By Julie Talenfeld - Boardroom Communications
Law firms find themselves in a much different marketplace than they did just a few years ago. Competition is keen. Rival firms seem to be exploiting every angle, network and connection, even old-line ones.
Add to this new marketing landscape the arrival of social media, and firms are challenged with integrating social media into existing marketing programs. Professional services firms today are increasingly evaluating and creating Websites, blogs and social media to help communicate their brand principles, key marketing messaging, and overall firm strengths. Social media, in combination with traditional marketing / publicity outreach, can heighten the firm’s profile, strengthen its outreach, and establish a solid and memorable brand among its target audience.
Below are some of the social media elements professional services firms are using effectively:
Weblogs or Blogs. Law firms that capitalize on Weblogs or “blogs” heighten their online brand awareness, which can help establish the firm or its principals as leaders in the field. As a point of definition, blogs are content written and posted to the site on a recurring basis. This can be content written specifically for the blog, or content “repurposed” for the blog, like speeches, press releases, articles or other written material. Blogs accomplish several goals. First, blogs establish the firm’s and/or practitioners’ expertise and authority in a given practice area(s). Second, blogs heighten a site’s use of keywords and search terms, which raises its profile among search engines and target audiences.
Social Media / Networking. By creating LinkedIn, a Facebook Fan Page, a Twitter feed or other social media services, the firm increases the “touch points” that reach its audience, heightens its presence across the Internet, and improves search results.
Audio / Video Posting. A firm also can audio or audio / video record blog posts (as well as speeches or other presentations) for posting to the site, iTunes or YouTube as Podcasts, video broadcasts or other searchable social media.
An experienced internal social media marketing expert or the right marketing firm can make the difference. The goal would be to supply a continuous stream of strong, keyword-rich, search-engine optimized content targeted specifically to the firm's audience. Working in a collaborative environment, blogs are written and posted, fed to customized LinkedIn accounts, Facebook Fan Pages and Twitter feeds, and then spread virally to peers and prospects across the Web.
What is newsworthy in the social media space? The same content found in traditional media. Every time the firm or an attorney earns a legal victory or achieves a professional milestone or award, the news can be transmitted from consumer, business and trade media and reposted to the blog, social media and other online media services and destinations. The result: The news is distributed across all media — “traditional,” Web and social media — with each improving the overall impact and reach of the other.
By Julie Talenfeld
Founder and President
1776 North Pine Island Road
Plantation, FL 33322-5235
South Florida Legal Guide Midyear 2010