Many marketing experts, such as the Business Intelligence Institute, an educational organization that recently put together a Social Media Marketing Summit for Law Firms in May of 2013, believe that a company not utilizing social media marketing (SMM) is committing business suicide.
They believe that businesses should put at least some of the marketing budget towards SMM, or otherwise successful enterprises could flounder, along with their reputations.
Social Media Has Grown
Thousands of social media networks exist online today, though considering the numbers, it would appear that the bulk of active users gravitate to five platforms. According to these platforms’ statistics, their respective number of active users as of August includes:
· Facebook – 1.15 billion users, approx. 500 million active
· Twitter – 200 million active, 500 million total
· LinkedIn – 238 million – active unknown
· Pinterest – 70 million – active unknown
· Google+ – 343 million – active unknown
Each of the above platforms – especially Facebook – notes that stated numbers do not account for the potential duplicate, spam, and fake accounts.
Why Use Social Media to Market Your Services?
As an example, let us say that you or your law firm specializes in lawsuits against manufacturers of medical devices that are defective. Additionally, let us say that your firm took an interest in a specific device that is defective, and decided to represent people affected by the problem. For this, your firm needs to reach other prospective plaintiffs who might have a reason to participate in one or more defective medial device lawsuits against the company or companies that make the defective items.
An effective method for advertising the lawsuit is SMM, which could help your firm get the word out that a medical device is defective faster–not to mention that your firm specializes in these types of lawsuits.
Considering the sheer number of people using social networks, imagine how many people might see and respond to advertisement, or how many might hire your firm…
Running a Social Media Marketing Campaign
The biggest issue business owners face when starting any SMM campaign isn’t deciding how much money to spend, but how much time a business owner can afford to take away from other tasks to make room for SMM.
Running your firms campaign or hiring an Internet marketing firm that specializes in marketing for lawyers and law firms are two ways to manage your firm’s online presence and reputation.
Your own campaign: Running your own campaign is a complex task. SMM campaigns require focus and time, among other things, and you must be dedicated to:
· Determining which social networking sites are the best to promote your services
· Setting up an account including advertising accounts within the network
· Creating your business page or individual profile
· Engaging with the community and fans directly
· Issuing status updates and managing promotions
The problem with doing your firm’s marketing yourself is that as a successful lawyer or law firm, you probably don’t have the time to use social media for yourself, let alone your firm.
Hire an Internet Marketer: Internet marketers who specialize in law firm SMM understand the networks’ policies, and the law firms’ practices. Marketers have the resources and time to dedicate to maneuvering the networks as part of an all inclusive advertising and marketing campaign. This leaves you and your firm the time to focus on potential clients.
Whether you conduct your own SMM campaign or hire a marketer, know that social media is important, but that it can both help and hurt your firm’s reputation. If in doubt, hire a professional to maintain the accounts so you can be confident that your brand is represented right.