UPDATE: While not specifically geared towards law firms, this is a very powerful article from Entrepreneur magazine about social media and business. I strongly encourage you to read ‘Tearing Down the Walls: How Social Media Is Changing Everything About The Way We Do Business.” One notable highlight:
“…..Charlene Li, one of the world’s leading thinkers on social media and co-founder of the Altimeter Group, a research-based advisory firm in San Mateo, Calif., predicts that companies that do not get on the social media bandwagon soon–within three to five years–will not survive. It’s not an overstatement to say social media is transforming every aspect of business.”
Last week I made the following observation in ‘How Major Changes In Our Daily Living Will Impact Solos (Part II)‘ :
What About Social Media:
Social Media is no longer about what you choose to do or choose not to do. It’s about where the potential client expects to find a service provider when they look for a service provider.
Years ago, before the internet and cell phones, if you were in a reputable business customers expected to find you listed in the Yellow Pages. It gave your business the perception of legitimacy. Every home had their local yellow pages. So, Yellow Pages sales representatives offered you one line in the phone book for free when you secured your business phone number and this helped their cause which was to promote they had everyone and every business listed which in turn generated more paid advertising.
Today, the internet is the Yellow Pages. Your web presence is your Yellow Pages listing, a must have which gives your business the perception of legitimacy. But that’s not all. Potential clients expect to find you listed on all reputable sites, including Facebook. Do you remember years ago progressive companies listed their website URL along with their regular contact information? I remember thinking, ‘what is this?’. Now those same progressive companies no longer feature their website url prominently but feature their Facebook page url prominently. The goal is to drive customers to their highly interactive site within a community where their prospects congregate. There they can learn more about people who have expressed interest in their product/service and interact in real time. And it’s a great advertising tool (which is for a separate post). It is all about engagement. Facebook is still young but even in its relative youth it has managed to change how we are conducting business and engaging our potential clients . It offers a different type of legitimacy in this ‘connected’ world. It would be wise for you to have a Facebook page for your business and to learn how to use it correctly.
I wasn’t going to continue the Facebook discussion just yet. However, two days later I saw this piece in the Wall Street Journal called: ‘How Much Does A Facebook Fan Cost? $1.07.
I wasn’t really interested in how much a facebook fan cost but wanted to read the article. Embedded in the article was the following video:
And relevant to my discussion on Facebook I learned the following mindblowing statistics from the video:
- Today there are 650,000,000 Facebook users worldwide (I thought it was 550 million)
- Half of all users log into Facebook for at least one half hour each day
- Half of all time spent on the internet is spent on Facebook
You don’t have to be a marketing genius to understand now is the time to develop your presence on Facebook and to do so in a manner which engages your potential clients and referrers of clients. As the title of the WSJ article implies, the cost of gathering ‘fans’ is going to go up while the interest in your ‘ads’ to attract Facebook users to your page is going to go down. Therefore, those who gather their fans earlier will gather more and do so at a lower cost.
Creating a compelling business page on Facebook won’t be easy. You really have to offer quality content and engagement. However, the ability to interact in real time in a location where your potential clients and referrers of clients are located daily and for an extended period of time can be priceless when building and sustaining your practice. If the goal of your online presence is to provide educational information and to encourage contact, being where your clients are is never wrong.
And, of course, if you’d like to ‘like’ Solo Practice University, we’d welcome you. At the very least check out what we’re doing on our Facebook Page! Would love to talk with you there, too. It’s a whole other style of conversation
Have you created your business fan page? If so, what are you doing to engage those who show support of your business?