An interesting article was published today by the Wall Street Journal detailing how plaintiff’s lawyers are using social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter to find, target and ultimately sign up new clients for their firms.
The article also briefly touched upon the use of Pay-Per-Click and Facebook ads as part of this growing strategy, which are undoubtedly helpful for lawyers who engage in “quick strike campaigns” or campaigns designed to reach plaintiffs as a breaking injury or product liability story hits.
And while I agree that social media sites are a place to find and engage new clients in a systematic, consistent and authentic way, it’s only a small piece of the puzzle as far as an overall social media strategy should be concerned.
Remember, social media conversations happen in real time. Never in the history of man have consumers had the ability to express their feelings (positive or negative) about a product or service to thousands of people the moment they experience them.
Of course that could mean disaster for firms who are ignorant of such conversations (ever read about the Motrin Moms debacle?) or for those firms who give less than adequate service to clients who are actively involved on Twitter or Facebook.
In the ignorance category, I’m specifically reminded of a lawyer who called me a few months ago for social media help.
Essentially, his firm (which is nationally known) did not have a social media strategy and they never quite got around to developing one either. Until of course they were notified that their social media profiles were hijacked and someone was posting comments and information that made them look VERY bad in the public eye.
The partners of this firm did their best to jump in and fix the problem, but the damage was already done. Yet had they been more involved in monitoring the chatter about their firm to begin with, they could have caught the imposter and started damage control right away.
So in talking about social media, I like to encourage lawyers to take a four-prong approach to their strategy in which they will:
- Consistently and systematically connect with, and educate, prospective clients on their practice area/ services
- Show their firm (and trial lawyers in general) in a favorable light to the local jury pool
- Engage in real-time reputation management
- Connect with and reach out to the local and national media
Again, I want to reiterate that an attorney’s presence on social media sites requires more than simply trolling for cases or potential clients.
Instead, resolve to implement a comprehensive approach to social media and you’ll find the cases and clients come naturally in time.
Of course if you need help implementing a comprehensive social media strategy that promotes, engages and ensures the good reputation of your firm, I encourage you to email firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out this contact form for more information on our team training programs or social media implementation services for attorneys.