Law firms would do well adopting the 80-20 rule in their use of social media. From Business Insider’s 10 Steps to Getting Started in Social Media Marketing:
Always spend at least 80 percent of your time on social media activities that are not self-promotional and no more than 20 percent of your time on self-promotional activities.
This makes a lot of sense. Give, before you ask for something in return.
However, many law firms use social media (blogs, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter) in a self promotional way. They’ll share word of a lawyer’s recognition or firm news.
A notch above, and almost as bad, is a law firm’s using social media soley as a means of distributing their alerts, articles, and blog posts. Rather than share news stories and blog posts of others, the firm looks for an ‘auto-feed’ system that pushes their content on people.
Social media is by definition the sharing of news and info socially. Rather than people picking up the newspaper or turning on the TV, people are getting their news and info from people they trust. As I’ve blogged before, social media is not about distributing your law firm’s content to people.
One builds trust, or social media equity, by sharing news and info that they find of interest. In the case of lawyers, we find items of interest related to our specific area of practice and locale. People looking to stay up to speed in that area of the law begin to follow us. They’ll in turn pass on to others items we have shared.
Following this practice lawyers become a trusted source of news and information on a niche, and, in the case of many lawyers, a trusted and reliable authority in their niche.
When it comes time to share a blog post or article of your own, share it on Twitter, LinkedIn, and, if appropriate, on Facebook. You’ll find that these social mediums will become your leading sources of traffic to such posts and articles – and in turn open the door to establishing relationships.
But you need to follow the 80-20 rule to draw this sort of attention to your content. 80% of the time share news and info produced by others.
Otherwise you’ll not have the social media equity to leverage in your client development efforts using social media.