designing a brandThis is a quick follow up to yesterday’s post on how lawyers can use social media to expand their networks. I wanted to write a few quick words on a use of social media that attorneys regularly miss out on – the ability to “brand” their firm. Attorneys have been working to brand themselves for many ‘a moon. Law firms fall into one of two categories. First, there are the firms that spend oodles of money creating a brand. Second, there are the firms that want to create a brand but don’t because they lack the oodles of money which they believe is required. Well the simple truth is that creating a brand doesn’t cost very much and can be done much more efficiently than attorneys realize. The key is to do so through social media.

The legal profession’s attempt at branding is everywhere. You witness it every time you drive by a lawyer’s billboard. The lawyer on the billboard doesn’t expect one to pull over to the side of the road and call him or her. They’re putting their name out there so they come to mind when one does need legal services. An important part of branding is to have your name out there in places where you know people are paying attention. A great example of being out there, when people are paying attention, is the morning traffic reports. When you watch the morning reports you’ll often hear the news announcer say that they are “brought to you by attorney so and so.” Why do attorneys do this? Because people are paying attention to the morning traffic reports so they can know what their morning commute will look like. Likewise, people (hopefully) are paying attention while they drive and will notice those billboards. Well you can achieve this branding effect by leveraging social media. Let’s look at how this can be done.

People pay a high level of attention when they check their social media accounts. If your firm provides useful information to people then people will click on it, like it, and share it. Someone checking their Facebook feed in the morning, before they leave the house will be interested to know where the morning traffic ticket patrols are going to be for example. That’s the type of information that people not only read, they share it with their friends which in turn exposes your firm to a new group of people. The key to this is to be providing information that people want to see and find useful. Here are a few examples:

  • If you’re a DUI lawyer then share information about traffic issues and where DUI checkpoints will be located on holidays
  • If you’re a family law attorney, share articles and information on issues such as positive parenting
  • If you’re a bankruptcy lawyer then share articles discussing how people can reduce monthly expenses

The big key to this type of content is that it is providing people with things that they want to see as opposed to what a law firm wants them to see. Lawyers make the mistake of using their firm’s Facebook pages, and other social media accounts, to post information that the public is not interested in on a day to day basis. While your blog post on a particular topic may be of high quality, it’s not something that high numbers of people will share with their friends. Sharing content that is readily useful to a high number of people will build your following. This will create a branding effect and save you the money of billboards, etc.

Why do you think so many attorneys fail to utilize the branding potential of social media? Chime in through the comment form below.