On your commute this morning, how many people around you were totally engrossed in their phone? I’d be happy to bet at least 70% of them, or you might not have noticed as you were one of the 70%! Today, we are part of the smart-phone generation; constantly reliant on staying connected at all times and often take the use of technology for granted. Perhaps because of this, there is a common mis-perception that using social media in the workplace can detract from productivity. However, for attorneys and business professionals alike, reluctance to get on board the social train could mean you might be missing an opportunity to grow your organization.
The world at your fingertips…
Think of it like this, social media is 24/7 (mostly) FREE advertising. Facebook currently has more than 1.5 billion active users, with Twitter hosting over 500 million profiles and LinkedIn obtaining almost 400 million members as of May 2015. These are all people that your organization could be reaching out to today!
A survey by Mike Blumenthal found that 22% of respondents used a search engine as the first step to seeking out an attorney. Thus, optimizing company social media profiles can result in great potential for new business, providing news updates and making you more approachable to clients. It is noted that attorneys in the top 10% of the profession spend at least 5 hours a week on “professional development” that is, meeting and networking with clients (LexBlog). This time could be used more efficiently by building the foundations of a relationships with clients online via social media from the comfort of your office, giving further scope for interactions face to face in the future. That’s not to mention an increase in online brand awareness.
Surprisingly, it appears to be solos and small firms who are having the most success via social media, with 45% of solos maintaining a presence on Facebook. On the other hand, larger companies aren’t quite getting it with only 21% keeping tabs on their social media profiles. Many larger companies over-use their control of social media, rather than allowing individual attorneys to post as authors, which might be seen as more personable. Being able to present yourself in a positive light and boast about the strong points of your company is definitely a strong advantage of using social media for business.
Where to start?
Before you jump head-first into social networking and paste your company on every virtual billboard possible, doing your research to find out where clients are likely to seek you out is essential in order to avoid unnecessary action. It’s important to recognize that different social media platforms can benefit you in equally different ways. Where Facebook and Twitter are perfect for curating a stream of industry news and real-time updates, having a company blog puts a face and voice to your practice, providing a credible discussion source and giving clients a better idea of what you’re about. Social media presence also allows you to manage first-hand which information clients are learning about you.
So there we have it, social media isn’t all memes and cat pictures. In fact it can be a really useful tool if you use it correctly. Hopefully, you found this helpful!
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