Facebook Is Made For Sharing

While the relationship between social media and SEO isn’t black and white, we know it does exist and may help you move up in your google rankings. For example, if your number of site visitors increases due to SEO, and you have a link to your Facebook page on your site, many of them will likely visit your page. They will then become followers and share your information with their friends. Over time, the SEO you used to attract visitors to your site can help you continue to attract followers and shares on Facebook as users find your page through your site. This can help you continue to build a following by fostering relationships with people in your industry, as well as prospects and customers. Conversely, if a Facebook user happens to see one of your blog posts in their News Feed because one of their friends who follows you shared it, they like what they see, and decide to follow you. After seeing more of your posts over the following weeks, they want to learn more about your firm and visit your site, in turn resulting in increased traffic to your page.

Now that we’ve demonstrated the benefit of social media and SEO, with Facebook leading the way, it is worthwhile to establish some easy measures you can implement to increase your business’ Facebook reach. We are often asked by our client’s “What can I do to help my social media following”. Given the fact that most do not want to spend a tremendous amount of time on this, I have assembled some of the easiest ways to boost a firm’s following. Let’s assume that you are posting interesting content that is both original and curated on a regular basis (2-3x per week)…now what?

  1. Share your page on your personal news feed.
  • Tell your friends and family about your Facebook Page. Ask them to like the Page and to share it with their friends and communities.
  1. Create a link from your personal page to your business page.
  • Friends may (or may not ) know you are an attorney, but not sure what firm you are associated with. By adding a link, you take the guesswork out.
  1. Include a link to your Facebook page in your email signature.
  • Make sure any potential follower is aware of your Facebook page. A simple addition to your automated signature can quickly add followers.
  1. Use your email list directly and ask former and current clients to follow your Facebook page, and to rate your service or write a review.
  • Page ratings and reviews can help build trust and credibility for your business.
  1. Follow local business with similar interests.
  • Share, like or comment on posts. Tag individuals and businesses and your post will show up in their news feed, giving you the potential to gain some of their followers.
  1. Engage with your community.
  • Post about local businesses, sports teams, restaurants, essential workers etc. Show that your business cares and supports the community that it resides in.
  1. Post photos of office staff.
  • It’s a social platform and your brand needs to have a human touch. Don’t rely solely on your latest blog post or curated content. Let your followers know what your firm is all about.
  1. Boost a post.
  • If you want audience engagement on your page or to develop your brand awareness, boosting a post is a great way to maximize visibility and grow your audience. Boosting a post is an effective way to spread information to a wider audience for a chosen amount of time, geography and target audience. This is an effective way of sharing exciting information, like a big win for your law firm, a recent honor that was bestowed to you or your team or a tactic to target new customers in a specific practice area. With just a few clicks your post can reach hundreds of people in a specifically targeted area.

There are many other ways to increase your social media presence, specifically Facebook for the sake of this article. Many of these options may only have to be completed once or even quarterly. These are steps that don’t take extensive time or knowledge but the potential benefits can make a big difference in expanding your Facebook reach.

Social Media and SEO Rankings: What’s the Connection?

If you take Google at their word, correlation doesn’t mean causation… at least, directly.

But indirectly is another story.

Social media may not be a ranking factor for Google, but it can amplify the ranking factors that Google DOES consider.

Here’s why: Social media is built for mass sharing

Facebook is made for sharing

Contact Sundown Legal Marketing Today

Fortunately, many attorneys are gifted storytellers but don’t think to use that skill to market their own services. For more information on using this effective tool in your website content, reach out to Sundown Legal Marketing. Contact us today at (800) 864-1764 or online to schedule a free website evaluation or with any questions about our services.

Mastering LinkedIn For Your Law Firm

Of all social media platforms, LinkedIn, which is considered the “professional” social network, is far and away the most popular with attorneys. Due to its professional and serious tone, lawyers naturally feel comfortable participating on LinkedIn. According to a 2016 ABA Legal Technology Survey Report, over 93% of lawyers now use the platform.

But simply having a basic profile on the platform isn’t enough to leverage it for your benefit. Even though LinkedIn does not get as much recognition as Facebook or Twitter, there are several reasons why it deserves your attention. Once you realize how valuable this resource is to your firm’s digital marketing program, you will be eager to optimize your participation in this space.

Why Should My Law Firm be on LinkedIn?

