Facebook has been taking steps over the past several months that show a growing understanding of how businesses and individuals are using its service for marketing purposes. The site now has areas dedicated to building business pages, resources for businesses, success stories, advertising tips and apps that help companies manage their pages. Law firms are better equipped take advantage of the platform to position themselves as leaders and build useful links that help with their website’s SEO.
An article on forbes.com published a few months ago revealed that marketing professionals do not necessarily understand what social media users want from the businesses they choose follow. While people may tolerate annoying or mundane Facebook posts from their friends, they expect business to offer something useful. Here are some ideas for providing just that:
Consider the marketing value of each post individually. On a macro level, it is important to evaluate whether your firm’s Facebook presence as a whole is working for you. But within each Facebook post, your firm has the ability to create a targeted message through both copy and graphics. Craft your posts so that they are not all just general information about your firm. Post about specific topics or relevant news items that will appeal to different segments of your potential client base. And choose interesting images to accompany your posts. This will help attract more attention and give your posts more traction.
Encourage participation with a purpose. A common way to encourage user engagement is to ask a question. And questions work, particularly when they are thoughtful and geared toward producing certain answers or instigating a particular type of conversation. But your firm can go beyond questions to spur engagement.
Starbucks used Facebook to let users determine which city got their seasonal Pumpkin Spice Latte first. 1-800-Flowers.com lets users vote on their favorite arrangements and gifts. While this type of engagement is clearly easier for retail giants, law firms can learn from their examples.
If your firm is considering a series of seminars, allow users to “like” the topics they would find most useful or to suggest topics of their own. If you are thinking about participating in a charity or other community event, solicit feedback on what causes users find most compelling. Maybe your firm is celebrating an anniversary or other milestone. Create a shirt, bag or some type memorabilia for the occasion. You can have users post suggestions for designs, or you can have them vote for a winner by liking their favorites.
Encourage sharing. Have your friends tell their friends to get in on the voting. People love to give their opinions. Solicit them and build a connection with your firm.
Time your posts. Much has been written and speculated upon about the best time to post items to Facebook to get the maximum readership. Data released from the service bit.ly in May showed that Facebook users are the most active between 1:00 and 4:00 pm Eastern, and that Wednesday has the highest level of participation among the days of the week. In addition to being attentive to the days and times you post, be aware of other big news items that might draw attention to other topics. Schedule posts in advance so you have flexibility to adjust your schedule should other news arise.
If your firm would like to track your traffic and stats specifically, prosodic allows you to do just that. The application will track activity on your Timeline and make posting recommendations based on when your users are the most active. Prosodic can break information about likes, shares and comments down by gender and location, allowing you to target specific groups at the optimum times.
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