Despite the attraction of web traffic, lawyers and law firms ought to focus on something much more worthwhile, getting their content shared by establishing trust.

From Mark Schaefer (@markwschaefer), author and Executive Director of Schaefer Marketing Solutions:

The power on the web does not come from content alone or traffic. It comes from social transmission. Your investment in content development does nothing for your business if it’s not seen and shared. Content that doesn’t move has the same economic value as the world’s greatest movie script locked in a cold, dark vault.

I ask law firms why traffic as the goal from blogging and social media and most don’t have a very good answer. Schaefer recently asked a SEO professional why he placed so much emphasis on SEO and got the answer “Where there’s traffic, there’s hope.” Try telling your lawyers or your managing partner “We’re hoping.”

The primary benefit of social media marketing is not traffic, per an eMarketer study, 83 percent of CMOs claim that social sharing is the goal.

Why social sharing? From Schaefer:

The CMOs in this study are smart people because they know that 70 percent of their customers are more likely to buy something when they see content about a product or service shared by a friend. People who share content are likely to read and understand what you do before they make a decision to share it. In essence, they are becoming your advocates.

When people “like” something, they are only lightly and temporarily bonding with it. But when they share something, it’s a bold and intimate act. They are raising their hand in a virtual way and saying “I believe in this. I stand for this. Pay attention.”

It’s common sense. Who is in-house counsel, a consumer or a business person going to trust more? Random findings on Google or a blog post shared by a trusted friend, colleague, or thought leader?

There are a lot of reasons why people share content but, per Schaefer, numerous studies show there are three primary motivators:

  • The content serves as an extension of their self-identity (it makes me look cool, relevant, smart, etc.)
  • Sharing is an act of kindness to help others
  • Sharing shows support of a person, brand or cause

Are you motivating people to share your blog content or are you paying for SEO or for the promotion of your content? If you’re baling on getting your content shared because you don’t know how to do it, I challenge you to learn how to establish trust through your blogging and your personal use of social media.

I agree with Schaefer that content which moves has to be your goal and that you “fuel that transmission” by creating trust.

Image courtesy of Flickr by eartotherailfotos