For many lawyers and law firms, LinkedIn is an untapped opportunity resource. Maybe you only created a profile in law school or when you first formed your firm. There is a good chance you are not capitalizing on the features that the platform offers. Here are several ways you can use LinkedIn to help build your practice and boost your digital marketing efforts.

  1. Networking

LinkedIn was built for networking. It is estimated that two professionals join the platform every second. While your firm will get new clients from a variety of sources, some of your new clients will be from referrals based on professional relationships you have developed.

On LinkedIn, you can look for groups for attorneys that do similar types of work, your law school alumni association, and your local bar associations. These groups serve as valuable ways to share information, build connections, and ask for help.

  1. Reputation Management

In today’s digital world, your firm’s online reputation means everything. Potential clients are more likely than ever to spend some time researching your firm before they hire you, and a growing number of people have profiles on LinkedIn. Having a detailed profile and even publishing on LinkedIn can give you more visibility.

  1. Talent Acquisition and Management

LinkedIn is a particularly vital platform for growing law firms because it is an effective tool for attracting top talent. Whether you are hiring a new lawyer, paralegal, or a receptionist, LinkedIn gives you the ability to expose that open position to a large network of qualified professionals. Further, you can use LinkedIn as a means of gauging employee satisfaction and comparing yourself to other law firms to boost employee retention.

  1. SEO

Maintaining an active LinkedIn profile can benefit your firm’s SEO strategy as well. If you have a LinkedIn company page, it could show up on the first page of Google when someone searches for your firm. LinkedIn also provides another way to drive your content and encourage “sharing,” which can get you valuable backlinks to your website.

  1. Client Acquisition and Engagement

LinkedIn might not seem like the ideal platform to attract new clients, but nearly everyone has legal troubles at some point. Ideally, attorneys that represent businesses, such as insurance defense firms and labor and employment firms, will attract more business. But, don’t discount the idea that people on LinkedIn aren’t looking for a reputable personal injury, family law, or even a criminal defense attorney.

LinkedIn for Lawyers: Tips for Getting Started

LinkedIn currently has nearly 690 million users worldwide, so it’s a target-rich environment for lawyers and law firms. The good news is that it takes less time to stay engaged on LinkedIn than other social networks like Twitter or Facebook. Getting started on LinkedIn doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are some best practices:

  1. Build a Strong Profile

Think of your LinkedIn profile as a digital business card. You want your information to be as professional and complete as possible. First, you need to build a quality profile page that includes a professional headshot, summary sections, and value statement. Your headline should be keyword-optimized, including terms such as “personal injury attorney” or “Alabama family lawyer.”

Your firm should also have its own LinkedIn Company page, again using keywords. Finally, encourage all the attorneys and other employees in your firm to create a profile on the platform and connect to your firm page.

  1. Maintain Consistent Branding

It is important that your law firm’s LinkedIn profile matches that of other social media platforms you’re using for online marketing. Use consistent branding when it comes to taglines, photos, contact information, and other details. This is vital for SEO as well as creating a uniform message across different channels.

  1. Connect with Colleagues and Clients

Once you have established your LinkedIn profiles, you can begin making connections. You can start with colleagues, clients, and people you already know. Beyond that, you can start branching out to connect with local businesses or agencies that might be relevant to your services. For example, if you are a family law attorney, you might connect with businesses that work with parents and children.

  1. Create Your Own Content

One of the great things about LinkedIn for lawyers is that you can publish your own content on the platform. Similar to your website’s blog, create content that will be useful for your target audience. When you post, be sure you are using relevant hashtags, such as #personalinjuryattorney or #virginialawyer.

  1. Share Other’s Content

What you share on LinkedIn does not always have to be original content. You will go a long way towards building relationships if you share other’s content on your page or profile. Some things to share include trends in your city and news about recent legislation.

  1. Join Networking Groups

There are thousands of groups on LinkedIn that are targeted to a variety of interests. Find the ones that focus on lawyers as well as your geographic area. This is a surefire way to continue making connections with people that can help your firm.

  1. Participate in Conversations

Making connections on LinkedIn is vital, but participation in conversations will help you leverage this platform for the greatest benefits. If you see an interesting article on a profile you follow, comment, and give your thoughts. If someone comments on your content, be sure to respond in kind.

Contact Sundown Legal Marketing Today

Figuring out the best way to reach potential clients online can be challenging. Sundown Legal Marketing specializes in helping law firms optimize their online footprint to boost business results. We thoroughly review your current online presence and present you with a comprehensive digital marketing strategy designed to take your firm to the next level.

