March 15, 2017 – Are you apathetic about social media as a way to generate business and gain exposure? You aren’t alone. But Spencer X. Smith, a digital marketing expert, says lawyers who aren’t using social media should consider testing the waters.
“The risk in not engaging in social media is pretty high,” said Smith, who spoke on digital marketing at the 2016 Wisconsin Solo and Small Firm Conference in October. “That’s where conversations are taking place. So if you’re not there, you’re not there.”
Smith says lawyers should think about the social media spaces where clients and potential clients are active. Yes, lawyers must be aware of ethics rules that may apply (see sidebar for a list of Wisconsin Lawyer articles that cover ethics and social media).
But lawyers can be valuable resources of information for clients and groups that are looking for basic guidance. Being helpful can help lawyers raise their profiles.
That is, lawyers are uniquely positioned to answer questions that businesses and individuals are asking on social media, Spencer says. For individuals, the conversations are usually happening on Twitter and Facebook. For businesses, LinkedIn is a hot spot.
“Go there, find out what they are talking about, and start engaging them in some kind of conversation,” Smith said. “People are out there talking about their concerns and their problems. If you can help them out in some capacity first, you will earn the trust of that individual and the groups of which they are a part. That’s the best possible solution.”
As noted in “43 Wisconsin Law Blogs: Are You on This List?” blogging is a marketing tool. Blogs deliver information to people who may be looking for it, and blogs provide great content that can be shared through social media channels. But even if you aren’t blogging, you can still use social media to be helpful and create positive relationships.
Smith says lawyers can start small on social media. Build in a social media budget, he says, even five or 10 minutes of your time per day. Learn where your clients or potential clients are active on social media, and start adding to the conversation.
“If you can add some value, you will see a great return of people simply offering you gratitude,” Smith said. “And that will reinforce that behavior over time. If you are impacting an audience that can benefit from you, you’ll do more of those things.”
Wisconsin Lawyer: Ethics and Social Media Articles