Legal Marketing: Location is important

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Your clients are using social media, so you need to be there too!

“Location, location, location.” It’s the new legal marketing battle cry heard round the world. Traditional brick and mortar law firms – whether product or service-based – have long understood that location can make or break your business.

In traditional legal marketing, location also includes a well-placed yellow page, TV, radio, bus bench, magazine or newspaper ad.

But why the battle cry at all? What’s the big deal about location? Obviously, you want to be located where your clientele are more likely to see you. Most law firms put ads in legal journals or publications targeted to their practice area. Placing these ads can cost a little to a lot of money. What if there was a better way? A cheaper way?

What if your prospective client is using the phone book to prop up his monitor so he can better view Law.com? Or turning off the radio to plug in her mp3 player to listen to a podcast? What if the corporate CEO on vacation in Belize is checking his connections on LinkedIn? Would it not make sense for you to be where they are?

Social Media is not going away. In the past year alone, the number of companies using social media – your clients – has increased to 65 percent. Over 550 million people are using Facebook. There are over 100 million company pages on Facebook now and over a million company profiles on LinkedIn. Could one of those companies be your next client? LinkedIn has 85+ million users. A new member joins every second. Are they your next client? People spend more time on Facebook than Google – 55 minutes a day. How much did your website cost? I guarantee a company page on Facebook or LinkedIn is much less expensive to create – and easier to optimize. On LinkedIn’s company page you can now list all your services. Did I mention it was free? And gets ranked on Google?

When we talk about location, it’s no longer a physical space. You want to be located where your clients live, and that is LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. If you want to continue to engage with present clients and attract new ones, you have to be where they are.

Do you still need convincing? One of the most comprehensive reports I’ve seen on social media marketing is Michael Stelzner’s Social Media Marketing Industry Report. His observations and research apply to all marketers, even those in the legal field. Here are a few of the things he’s discovered:

  • The majority of marketers (56 percent) are using social media for six hours or more each week, and nearly one in three invest 11 or more hours weekly.
  • Marketers are fairly new to social media: A significant 65 percent of marketers surveyed have only been involved with social media marketing for a few months or less.
  • The number one advantage of social media marketing (by a long shot) is generating exposure for the business, indicated by 85 percent of all marketers, followed by increasing traffic (63 percent) and building new business partnerships (56 percent).
  • The top social media tools, in order are Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and blogs.
  • Blogging is on the rise and MySpace shrinking: A significant 81 percent of marketers plan on increasing their use of blogs, while 72 percent have no plans to use MySpace and nine percent will actually decrease their use of MySpace.
  • The things social media marketers most want to learn about include social bookmarking, Twitter and Facebook.

Social Media is NOT a bunch of teenagers chatting about what they had for breakfast. It’s your future clients engaging with friends, colleagues, service providers, and your competition. Don’t wait another day. Get online, and get social now.

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