding your voice to the relevant conversations that are already happening. Don’t be timid about regularly searching for the competition, or influencers, in your field - guaranteed they’re using the same tactic to establish their voice.
Step 2: Set Goals
What do you want to gain from your social media efforts? Make sure to set specific, measurable goals for your firm before you start to determine what data to collect and what insights you are seeking. Start with modest goals -- such as building followers and gaining likes -- that you can build on as you grow your online presence. In the long run, you will want to make sure your goals are tied directly to your business goals. For example, one common goal is generating business leads, which means needing to measure exactly how many leads your social media efforts are creating.
Step 3: Establish Your Social Media Presence
Now that you’ve identified your platforms and set goals, it’s time to start establishing your firm in the digital space. Take the time to plan the content you are going to send out on each platform. You’ll want to think about the voice and tone will you use to connect with clients, as well as investigate what your competitors or market leaders are doing. This should give you a good starting point to develop content that is going to help you attract business.
Additionally, your website’s blog is a basic, but vital, piece of your social media presence. It is the primary place you want to send people to read more about your law firm. On your blog, you’ll be able to provide valuable information to your audience, while displaying your extensive knowledge in your area of expertise. Therefore, you’ll want to make sure you’re putting out regular content to promote on your chosen social media platforms. Here are a few examples of law firm blogs that excel at publishing relevant content for their target audience:
My Shingle by Carolyn Elefant
http://patentlyo.com/patent by Dennis Crouch
http://www.geeklawblog.com/ by Greg Lambert, Casey D. Flaherty, and Toby Brown
In our technology-driven society, there’s no denying that social media is here to stay. Your clients are online in search of information, recommendations, and entertainment. If your firm is not around to answer, another one will be. Start capitalizing on the benefits social media can provide to your business today.