If the heading looks familiar… it’s because you’ve seen it before! I was recently interviewed by Lexis®Commercial about the use of social media by law firms, and this heading is from Paul Caddy’s article.
Click here to see the full interview – while it focuses on law firms, the themes covered apply to all professional services firms:
1. Social media is fast becoming a hygiene factor in business
Can you imagine telling an important contact that you don’t have email? Can you visualise their reaction? Many will now look at you in the same way if you don’t have a LinkedIn profile or a Twitter account.
2. Social media is just another way to talk
At its heart, business is about relationships, and relationships are built on conversations. Conversations first became virtual via letters, then telephones and faxes, then emails… and now social media.
3. Find out what people are saying about you, your colleagues and your firm
Not being on social media doesn’t mean that you’re not being spoken about. Head over to Google and search. Next, see what bloggers are saying on Google Blog Search. Then go to Twitter and search there. Each result or conversation that you find is an opportunity to influence. If no-one is mentioning your firm, why not?
4. Find out which platforms your clients and prospects are using
You don’t need to be everywhere. Discover where your contacts want to engage and prioritise those platforms. LinkedIn is your virtual shop front, Twitter the virtual cocktail party, and Facebook the virtual house party. Twitter is a very powerful platform for professionals. As with real-life networking events, you can join any conversation uninvited, as long as you have something relevant and/or amusing to add. You can also boost the ROI of events by integrating social media.
5. Think glass half-full
Some are afraid of social media because it’s public and real-time… which means that social media is searchable: you can find contacts and conversations of interest; reach a larger, yet more targeted, audience; and accelerate the know-like-trust-buy-advocate cycle. By demonstrating your expertise and personality, you can become the host of the virtual parties that matter to you – with opportunities and prospects coming to you, rather than you needing to find and pitch to them.
6. Plan your content, set a strategy
- What you are going to talk about? How will those topics be interesting to your target audience? Effective use of social media means creating content that is provocative… content that provokes a reaction so that readers want to share or engage. It’s better to have a strong opinion and be prepared to defend it rather than sit on the fence.
- Who will be the ‘faces’ of your firm on social media? What training will those individuals need? It may seem like a lifetime ago, but it’s not so long since people needed training on how to use faxes and emails!