I am surprised, shocked sometimes, by the number of law firms that have decided to engage with social media – usually in the form of Twitter, the occasional Facebook page and the infrequent blog – yet have missed the one component (the sine qua non) that differentiates social media from the paradigm of interruption based marketing: You have to Earn attention.
Nearly everyone, save for a few noteable exceptions, continues to bug for, beg for and buy attention for their law firm services.
Now let me say that again. YOU HAVE TO EARN ATTENTION.
Don’t take my word for it. Check out David Meerman Scott’s website www.webinknow.com and the Vimeo video on the BMA conference. You will find the link in the top right hand corner.
Old habits die hard. And it is not so much the temptation to rely on the usual suspects of sending out firm news (“… we have just hired” etc) or case law updates but the classic one-upmanship – you know the type: “We are the best firm at this or that”.
Rewind; pause; and unlearn what you might have been taught about law firm marketing.
If all this feels like too much hassle then you can expect to have little or no meaningful engagement.
You will all have heard about viral networking. Now we can debate the semantics of that but how do you expect content to go viral if it comprises the stuff that you have been pushing out for the last decade or more?
My top tip: Stop thinking like a lawyer and think like a buyer. Talk in their language; stop dressing things up or trying to worry the heck out of clients; be humourous; and start using audio, video and some images.
All this may make bring you out in a cold sweat but break it down into objectives that look achievable. You know like blogging regularly; stop sending out your news through Twitter; and consider how Facebook can be more actively tied into your CSR initiatives.
Don’t forget that social media requires some heavy duty investment in time and is not for the feint hearted. If you are going to use it as part of the BD/Marketing mix then surely you want to see it work?