We've received inquiries recently regarding how lawyers might use Facebook as a marketing tool. The growth statistics cited by Facebook are certainly impressive:
More importantly from the standpoint of professionals - more than half of Facebook users are now outside of college (see additional post here on TechCrunch charting demographic shifts on Facebook).
Ultimately, Facebook is about networking. Through Facebook you can get in touch and interact with individuals around the world who share your professional or personal interests, and build long term relationships with them.
Below is a quick tutorial on getting started with Facebook from a recent MarketingSherpa "How To" guide. After reading this post, should you wish further guidance in learning how to use social networking tools for marketing and business development, consider contacting us for a brief tutorial. Click here to download our "social media training" brochure.
1. Create a polished profile - write about your professional accomplishments, but also include some personal tidbits that may help others build a connection with you.
2. Join a network - based on a region, school or workplace
3. Join groups - browse the groups and join those with like-minded colleagues who share your professional or personal interests. You can then participate in discussion forums and other community activities.
4. Post content - add content to your profile that establishes your expertise - links to articles you have written, links to posts on your blogs, links to your attorney bio page, etc. Also add content to group areas.
5. Create your own group - Facebook gives you the ability to create your own group focused on an area of interest. You can then invite "friends" to join your group to share ideas, links, etc. FYI, all readers are invited to join my new group - Internet Marketing for Lawyers.
6. Interact with others - socializing is the key to Facebook - you can initiate conversations by contributing posts to a group, starting a new topic on a discussion board, or posting to another member's "Wall" (basically a public area in someone's profile where others can post messages). Another example: if you see it's a friend's birthday from their profile, send them a quick "happy birthday" message to break the ice and reconnect.
7. Extend relationships outside Facebook - once you begin communicating with other members, see if you can't find opportunities to build the relationships outside of Facebook - maybe a lunch if you are in the same city. The key is to be consistent and patient, instead of expecting immediate results.
Click here to access the full MarketingSherpa guide, including strategies for marketing a practice on Facebook (subscription required).
And anyone who wants to be my "Friend" on Facebook just "poke" me!