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Getting Started with Social Media Marketing

Since the creation of the internet, social media has grown so much that it is now an essential part of any successful marketing strategy. Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or even Snapchat, process servers and private investigators are now looking to their online presence to get their name or product out there. In fact, a study on social media marketing shows that “companies that are both deeply and widely engaged in social media significantly surpass their peers in both revenues and profits.” But for those who aren’t tech savvy, diving into the world of Tweets and online messaging can be a daunting task. Here are a couple of pointers that establish why social media is worth your energy and how to start using it to achieve your business goals.

Step 1: Research

The first step to using social media for your business is familiarizing yourself with the different platforms and observing the discussion taking place. Learn the strengths and weaknesses of each platform, their users, and generally how they operate. Specifically, look at how others in your industry are interacting with each other and their clients via their social channels. You can watch what they’re doing right and wrong while also identifying needs that aren’t being met.

This research continues to be valid even after you’re a social media pro. By exploring your channels, you can investigate what is being said about your company. When you find positive feedback or reviews, you can take the time to thank them for their support and potentially use their words as a testimonial. If a client is unhappy with your service, you should respond to their complaint immediately. Excellent customer service and attention might be enough to change their attitude.

To do this research, there are a couple of tools you can use to save you time and energy. One such tool is Google Alerts, a free resource that searches the web for mentions of certain keywords that you could tailor to your business name. Another tool is Twitter Search, which allows you to see what people are saying about certain keywords on Twitter in real time. In order to stay current, remember to check your social media channels at least once a day.

Step 2: Interact

After you have become familiar and comfortable with social media, it’s time to jump in. There are many quality business relationships that can be made via the web. Many attorneys and paralegals are actively using social media to share information and promote their own services. LinkedIn, a social networking site geared towards professionals, lets you list your professional resume, make professional connections, and share industry knowledge. Facebook, while more personal than professional, is the largest social networking site with over 1.2 billions users. Chances are the majority of your clients are currently on Facebook. Consider setting up a “Fan Page” for your company and invite your clients to become a part of the page. You can share company news, upload pictures of your staff and interact with clients in a new way.

Step 3: Contribute

Social media is a great networking tool but it’s not just about how many connections you have, but the quality of these contacts. To create value, provide people with content that is of interest to them or answers their questions about your industry and company. One of the best ways to accomplish this is via a blog. While a blog is a place to write about anything you want, it can be especially useful as a way to write about what is going on at your company and in the legal industry. The best thing to remember when you start a blog is that it requires work and upkeep. If it is not something you think you will be able to keep up with, ask within your company if anyone would be interested in running it. You may be surprised by who volunteers. Try to update your blog at least once a week, as readers will lose interest if they never see fresh content.

If a blog seems like too much work, you can also connect with legal professionals on Twitter, a “micro-blogging” site that allows you to send updates in 140-characters or less. Many news outlets are using Twitter as a way of finding sources for news stories, and the relationships you create on Twitter can potentially lead to many opportunities. You never know when someone you interact with on a daily basis online may need papers served or an investigation carried out in your area.

It is important to remember above all else that social media is a conversation. The best way to promote your professional services and expertise is to engage in a dialogue first and advertise your services later. Just as you wouldn’t go to an actual cocktail party or networking event and break into a conversation with a commercial for your company, nor should you do so online. By taking the time to cultivate relationships and establish yourself as an industry professional, the marketing side will come organically. If you feel like one social site is not working for you, try something else. By taking the time to establish yourself on various social media sites and engaging in the community, you have opportunities to reach more people. By listening, interacting and contributing, you can easily work social media into your online marketing efforts.

Social media is a great way to directly market to your clients, but it also has “invisible” advantages for search engine optimization - a valuable online marketing tool. Being listed on popular and verified sites across the web helps legitimize your company and provide valuable backlinks to your company’s website. This will help with online ranking and saturation. Reviews are also a powerful tool for search engine optimization, and without social media pages, there are fewer places for satisfied customers to leave a review.

Even if you don’t use social media in your personal life, it is a valuable business tool that all companies should take advantage of. 

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