Contact us today for a free law firm marketing assessment and to learn more about our services. Call us at (800) 864-1764 or reach out online through our website contact form.

 

Building a Killer Law Firm Social Media Presence

Social media has long been a popular marketing channel for major brands. You see companies like Nike, Starbucks, and even Airbnb dominating the landscape with their exceptional social media marketing tactics.

While people enjoy interacting with these consumer brands, it might seem like the legal industry has largely ignored social media as an effective marketing channel. But this isn’t entirely the case as social media use among law firms and independent attorneys becomes increasingly popular.

A recent Attorney at Work survey reveals that 96% of the more than 300 lawyers surveyed use social media. And 70% say their use of social media is part of an overall legal marketing strategy. Here are some of the benefits of developing a social media presence for your law firm and a few steps you can take to get started.

The Benefits of a Social Media Presence for Your Law Firm

Social media isn’t easy, but the results are worth it. Social media still hasn’t reached its peak of popularity, but a stunning 3.5 billion people, or 45% of the population, actively use social networks daily. That’s a massive audience, but why should your law firm bother with social media marketing? Here are a few of the benefits of having a social media presence:

  1. Create Brand Awareness

Consumers are spending more time on social media, so a strong social presence can help get your firm’s message in front of its audience. According to the latest Sprout Social Index, 44% of consumer report increasing their use of social media, which is a benefit for brands that want to increase visibility on social platforms. And 87% say they are likely to visit a brand’s website if they follow them on social media.

  1. Attract Prospective Clients

Social media is an effective tool for attorneys to attract new clients. The American Bar Association reports that 35% of lawyers who use social media have gained new clients from these channels. But law firms that are active and engaging on social media have the potential to push those numbers much higher.

  1. Engage Your Target Audience

Even though many people use social media to connect with loved ones, they also increasingly engage with brands on social platforms. This provides your law firm with a valuable opportunity to deliver engaging content and answer questions, whether it be about auto accidents, family law, criminal defense, or some other area of practice.

  1. Establish Your Authority

Most people who are struggling with a legal issue are looking for answers and some reassurance. While you don’t need to provide your services gratis online, you can establish yourself as an authority in your field and gain the trust of potential clients. Share useful information that will interest your target audience and help prove your credibility.

  1. Boost Your SEO Efforts

Even though social signals aren’t considered a direct website ranking factor, various search engine authorities report that they can help your SEO efforts. According to Search Engine Journal, Google has changed its story multiple times regarding whether website links shared on Facebook and Twitter are used as ranking signals.

Even so, there continues to be a strong correlation between social signals and ranking position. In short, it’s worth it to build your audience on social media, drive more traffic to your website, and potentially get higher search engine rankings for your efforts.

Some Tips for Using Social Media for Legal Marketing

Even if you’re convinced that your firm needs a social media presence, where do you begin? Here are some tips for getting started with social media marketing so that you get the best return on your investment.

  1. Pay Attention to the Basics

No matter where you choose to advertise your business, you need to get the basics down first. Some of the social media marketing details you should focus on include:

  • Choosing the right social network to invest in. It might be tempting to pick all of them, but your efforts would be better spent on choosing a few that you know your audience uses most. Facebook is a common choice for law firms since it’s the world’s largest social network. Others are Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube.
  • Set some realistic goals. Before you begin, decide what you’d like to achieve with social media and establish some measurable goals. Do you want to increase traffic to your website? Maybe you want to boost your brand’s visibility and authority. Regardless of which goals you choose, make sure you include them in your marketing plan and measure them on a regular basis.
  • Create a detailed content strategy. What type of content do you plan to create for social media? How often will you post?
  1. Post Engaging Content

Law firms can use social media to engage people on social media in a variety of ways. Consumers love stories, so share stories about the origins of your firm, its history, and its achievements to build an emotional connection.

In addition to promotional content, provide valuable and credible information that can give readers peace of mind or the information they need to make a decision about hiring your firm. You can share relevant industry news as well as excerpts from blog posts related to your main practice areas.

  1. Use Visuals That Pop!

Visuals are essential to engagement on social media. Many people will scroll past a wall of text but will stop to read a colorful infographic or watch a short video. Your social media strategy should include sharing basic legal information, statistics, inspirational quotes, and tips that are in video format or that use strong graphics.

