Lawyers Who Aren’t Using Their Personal Facebook Page Are Leaving Money on the Table!
I’ve had a personal page on Facebook for seven or eight years now; I’m on it everyday and I treat it as part of my overall marketing plan. I can directly trace seven figures worth of income to my firm directly to my activity on my personal page—yes, that’s a legitimate number. Seven figures. And, I’m not spending hours everyday on Facebook. I literally spend 15-30 minutes at the most on any given day on Facebook. If these are not numbers that will convince you to get excited about using your personal Facebook page more, then I don’t know how to convince you. But, for those who want to start getting a return on their Facebook usage, I’m going to offer you five tips that you can start using today.
Facebook Personal Pages vs. Business Pages
Before I get in to why lawyers should be using their personal Facebook page as part of their marketing plan, let me draw an important distinction between your personal page and your business page.
Your Facebook business page is the page that serves as the face of your business. It’s meant to represent your business page. Every law firm that uses social media should have a Facebook business page. In comparison, your personal page is you—it’s your own personal page that you’ve set up on Facebook. It’s not your business page. What I’m talking about using in this blog to get you more business is your personal page, not your business page. This is an important distinction to understand because social networking on Facebook is merely an electronic opportunity to socialize with people who may want to do business with you or may want to refer business to you.
Why Should Lawyers Use Their Personal Pages?
I’ve heard many lawyers resist using their personal pages for business purposes. I’ve heard all the excuses: they want to keep their personal lives separate from their business lives, they don’t have the time, they don’t like the drama, they’re worried about ethical issues. Guess what? If you want to bring in business using your personal Facebook page, then get over it. You can’t use these excuses anymore. Do you talk with people at business functions? Do you go out for business lunches to try and drum up more business? Do you join organizations with the hope of creating connections?
Well, those activities are all intended on building relationships through networking. That’s all that Facebook is, too. Again, it’s an electronic opportunity to socialize and it’s right at your fingertips.
There are two basic marketing premises to keep in mind when thinking about Facebook:
- People tend to do business with those business owners they know, like, and trust.
- You want to be “top of mind” for your prospects when they need a lawyer or want to refer a friend to a lawyer.
These two marketing premises should be driving your Facebook strategy.
Five Tips to Ignite Your Facebook Page
Now that you’ve accepted the reasons why you should be using your personal page as part of your marketing plan, here are five tips that you can begin using right now that will heat up your social networking and set you on fire.
- Use Facebook’s “Birthday” function every day. Who doesn’t love to hear “happy birthday” on their birthday? Well, Facebook makes this super simple. In the “News Feed” everyday, Facebook lets you know whose birthday it is. I take a few minutes every day to check out whose birthday it is and I make sure to leave them a birthday wish. This applies to friends, family and even clients who are friends with me on Facebook. It’s simple, it’s easy, and friends will know you’re thinking of them on one of their favorite days of the year.
- Use the “Like” button liberally. Social networking, like any relationship building, requires a little interaction with others. One of the easiest ways to do this is by “liking” a post made by your friends. Take a few moments every day to scroll through the News Feed, scan some of the posts, and click “like.” Let your friends know that you’re paying attention to them and they’re more likely to remember you when they need you.
- Post some pictures of your own. For people to know, like, and trust you, you’re going to have to show the world a little about your personal life. Pictures are “gold” in Facebook world. According to a Fastcompany.com article, photo posts get more engagement than links, videos, or text updates.
There’s no doubt from personal experience that people love seeing pictures. So, if you’re out with your spouse, take a “twinsie” of yourselves on your smart phone and upload it to Facebook. (Yes, make sure you have the Facebook app on your phone. You’re much more likely to post a picture if you have the app handy and available). Out with your kids? Post a pic. (Trust me, people love pics of the kids). See a great sunset? Post it.
- Use the “check in” button. The “check in” button is available on the Facebook app on your smart phone and allows you to announce where you are in a post. This is another great way for you to show what you’re up to and let people see a little more of your personal side. If you’re at a restaurant you enjoy, “check in.” Visiting a tourist site? Check in.
The “check in” function is also a way you can subtly remind people that you are a lawyer. If you’re arguing a motion in court one morning, then “check in” to the court. You don’t have to give details about the case. The mere fact that you’re checking in to a courthouse will remind people that you’re a lawyer. Caveat: remember to check your state’s ethics rules because there may be some opinions about social media posts concerning client matters.
4.1 This is tip 4.1—a bonus action item—because you can also use the “check in” button to promote business clients. If you have business clients, then “check in” when you’re at their place of business doing business with them. Better yet, if they are running a promotion on Facebook then “share” it. Your business client will appreciate seeing your commitment to their success and they may even return the favor and promote you!
- Comment once in awhile. Relationships are a give and take. You need to leave a few comments on your friends’ posts. Interact with them. Let them know that you’re paying attention to them and they’ll pay attention to you.
Once you’ve decided that you’re going to ignite your Facebook presence, it’s time to implement your plan. To be successful, though, you’re going to need to commit to doing this. Here’s the good news: it doesn’t have to take you more than 5-15 minutes a day. Yes, it’s true, you can accomplish your strategies in 5-15 minutes a day. Schedule times if you need to for your social networking, but do it every day. You just won’t be as effective if you don’t take advantage of these strategies every day.
Here’s my schedule: first thing in the morning, I log on to my laptop, get on Facebook, and check the birthdays. I leave my birthday wishes, scan some posts, and I’m done. Five minutes and I’ve touched people at the beginning of their days.
Mid-morning, I open up my Facebook app on my iPhone, even if I’m at work, and look through some posts or check notifications. I’ll like some posts and comment on some pictures. Five minutes, I’m done.
Later I might be out in the evening or on a weekend, I’ll see an interesting picture opportunity, and I’ll snap the photo. Then I post it, maybe check in, and I’m done. Five minutes, that’s it, I’m done for the day.
Put these strategies in place tomorrow and you’ll be on your way to being top of mind to your friends and acquaintances when they need a lawyer.