Why To Put Your Marketing Dollars Into Social Media

Why To Put Your Marketing Dollars Into Social Media

Overall, social media is more cost-effective than traditional media. The amount of money that is required to run an effective print, TV or radio advertising campaign is far beyond the capabilities of most small businesses. Social media can deliver hundreds, possibly thousands, of impressions at little to no cost, depending on how you use the channel. There are noproduction costs or sales commissions, which contribute to theexorbitant price you pay to place ads on local TV or radio station. Most business owners are able to manage social media marketing in-house.

Social media allows you to cut out the gatekeeper. Gone are the days of depending on newspaper editors or media sales people to help you communicate with your customers.Most of my actual clients for my law practice are elderly,so on occasion I want to market to them using a traditional media platform like the physical newspaper. Not only am I blownaway by the exorbitant cost, but the crowded space of advertisers and the lack of impressions often leaves me wishing that more of my clientele was on Facebook andInstagram where I could market to them much more directly and more cost-effectively. Aside from a few easy to abide by rules, when it comes to social media the creative and scheduling decisions rest solely with the advertiser.

The main gripe most people have when it comes to traditional media, besides the cost is the difficulty in tracking ROI. Social media’s metrics and analytics make it easy to track results and eliminates a lot of the guesswork that goes into marketing. You can quickly find out if a particular campaignsucceeded or failed and use that information to your advantage when making future marketing decisions.

Additionally, one of the chief flaws of advertising has always been the one-sided quality of the conversation. The advertiser spoke, and the consumer listened. Social media renders this type of marketing obsolete. Now, companies and brands are able to interact directly, in some cases in real-time, with consumers. These conversations can be the source of valuableinsight for advertisers and allow for more meaningful engagement.

Social media’s conversion rate is one of the reasons for its growing popularity among advertisers. E-commerce has been responsible for a seismic shift in our shopping habits and digital marketing is perfectly poised to exploit this trend.Unlike traditional media, which asks consumers to store away the particulars of an offer or product till they are in the store orin front of their computer, with social media marketing they are only one click away from the purchase. When you combine engaging content, a strong offer, and a clear CTA, conversions will follow.

Now before you start putting all of your marketing dollars into social media marketing, be aware that I am not recommending that you rely completely on social media and ignore all forms of traditional media. However, I do want to impress upon you the power and cost-effectiveness of expanding your social media marketing.

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On Writing the Social Media Marketing Blueprint for Lawyers

On Writing the Social Media Marketing Blueprint for Lawyers

By now hopefully you know about my upcoming book: The Social Media Marketing Blueprint for Lawyers. It is scheduled to be published this fall, and I’m scheduled to speak to bar associations across the country this winter and next spring to preach the gospel of social media to lawyers and law firm administrators.

social-media

What you probably don’t know is how this idea came to be packaged into a book, and how I was able to pull it together while maintaining a growing law practice. I’m going to give you a little bit of a behind-the-scenes look here. The book initially started as a summer research project for an intern. At the time I was building my law practice and our presence across multiple social media platforms. It was a lot to manage by myself, and I was relying more and more on others to help generate content to post.

One morning I was out on a long run in my neighborhood and I thought that if I was struggling to pull all of my social media research and tools together and use them to efficiently manage my law firm’s social media presence, surely other lawyers were facing similar predicaments.

Coupled with that is the fear a lot of attorneys have of not knowing how to use social media, or what ethical pitfalls the various platforms might present, and it is enough to erect a giant roadblock to entry to social media for many attorneys. At that point, I knew the solution was to write a how-to manual to get attorneys started on the journey.

From there, I came up with a rough outline of how the book would unfold, basically an in-depth exploration of the major platforms, followed by how to apply each platform to various deployment strategies, including paid advertising, giveaways, offers, email marketing strategies and developing a plan to tie it together. I knew we had to have an expansive discussion of how to ethically do all this as a licensed attorney, and that’s right in the front of the book.

Once my outline was complete and buttressed with research, I began to tackle one chapter at a time. Some chapters were long, but easy to write because my passion for them was obvious and my experience extensive(i.e. Facebook). Some were more difficult and I really struggled through (I’m looking at you, Snapchat). Several drafts and revisions later, we have a book on the way to being published and hopefully purchased by attorneys across the country.

One fear I’ve had throughout the process is that the constant shifting landscape of social media could render the book outdated quickly if a seismic shift occurs.

I was recently describing to one of my colleagues the day I remember being notified of the existence of a new website called theFacebook.Thats right, I was lucky enough to be in college at the same time Mark Zuckerberg and his crew were first rolling out the newest social media platform to campuses across the country. My colleague was shocked when I told her that I had to sign an online petition to try to get our campus access to theFacebook. She was even more shocked it was called theFacebook.

I should probably mention that she is only 20 years old.That means she was probably 7 or 8 years old at that time. For those of us who recall the early days of any social media platform, or the early days of email or maybe even for some of you who remember the early days of the Internet, this can be a humbling experience.

What struck me most about this conversation was not how old I felt, but rather how far social media has progressed in such a short amount of time. There was a time when I was 20 years old where young kids were clamoring to get onto this cool, new website, theFacebook. Now, some 12 years later, the youngsters seem to have moved away from Facebook (they dropped the from the name about 11 years ago) in favor of hip, new photo-sharing platforms including Instagram (smartly purchased by Facebook in 2012 for $1 billion)and Snapchat.

This is the perfect analogy for my fears about the book:how frequently will I need to update this thing? No sooner had I finished a set of revisions to the manuscript and Instagram debuted a totally new feature taking the social media world by storm called Instagram Stories. My blog post about the feature can be found here. I don’t want to constantly have to revise the book for every little tweak. And that’s where the beauty of modern technology comes in. We’re simultaneously giving everyone who purchases the book access to the ebook. For everyone who redeems the ebook, we’re going to provide updates to the ebook as major changes happen in the social media world. That’s not to say I won’t update the physical book in the future, but email updates to the ebook will be a more efficient way to keep those who have invested in my book in the loop with the latest changes.

What I learned through trial and error, and what I hope to teach other lawyers, is that using social media successfully, first and foremost, requires good storytelling. That will not change, despite what happens with the technical updates to social media platforms. The themes in my book, weaving narratives on social, pushing content back-and-forth between platforms, and building your social media clique to drive brand awareness are universal, and I think, timeless.

Despite the ever-changing nature of social media, the one constant is that what is primarily required in the context of building and growing your own social media following is patience. You will not build a following of 25,000 devoted fans overnight. Your Facebook post about how you achieved a six-figure settlement for a personal injury post will probably not go viral. You know what goes viral: cat videos (I may or may not try to work in some cats to my next video posts). The book seeks to provide attorneys with the toolsI have acquired and am still developing, which we know will be ever-changing.

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