Social Media Reach for Professionals - dummies

Social Media Reach for Professionals

By Marsha Collier

When degreed professionals are asked about the importance of social media in their marketing plan, they give the same response that shopping center marketing managers gave in the mid-90s: They can’t fathom that such tactics are for them.

Granted, marketing a professional’s services takes a certain amount of delicacy. Wrong moves in new media can switch your image from professional to huckster. For example, lawyers are in business to uphold the law and defend their clients. In social media, their attitude and intelligence must shine.

Yet people do go online to find degreed professionals in almost every field. They search for online posts regarding their particular situations (divorce, skin rashes, sore gums), and professionals who post online often snag their business.

You can connect with a customer or a client on many platforms, but professionals especially should have a website as the hub for client outreach. Any additional social media outreach should direct the potential customer to your website, the nucleus of your information. Trust, concern, and content (again) are pivotal to building your online (and offline) following.

A remarkable example of a professional site is from Rosen Law Firm (the largest divorce firm in North Carolina). Rosen Law Firm opened in 1990 and has had a website since 1994.

Lee Rosen, the firm’s founder — and social media maven — has not only a vibrant website for the firm but also a personal presence for the brand on YouTube (over 1.3 million views since 2008), Twitter (@LeeRosen, with over 18K followers), Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and legal blogs (Divorce Discourse and Stay Happily Married.

A visit to their website, shown in the figure, opens with the opportunity to hear some personal, uplifting words from Lee Rosen. In a friendly manner, he expresses concern for and encouragement to the viewer. He guides visitors to the different areas of the site and invites people to post questions to the forums.

Even if you don’t watch the video, a scroll down the home page reveals the many ways that prospective clients can engage with the firm. The site has no hard sell, only comforting and accurate legal information.

The Rosen Law Firm home page.

Rosen Law has covered almost every base possible on their website, with links to the following:

  • Divorce article library: Prospective clients can come here to pore over the well-indexed information on the state’s divorce laws. Hundreds of topics are discussed with authority.

  • Life stories: This page links to personal divorce case studies, where real clients tell their stories through words and video.

  • North Carolina divorce forums: Three lively forums on emotional, legal, and parenting issues are moderated by Rosen Law Firm attorneys, for the benefit of visitors to the site. To post, users must register on the site.

  • Divorce talk radio: Rosen attorneys host a live weekly call-in podcast at 11 a.m. EST every Wednesday to discuss the numerous fine points of separation, divorce, and coping. The shows are archived on the site by category.

  • Stay happily married: This link goes to the sister site, Stay Happily Married, where visitors can get advice on how to beat the odds. The site is filled with information from counselors as well as links to other websites with advice.

  • Do-it-yourself divorce instructions and forms: Rosen provides step-by-step instructions, should someone want to do a divorce on their own, along with all requisite forms and sample agreements.

  • Lawyer locator: Find a list of lawyers for clients out of the Rosen Law firm area.

  • Apps: The site contains an easy-to-use North Carolina alimony and child support calculator. Rosen Law Firm also has the child support calculator available on the iTunes store as an iPhone app.

Yes, there’s more: FAQs and even a divorce legal fee calculator. The Rosen Law Firm presence on Facebook, shown in this figure, links to their blog posts, podcasts, and the main website for more information.

Rosen Law's facebook page.