  1. Monitor and Respond to Online Conversations

Social media isn’t meant to be a one-way conversation, where your firm tosses out occasional posts and waits for the clicks to roll in. To be successful, you should be actively engaging with your audience.

You can start by searching for social media conversations related to your firm and any related topics, such as “medical malpractice.” You can monitor these conversations to get an understanding of user sentiment as well as join in to make connections and boost the visibility of your brand online.

Want to Explore Your Legal Marketing Strategy?

If you or your law firm are not active on social media, you are missing a massive opportunity to promote your brand, drive potential clients to your website, and increase engagement. Sundown Legal Marketing can help develop your legal marketing strategy or give you assistance with managing your current profiles. Give us a call at (800) 649-1764 or reach out to us online for a free evaluation.

 

 

Asking for Client Reviews During a Pandemic

With Coronavirus cases approaching their peak in the United States and the economy in a precarious position, few law firms want to talk about marketing. Believe it or not, in these strange and pivotal times, how your firm presents its brand to prospective clients is going to make a difference in how quickly your firm returns to business as normal. 

Reminiscent of the aftermath of the Great Recession just over a decade ago, many law firms had to play “marketing catch up” after the economy recovered. But a few firms prospered coming out of the recession because they understood that much like the stock market presents buying opportunities when stock prices are falling, an economic downturn presents new marketing opportunities. Instead of eliminating marketing during the pandemic some savvy firms will seize the opportunity to gain ground in new ways. 

In only a few short weeks, social distancing has created a shift in the way that people live and work. Many are now in protection mode, focusing on their families, their work, and their communities. 

As a rule, there will still be lawsuits and litigation during good times and bad. When those in your local community search for a “lawyer near me,” will your firm or your competitors rise to the top of the list?

Whether you’re currently working from home or safely ensconced in your office, now is the perfect time to focus on your online reputation, and specifically boost the visibility of those client reviews

Make Your Online Presence a Priority

The spread of the Coronavirus and the resulting Stay-at-Home orders have had some interesting side effects. Sure, people are gaining weight from eating unhealthy food, but they’re also spending more time online across the board. Major benefactors include video streaming services, social media networks, news websites, and search engines. 

People who weren’t comfortable online before are experiencing a trial by fire. More people than ever will have their fingers flying across keyboards, some researching local businesses. 

Now that everyone’s world has become a little bit smaller, it’s time to make sure that you’re on top of your local search marketing game. If you don’t already have a Google My Business (GMB) profile, it’s time to get one and optimize it. If you’ve altered your hours or availability due to COVID-19, be sure to update that information so that clients know how and when they can reach you. 

Beyond GMB, you should set up and/or claim your profile on other major review websites. These include Yelp, Facebook, and free legal directories, like Justia, Avvo and Lawyers.com. 

What About Those Existing Client Reviews?

Before you think about soliciting new reviews, which we’ll address next, consider your existing ones for a moment. The web is packed with online reviews that companies haven’t read, answered, or both. 

One benefit of your new normal is you’ve been given a rare chance to catch your breath and this is the perfect time to make sure that your past reviews have a thoughtful response. You don’t have to go back five years, which might seem odd anyway, but make a point to address your most recent reviews. 

Create a template of responses that reflect your firm’s brand message so that you avoid any snap judgments. It’s essential that you respond to all reviews within reason, even the negative ones. Many potential clients will search for those negative reviews to see how a firm responds. Your grace under pressure is likely to sell them on your firm more than a disgruntled client’s narrative will detract them. 

Before you move on, think about creating a Reviews Policy for your firm so that it will be easier to manage online reviews going forward. When you begin monitoring and responding in a timelier manner, this will help boost your online reputation. 

Reach Out to Clients for New Testimonials

Reaching out to clients during this difficult time is appropriate if you have developed a positive relationship with them. As their attorney, the assumption is that you’ve helped a client navigate some type of challenge. 

But, before you ask for something from former clients, you should be offering some type of value first. By continuing communication during this pandemic, you can offer social connection, information, reassurance, and sometimes even further legal assistance when appropriate. 

By continuing to be active on social media, you can maintain and grow connections with clients and others within your community that might need your assistance in the future. Likewise, posting a steady stream of useful content will keep your audience engaged and more likely to be responsive to your requests. Finally, like many businesses, you can let people know how your firm and your family are handling this unprecedented situation and ask others how they are holding up. 

