It’s human nature to fight against things we don’t want to do, whether that’s eat the foods that are good for us or engage in social media marketing for our law practice. We find excuses and cling to them stubbornly to avoid those things we’d rather not do.
I’ve heard all sorts of excuses from attorneys that don’t want to take on social media. They are typically holding on to outdated information to justify their position. But turning a blind eye to one of the most useful and least expensive ways to gain visibility and generate leads only ends up hurting your marketing efforts in the long run.
Here are 10 social media myths you need to let go of:
Myth #1: Social media is an invasion of my privacy.
Using social networks to market your law firm will not compromise your personal privacy unless you post personal things on your law firm profiles — something I would urge you not to do. Many attorneys have pages for their firms and separate accounts for their personal lives. There are stringent privacy controls on all the major social networks and they are all under your control.
Myth #2: I don’t have the time for social media.
There are actually two fallacies at play here: one, that you have to be on social media all the time for it to work for you, and two, that you have to manage all the accounts yourself. First, quality always trumps quantity so posting several times a day just for the sake of posting will do nothing for you. You should only post when you have something of value to offer your followers. All social networks allow you to pre-schedule your posts, so you can schedule a week’s worth or more at a time. Second, you have the choice of working with a reputable legal marketing firm that can take over your social media marketing for you. Just be sure it is one that has experience working with law firms so they are aware of the rules governing social media for attorneys.
Myth #3: I’m opening myself up for negative comments.
Your putting up a Facebook page is not going to encourage negative comments. People who want to post something nasty about you already have a venue for that — it’s called the Internet. Admittedly, one of the downsides to social media are the trolls out there that like to post controversial comments. You do have the ability to ban them from your pages, so if you do get trolled, just ban them and delete the commentary.
Myth #4: I’ll get lost in the shuffle.
Yes, social media is a crowded space and that is because everyone is on it — which is actually the reason you should be there as well. Statistically speaking, since attorneys as a group are slow to adapt to change, chances are most of your competitors are not engaged on social media, which clears the field for you to make an impact. If you keep offering valuable content on a regular basis, you will be heard.
Myth #5: Social media is just about selfies and cat memes.
Yes, there is a lot of that kind of stuff on social networks, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t also a lot of useful information. When it comes to marketing your law firm, social media is typically not the primary publication source — that should be your blog — but it is a great distribution tool for your content that appears elsewhere. Remember that your goal is to establish an authoritative voice in your area of practice, so stick to content that reinforces that.
Myth #6: My clients are not on social media.
First of all, if you aren’t there, how do you know? The fact is, more than three-fourths of the population uses one or more social networks — and most of them use it everyday. You can bet that most of your current clients are participating in social media and a majority of your prospects are on there, too. This doesn’t mean you have to be on every social network to find them, it just means you need to know your prospects well enough to know which social media platforms they are using and then join them. (For B2C attorneys, it’s likely Facebook and for B2B attorneys, it’s LinkedIn.)
Myth #7: I don’t have enough to say to be meaningful.
What is on social media today is gone tomorrow, which means you can give your content legs by repurposing it and reposting — especially if your content is evergreen, which makes it always useful. Just be sure you create a new link and update your commentary.
Myth #8: Social media won’t help my bottom line.
All the latest research shows that social media generates new customers for a majority of the companies engaged in it. According to inbound marketing company HubSpot, 61% of companies using social media reported a positive impact on revenue growth. In addition, 78% of people say their purchase decisions are influenced by a company’s social media posts. Once you discover the best channels for your messaging (where your prospects are) and post the right content, you are likely to see an increase in the number and quality of leads for your firm from social media.
Myth #9: Social media is an ethics minefield for attorneys.
Most ethical gaffes committed by attorneys are the result of two things: (1) ignorance of the ABA and local bar rules; and (2) lack of common sense. Both can be remedied by educating yourself on what is acceptable for posting online and remembering that if it is prohibited in other venues, it is also generally prohibited on social networks.
Myth #10: I’ll never be able to determine my ROI.
Like any marketing effort, you need to define goals for your social media program and then track and measure those goals to be able to calculate your ROI. You can do this through Google Analytics or a social media software tracking program.