September 10, 2016
The results of an interesting survey by FindLaw came out recently that should have all lawyers paying attention. According to the survey, the majority of consumers, at least 54 percent, say they are more likely to hire an attorney who has an active presence on social media than a lawyer who isn’t. This is especially true for consumers between the ages of 18 and 44 – at least 69 percent said they would hire a lawyer who is active on social media.
The survey also found that at least one-third of consumers are relying more and more on social media to make their purchasing decisions, and that means finding a lawyer. That’s right…your website may be ranking on number one on Google, but if you don’t have an active Facebook account, you may not be getting the clients you deserve.
It makes sense, considering social media is where all your clients are located. The FindLaw survey found that at least 84 percent of American adults use at least one form of social media, with number one being Facebook and number two being, surprisingly, Instagram. Twitter came in at number 3, followed by Pinterest, LinkedIn, and SnapChat.
Admit it, it hold outs. You need to be on social media.
But be careful — it can be a very dark place.
Throughout this blog, we have given you loads of ideas on what you should be posting, when you should be posting, and how often you need to post. But we never explained the flip side of the coin – when the nasty comments are made on your posts, a bad review pops up on your wall, or you have troublesome followers who would rather criticize than participate proactively in the discussion. It’s easy to antagonize others, especially when the commenter is hidden behind a computer screen. And it’s just as easy to get into a flame war with someone over the most trivial of things.
If you’re an old hand at social media, or you have someone who handles your accounts for you, you may not be too concerned about these things. But if you’re just breaking into the social media marketing game, keep these tips in mind:
- Don’t engage. There’s an old saying, “Never read the comments.” And it’s very wise advice. Social media is a great outlet for people to discuss their thoughts and feelings in an open forum. Of course, this is not always a good thing, especially when they decide to write it all over your law firm’s Facebook wall. So instead of engaging, just let it go. Or, if it’s really bad, consider hiding the posts from your followers.
- Respond to bad reviews. It’s hard when someone criticizes your work, especially if you did your best. You may feel like you want to lash out and say awful things to the critic. But that’s the wrong way to go. Instead, respond to the bad review by asking if there’s something you can do to resolve the bad feelings. Whatever you do, don’t criticize back. Not only will it make you look bad to your potential clients, but you’ll start a war you really don’t need to fight.
- If they’re trouble, ban them. Social media frowns upon bullies and troublemakers. These are businesses after all, and they want to make sure their customers are having a great service. So if you have one or more followers whose intent is to take you down or make you look foolish, you do have the right to ban them from your page. And if they’re really troublesome, you may want to get the attention of someone from the social media platform because chances are, you’re not the only one being harassed.
- Make sure everyone is having a good experience. If there’s a fight going on in the comments section of one of your posts, don’t engage, but make sure no one else is being bothered by the argument. Try to put a stop to it before the situation escalates.
- And remember, answer those direct messages in a timely fashion. Otherwise, you may hear about your lack of customer service in a bad review.