Procrastination: The Greatest Danger To Successful Social Media Implementation In Law Firms

by Eria

The fear of failure is one of the key reasons for inaction, and for many lawyers, this applies to marketing or the use of social media to attract more clients.

Many lawyers are excellent at what they do – they are confident that their specialism will deliver results for clients and, more importantly, they can attach a value to the money brought in related to this.

Social media, therefore, is seen as a totally different ball game. Typical questions lawyers ask include:

  1. Am I guaranteed to get a lot more clients?
  2. What amount of time would I need to spend to make it work?
  3. Do I have the necessary skill sets?
  4. Can’t I continue to do what I do now to get more clients?

The uncertainty as to whether they can develop a successful social media strategy stops many lawyers from starting anything. Many keep on putting it off and never get round to doing anything.

While I have written about the need to have well thought out marketing strategies, this does not mean creating barriers to actually getting things done and starting small. With more marketers talking about the need to use social media to attract more clients, including me, it is easy to understand why lawyers want to:

  1. Have a clearer idea about what works;
  2. Sift out what might appear to be irrelevant to their success; and
  3. Get someone to provide a comprehensive plan that they can plug onto their core legal services specialism(s).

For many law firms, getting someone to take responsibility to drive any social media plans is tough as it is not seen as a core component of fee earning activity. Very few people want to think about it and, more importantly, not many are that interested.

Can this change?

Well, any changes to this behaviour will be market-driven. If more and more prospects are using social media to identify and follow lawyers before they buy certain types of legal services, then the lawyers that stand out and attract more business will be those that have built good relationships with people through their social networks.

So, at some point, lawyers should consider what type of social media activity they need to get involved in, and how this fits in with their overall marketing or business strategy.

The key thing is not to keep waiting until a ‘perfect’ plan is in place but to just start small. A very simple, but effective, example is as follows:

  1. Find out what people are saying about you or the information they are looking for. This could be a combination of feedback from current customers to using, for example, Google analytics, to see what phrases people use when they land on your website (if you have one);
  2. Create a blog to share content that you know people are looking for as identified in step 1
  3. Make sure you have steps in place to capture email addresses so you have permission to communicate further with readers;
  4. Develop a sequence of communications to current clients and prospects directing them to useful information you are sharing;
  5. When networking, let people know about the information you have available and don’t simply list the services you offer;
  6. If you are on LinkedIn, try and get involved in one group (if you are really pressed for time) and comment on some of the discussions that relate to the content you have available;
  7. Circle back to point 1 to see if there are any changes in perception about you and if you are still providing relevant content.

There is a lot more, but what you have above can be done effectively within a couple of weeks, and is a great start. From it, you can take small steps to widen your social media activity.

You don’t have to use every social media channel or tool available when you start, and this is one of the reasons why lawyers can be confused as to what is best for them.

So, just do something small, get good at it and you are likely to be surprised by what you find out about yourself and the results you get.

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