Social media is a complex system. It’s important to remember that this system is still new. What do all new inventions have in common? The laws governing what they can and cannot do are young and subject to change. That’s something to keep in mind as you use social media to build your own network — especially when that network will include friends and family, prospective and new clients, and even adversaries. Be careful when contacting these individuals, and don’t get yourself sued!
Let’s say you know your clients are looking for a business contracts dispute attorney. That means this specific type of attorney might be an adversary — if the person belongs to another firm. You can use social media to search for individuals who live nearby and have the same job, then use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn to approach. Keep in mind the line between legal and illegal is a fine one. Make sure you don’t cross that line when attempting to lure a new hire or new client away from an adversarial firm to yours.
Search features are only one method of using social media to build your master network. What else might you do? The most obvious answer is “advertise.” Facebook in particular offers great advertising options for users looking to expand business enterprises. These features allow you to target specific demographics that might be interested in the services you offer at your firm. Looking for 20-somethings? You can ensure your advertisements are only seen by those individuals so no money is wasted. Overall, these services tend to be relatively cheap.
At the end of the day, social media is all about interacting. But sometimes it’s difficult to get a clear picture of the person on the other side of the computer screen. That clear picture is what you want more than anything. And that’s why you should always use social media specifically as a jumping off point to build your relationships. It should never represent the culmination of that relationship.
What do we mean when we say that? It’s simple. Always conceive or strengthen new relationships using social media, but never end them there. Always invite your prospective clients into the office to talk further. Ask about their wants and needs. Allow them time to ask questions of their own. More than anything, social media is a great way to make them feel appreciated.
Do you have holiday parties? Social media networking is a great way to find new people to invite. Be strategic when sending out the invitations. Think of specific pairs who might find synergy. You might employ an associate who would get along with a prospective client because of shared interests. You might even invite adversaries who wouldn’t get along with your prospective clients! It’s all about choosing the most strategically tenable options.
What you do with social media is primarily your choice. But the options are endless, and you should certainly be thoughtful about how you make those choices. Never forget to keep building!