06 Aug Top 10 Social Media Mistakes Lawyers Are Making
Social Media is an affixed marketing component that can either help or hurt your business reputation. Many lawyers and small law firms handle their own social media marketing without realizing the social media mistakes that they are making. When properly implemented, social media can help you connect and stay connected with past, present and future clients. It allows your clients and colleagues to rate you, building a stronger reputation and professional stance. It also guides traffic to your website which helps strengthen your organic search engine rankings.
Our company is connected with hundred of lawyers and law firms on social media via Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and Twitter. As part of the services that we provide, we review social media accounts and audit them for mistakes. Sometimes these mistakes are so impacting that we recommend that the current social media accounts be removed entirely and new ones created.
I am listing the Top 10 Social Media Mistakes in order of least important to most.
10. Spamming is an injustice that will get you unfriended.
Spamming can be defined as many things on social media, but however you spam, it will always be one of your top social media mistakes. The spamming that I see occur most with lawyers and law firms is excessively sharing or repeating the same post successively throughout the day. The average Facebook user has 338 friends. When logging into social media, users are looking for engaging original content. If what they see from you is repeated content, they will condition themselves to never read or engage in your posts and eventually they will delete your business page or profile from their connections.
9. Political opinions and judgmental attitudes.
When posting statuses or sharing content, although it is important to have engaging content, a business page should never contain a status that is in debatable format. It should always appear to be informational and factual even if it is bias based upon your practice and area of expertise. Also, strong opinions on current events that are not related to your business can alienate possible clients or leave current clients with a bad taste if their opinions differ. Of all social media mistakes, the one that can damage your reputation the most is indirectly insulting others, which includes stereotyping and discriminating against any large class of people. If you’re constantly bashing the democratic party, you can’t expect a democrat to hire you if you are indirectly insulting them with your political opinions on social media.
8. Sharing and posting irrelevant content.
When scrolling through your newsfeed, it is tempting to share the story about the kitten who meowed the national anthem, but save that for your personal Facebook and avoid it on your business profiles. Try to limit shared content to one of the following categories:
- http://woodhamslab.com/?p=19 Coworkers posts relative to your law firm
- http://desertaireresort.com/small-footprint-living Posts or blogs related to your profession or area of expertise
- http://thetwistedcitrus.com/events/dining-in-the-dark/ Current events that are happening in your area that may affect your clients
- Colleagues or competitors blogs that are informational
Potential clients can and will be very thorough before engaging the services of an attorney and this includes doing online research and viewing professional social media profiles. Make sure that all About sections have been proofread and that they do not contain any typos. Also make sure that you are proofreading each and every one of your posts before AND after it has been shared.
6. To hashtag, or not to hashtag, that is the question.
And the answer is absolutely. I won’t get into the long history of a hashtag’s use before the development of social media, but I will say that given its longevity, the use of hashtags is not bound to diminish any time in the near future.
The purpose of hashtags is to draw attention to a subject and promote it so that the search engines and those who are following trending topics can easily navigate to it. Did you know that Google+ will actually put your status in the search engine results if you properly use a hashtag? It is a pretty amazing and easy marketing tool that you may be missing out on.
5. Business and pleasure do not mix in the social media world.
According to Facebook and Google+ guidelines, you cannot create a personal profile using a business name or for business purposes. If you’re doing that, you are risking building a profile that will probably be deleted leaving you with nothing. Both of these top media sites offer Business Pages with purposeful marketing tools.
If you do use your personal profiles to connect with clients, then you must exercise proper professional social etiquette. There are ways to manage lists of friends and circles so that all content and statuses you post will not be seen by everyone.
4. Not being social.
If you show up to a party and stand in a corner without talking to anyone, chances are you’re going to be labeled antisocial. The same goes for social media. It is important to not be selfish in using your profiles to only boast about yourself, but rather take the time to go through your newsfeed, share statuses or blogs of friends that are relevant to your business and “like” or comment on things that you find interesting. It is generally appreciated and reciprocated, boosting your engagement and organic rankings.
3. Not posting status updates or original content.
If a client is doing research on you or your law firm before calling or while making the decision whether to hire you and they come across blank social media pages, it may leave them questioning their decision. It is not enough to simply create profiles on social media. One of the top social media mistakes is abandoning ship and not giving social media the attention it deserves in your marketing strategy.
2. Not using social media to share your website, blog, and videos can discourage potential clients.
Too often I see attorneys and law firms who post statuses and share content, but scrolling through their posts, there are next to no mentions of their own website, blog or videos. The search engines consider social media links. You also want to give any potential client an easy direct way to your website without having to click thru your profile.
1. Not having social media is at the top of the social media mistakes lawyers can make.
Social media is not going anywhere. In fact, its impact is increasing rapidly over the years. By not creating and using social media, you are missing out on an important component of marketing.
SocializeLA.com created the following chart that summarizes the benefits of social business.
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