Provided you’ve built a rapport and some goodwill with your client base, there is no harm in asking for some help with your online marketing. Truth be told, many people are bored and will be happy to go to GMB or Facebook to post an online review if you ask. 

The time factor is another reason to focus on getting testimonials now rather than later. The more time passes after the conclusion of a case, the less likely you’ll be to get a quality review. Once Stay-at-Home orders are lifted, people are likely to be playing “catch up” and will be more distracted than they are right now. Finally, potential clients like to see a steady stream of past client reviews, so this should be an ongoing local marketing focus. 

Note: If your new GMB reviews don’t post immediately, this is has been an issue with Google. Some reviews and Q&A have been periodically turned off to protect small businesses during COVID-19, but they will post eventually. Once they do, be sure to respond timely and appropriately. 

A Few Final Thoughts

We’re going through a period of uncertainty. But just as we’re seeing how these events are bringing out some of the best behaviors in people, this can also be an opportunity for your firm to prove to clients that it genuinely cares. This is an ideal time to reach out and nurture the relationships that you worked so hard to build in the community and continue to create meaningful new connections that will help grow your business. 

As you continue to focus on the things you can control, like certain legal marketing strategies and helping clients, you’ll see a positive effect on your online reputation and bottom-line results. 

Contact Sundown Legal Marketing For Help Creating Your Client Review Strategy

Looking for more ways to improve your legal marketing strategies to navigate the COVID-19 crisis? Contact Sundown Legal Marketing to start a conversation about how we can help. Contact us today at (800) 649-1764 or through our website contact form

The use of social media has changed over the years.  Not long ago social media sites like My Space, digg and Friendster were simply “fun” websites where teenage kids could share stories, talk about weekend plans or complain about their Mom and Dad.

Today, social media has blossomed into a way of life.  There are social media sites and apps for just about everyone, regardless of age, sex, likes, dislikes, height, weight or any other measurable factor that makes each of us different.  The biggies – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest.  The here and now – Vine, Snapchat and Tumblr.  The up and coming – Periscope, Yik Yak and Kik.  The influential directories – Yelp, AVVO.  Video hosting – YouTube, Vimeo

Now, you may be asking yourself, “As an attorney, a law firm owner, why do I care about any of this?”   That is a great question and the answer needs to be integrated into your 2016 Marketing Plan.

Facebook boasts over 1.55 billion users, Tumblr over 555 million, Instagram 400 million and Twitter 300 million.   That is a lot of “eyeballs” on any social media activity or advertising.  Social media provides a law firm or an individual lawyer with an excellent opportunity to gain brand recognition.   It also provides a law firm with an opportunity to engage with their community, their potential clients.  To become more than just simply a business that is looking to take from the community, to a business that is ingrained in the fabric of the community.  Trust is an important consideration when a potential client is looking to hire a lawyer and a robust social media profile can build that foundation of trust before a client ever walks through the door.

Social media is also a key distribution channel for a law firm’s content.   In order to succeed in today’s extremely competitive internet marketplace, a law firm must continuously create new and impactful content.  Blogs, articles, new web pages, videos.  All examples of content that a firm must create in order to be relevant online.  Social media is the perfect conduit to deliver this information to potential clients.  An article on a change in the law that may impact business owners can be posted to LinkedIn.  A blog sharing what you should do just after being involved in a car accident could be posted to Facebook.  A video addressing a common estate planning question could be posted to YouTube, with a link to the video tweeted to the community.

Any social media channel, specifically the biggies like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest & LinkedIn, will provide a law firm to an opportunity to connect with the community, aka potential clients. Adding a face or human element to any business, can help secure business.  But, with a law firm, it can have an even greater positive impact.  Lawyers are often thought of as arrogant, self serving or described as shysters.  Social media allows a lawyer or law firm to contradict those misnomers.  Social media provides a lawyer with an opportunity to profess to the world that they are regular “folks” involved in charitable work, community events, the local PTA, as well as coaching local sports teams.

Finally, search engines like Google are increasingly placing more importance on active participation on social media sites.  Soon, if you don’t post to Facebook or tweet on Twitter, on a regular basis, your website ranking will begin to suffer.

If you or your firm are not active on social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+) you are missing a huge opportunity.  Get started today.  If you need any assistance with developing a social  media strategy or just simply want someone knowledgeable to manage your profiles for you.  Give us a call or send us an e-mail – Sundown Legal Marketing – (800) 649-1764 – rr@sundownmarketing.com