It’s Time to Talk about Your Social Media

I know, I know. You’re tired of hearing about social media. You’re also probably tired of being told that social media “works” and that you have to use it to promote your firm, without ever being told what “works” means.

Never fear. I’m going to break that down for you now.

Social media: “forms of electronic communication (as Web sites for social networking and microblogging) through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content (as videos).”

The Big Three:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn

What you’re doing right

When you have a blog or a video to share, you post it on the Big Three. You “meet” other people in your field through social networking. You find out about upcoming events or seminars, and you share the information online. You post pictures of events you’ve hosted, of your latest newspaper interview, or of your latest verdict.

What you’re doing wrong

You’re not posting anything else.

Social media is social. If you look like a robot or an advertisement all of the time, people aren’t going to want to follow you. (LinkedIn is a little different, I know, because that’s a professional site – but the principle remains the same.)

You need, in some way, to treat your social media visitors like 1980s movie vampires: if you want them to share or talk about your content, you have to invite them in. You need to encourage people to give you feedback or to share your pictures, posts and infographics. You need to engage them in the conversation with you. THIS is what we mean when we say that social media works. It’s just that you have to work a little, too.

Quick tips for improving your brand on social media

Your firm’s social media sites aren’t personal sites, and we can appreciate the need to separate those two. But are you celebrating your firm? Are you supporting the claims of your brand? Are you creating content that should be shared?

Here are some things you can do to get people talking about you online in the best way possible:

  • Create some context. Next time you go to post a link to your blog on Facebook, write up a little blurb about what it covers. Want people to read about changes to the real estate market? Make sure they know what your angle is going in.
  • Invite them to comment. Whether you’re asking them to share or retweet, or to simply give their thoughts about a subject in your comment section, make sure they know you’re interested in hearing what they have to say.
  • Set some ground rules about those comments. If you’re going to invite people to comment and share, let them know up front that you won’t tolerate hate speech or bad language. Make it clear that as the administrator of the site, you have the right to remove anything that’s inappropriate.
  • That being said, be careful what you deem “inappropriate. Not everyone is going to agree with you. Pulling down dissenting opinions is the best way to make sure people won’t trust you. Address their concerns, invite them to contact you directly to discuss those concerns more, and thank them for taking the time to write to you.
  • Always respond to comments, negative or positive, by thanking people for bringing their concern to you. It shows respect, poise and maturity. A person who can read something he or she doesn’t like, and still takes the time to say “Thank you for bringing this to my attention,” is almost automatically seen as an authority figure. Use that and run with it.
  • Throw some tangentially related posts in there. Sure, you want to hype all the good stuff you do – but people engage more fully when they realize you’re a person, too. Pictures from your holiday parties or events, infographics that discuss the same issues your firm covers, even comics about lawyers are always a good bet. A sense of humor goes a long way, and it reinforces the idea that you’re someone who can be trusted, and who can be talked to about important, frightening issues.
  • POST. EVERY. DAY. Even if you only blog once a week or so, put something up on your social media sites every day. A short blurb to show that you’re active works wonders.
  • Ask your friends to help. Not your online “friends” – I mean colleagues and contacts that you know well. Set up an exchange between your blog and the blog of a firm you trust, even if it’s only a couple of times a year. Put a link to the blog you wrote for them on your social media sites, and ask them to do the same. Word will travel faster, believe me.
  • But be wary of guest posts. This is a HUGE sticking point. There are “guest bloggers” all over the Internet. Don’t hire them. These companies mass-produce blogs because they want to link to your site. I’ve seen some of the “requests”; half the time, they don’t even know what your firm does. Stick to the colleagues you know.

If you’re not being social on social media, no one’s going to share anything you write. It’s that simple. Social doesn’t mean pictures of your birthday party or your child’s communion (although it can; that’s up to you) – it means engaging with the people you want to read your content. And if you take nothing else away from these suggestions, take this: have a little fun with it. If you’re having a good time using social media, your readers will, too.

Got comments or concerns? We’d love to hear them.

Watch us take our own advice, as we invite you to leave your thoughts or suggestions in the comments sections of our social media sites. If you have questions about how Digital Law Marketing, Inc. can help you with your social media, we hope you’ll contact us or give us a call at 877-916-0644.