An Oklahoma reader recently emailed me with a law firm marketing question:

First off, I am an avid fan of your blog! [No, I am not making this up to make myself look good.] I really admire how you market your blog and Facebook page. I work for a small firm that has decided to really market itself this year. We have increased our advertising, updated our website, and created a Facebook page. I have been put in charge of the website re-design and Facebook page. The problem is, I have no marketing experience and no clue how to promote our website and Facebook pages.

Crushed for time, I had to give this lovely paralegal the Readers’ Digest Condensed version of my questionably vast marketing experience:

I adore avid fans. [Yes, I really said that.]

Marketing a small law firm via Facebook and Twitter takes hard work, even though the price (free) is right. I’m on the marketing committee here, and I don’t think I’ve convinced anyone, other than one associate, of the value of social media. But if anybody’s listening, here are my suggestions to get started:

  1. Start a blog. It’s necessary to have all (or most) of the attorneys on the same page, agree on the content, and contribute their fair share of posts. It helps if they are good writers (which ours are), able to get to the point quickly (more of a challenge for lawyers), and really, really, really want to blog (so far no one at my firm other than me has been bitten by the blogging bug).
  2. Start a firm Twitter stream. But it has to have some kind of personality, some other reason to read it than just “hire me!” Sharing information, establishing a persona, and then following and interacting with Twitterers in your community takes commitment. It also takes a long time to generate a significant following, so it feels a little like talking to yourself in the beginning. A good sense of humor helps tremendously. Use a Twitter application like TweetDeck or Hootsuite to post updates simultaneously to the firm’s Facebook and LinkedIn accounts. You can also use these apps to schedule posts at future dates.
  3. Link to your social media profiles in your email signatures. You’re probably already including the link to the firm website. Add the links to the firm’s blog, Facebook page, and Twitter stream. You may think your signature looks rather long and obnoxious for a bit, and then you get used to it.
  4. Make sure everyone in the firm shares the links to – and likes – the firm’s Facebook page – more than once on their own Facebook pages. If the firm has significant news items, post them on both the firm’s page, as well as everyone’s individual pages.

The biggest challenge will be getting everyone on board to do this as a group. Yes, they might ask you to do it all, and you can be the techie and the go-to person – but it doesn’t work without what I like to think of as a cohesive and personable attorney voice.

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