Social Media is Your Virtual Law Office
When clients come to your office what do they see? Would there be pictures? Diplomas? Awards and personal items that let the client know what you are interested in and what you do outside the office? After walking into your office, a potential or current client would most likely know where you went to college and law school, if you have a family, what sports teams you like and what awards you have received.
What would a client think if they came to your office and there was nothing in it? If the walls were blank and you had none of your achievements or interests on display? Would a client be impressed that you had a computer and a pen on your desk and nothing else? No.
Think of social media as your virtual office. You cannot afford to have it empty.
Your social media presence should be an authentic representation of you, showcasing your unique skills, accomplishments and interests. Social media cannot be a hastily assembled afterthought; it cannot look like a marketing or sales pitch. Anything on social media that is less than authentic is easy to spot. If every firm office had the same diplomas on the wall, the same pictures and no indication of personality, from where would clients gain confidence in you as a professional and as a person. Boring, cookie-cutter workspaces would hardly spark the conversations that lead to strong client relationships. People hire law firms in much the same way that they hire employees, they hire the people they like. A C-suite professional won’t know if they like you if your social media office is empty.
According to the Good2bSocial 2016 law firm study, authenticity rules. Research clearly shows that bigger law firms do not fare better when they are analyzed by their social media results. Smaller firms are noted for their excellent use of social media engagement and thought leadership; supporting the argument for authenticity. Large firms have sizable marketing resources and budgets, yet when it comes to engagement and thought leadership smaller firms, with fewer resources, fared better. Why? Resources do not equal authenticity. Potential clients can spot less than genuine or homogenous content and studies indicate that “the firms that performed poorly in the study were those whose outbound communications were limited to press releases and other promotional content about themselves and their attorneys. These firms had the fewest followers and lowest engagement rates.” You might be surprised at how much more favorably clients respond to Facebook posts than boilerplate press releases.
Think of the limitless possibilities of your social media office: how many clients can you realistically sit down with one-on-one? Location, schedules, and a myriad of other factors make meetings hard to facilitate. Social media removes every one of these roadblocks. Time differences and work hours become irrelevant. A potential client can be reading your latest thought provoking blog while you are at your kid’s baseball game, having dinner, or even asleep!
Social media is arguably the best way to engage the next generation. Clients and future lawyers are millennials who utilize social media for almost all of their business and personal needs. A social media presence is an expectation, one-third of millennials indicate that they prefer to communicate with businesses via social media. Millennials represent more than 74.5 million potential clients and connections and they should not be ignored. If millennials don’t provide enough of an argument for social media engagement, let’s look at the social media habits of CEO’s. Thirty-two percent of CEO’s utilize LinkedIn and those percentages are increasing every year.
While the techniques behind cultivating legal business are changing rapidly, the blueprint has remained unchanged. Cultivating business is a combination of practice area expertise, ability to network and most importantly authenticity. Your social media presence should reflect all of these attributes, if you need assistance decorating your social media office; Social Assurity@Work is here to help!