In Part 1 we discussed how changes in technology have changed the way prospects look for professional service providers. In Part 2 we looked at the strategies and social media tools prospects are using to find and hire professional service providers. Here in Part 3, we'll focus on some of the tools you should be using to market yourself and your practice. Keep in mind, these tools change constantly, so you have to find ways to keep up. Once you do you'll find it was worth it.
Can 750 Million People Be Wrong?
Used properly, a Facebook Business Page can be an effective marketing tool that can be used to build community, credibility and trust. More and more businesses are taking advantage of Facebook for marketing purposes. According to the MerchantCircle Merchant Confidence Index survey, 70% of small business owners are using Facebook for marketing, up about 50% from last year.
Here's a few tips for using Facebook
- Don't use a third party product to simultaneously post a Tweet on Twitter and a Status Update on Facebook, especially when your message includes a link to another page. When you do this you miss out on some of the features Facebook provides.
Post often. Two or three times a week is a minimum and you should be responding to comments left by visitors to your page and continuously inviting people to "Like" your page.
Don't violate any rules or regulations that guide your profession. Remember the SEC and FINRA rules when posting. Don't violate the attorney-client privilege or post something that could be construed as establishing an attorney-client relationship.
Make sure what you post is true to your firm's brand and your personal image. Anything you post should reflect the image you want to portray to the world. And remember, everything you post will be stored somewhere on the Internet forever, no matter how hard you try to delete it, it will always be somewhere.
Manage your privacy settings to suit your needs. Facebook reports that only a small number of users customize their privacy settings. Don't assume anything you post will ever be private.
Start a Facebook Group and invite clients, prospects and peers to engage in discussions with you.
Use your page to drive people to your website and your blog. Post firm announcements, events, speaking engagements, new hires, and community involvement and charity work performed by members of your firm.
You can use Facebook to creatively share content with clients, prospects and peers. You could create a YouTube video where you are talking about important news in your industry and provide the link to people on your Facebook page.
To Tweet Or Not To Tweet
Tweet. Do it often. Do it like you post status updates on Facebook. Keep your head about you while Tweeting. Many of the same rules about using Facebook apply here too.
Effective marketing is done on Twitter by many. Twitter can be used to drive people to your blog or your firm's website. Like Facebook, the more you Tweet, the bigger your community will grow.
You will be surprised how much you can say in 140 characters. We suggest you keep your Tweets to 120 characters so your followers can easily Re-Tweet your Tweets. Also, be sure to choose an appropriate Twitter handle that reflects you or your practice.
In Part four, the last post in this series, we'll focus on LinkedIn and how it can help you develop business. Subscribe to our blog above on the right to be notified when the post appears or check back in several days.
Image from http://socialmediahandson.com/