Are you using social media to its fullest ability to help you in business development? Learn how using social listening can help you to build your book of business in Jaimie Field’s latest post.

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Have you ever thought about using social monitoring to build your book of business?

Social monitoring/listening is using tools, like Google Alerts, Social Mention, Talkwalker, Mention (to name a scant few) to monitor what is on the internet based on specific queries that you set up. Many of them are free of charge or offer a freemium version (a less robust form of the program with minimum features of the version for which they would make you pay).

One of the ways to set this up is to create an alert based on your law firm and your name so that anytime your name or law firm comes up on the internet you receive an “alert” – usually in the form of an email – telling you what is being said.  This is an excellent way to monitor your brand – both personal and firm wide.  It will help you both grow the brand and ensure that you know if anything negative is being said about you so that you can address it readily.

Social monitoring/listening can also be a fantastic way to find topics upon which to help you create your brand by providing ideas for blogs or videos; it can be a marvelous way to learn more about your current clients in order to provide more service to them and raise billable activities; it can be a great way to find potential new clients or referral sources.  And these topics will be addressed in subsequent Rainmaking Recommendations.

For this Rainmaking Recommendation, I am just going to explain the benefits of using alerts to help you grow your brand and book of business.  An alert program (and in the spirit of full disclosure, I use Google Alerts but am in the process of evaluating other programs) can help you with the following:

  • Gathering feedback for your services: your clients and potential clients are going on line to “talk” about your services, both good and bad.  By creating alerts you can discover what is being said about you and your firm.
  • Enhanced client service:  in addition to knowing what is being said, you can respond to people using social media.  In fact, you may have heard tales of people complaining via social media sites and having those complaints redressed immediately.  Or finding a way to go above and beyond like in one of my all-time favorite stories.  Peter Shankman, a social media guru, a number of years ago jokingly tweeted to Morton’s Steakhouse to ask them to bring him a porterhouse to Newark Airport when he returned home from a business trip.  And they did- for free!!

Now, as attorneys you cannot do that because of ethical considerations, but you can keep an eye on what clients are either complaining about or extolling the benefits of working with you and respond accordingly. You can thank them for saying nice things or you can address an issue in an ethical manner. For example, it is not unusual for a client to complain that they have not heard from you in a long time (by the way, this is the main reason why people leave their attorneys – lack of communication).However, you can easily respond both publicly and privately to that person. Publicly, I would say: “I’m sorry you feel that we have not responded to you in a quick fashion.We will call you privately in a few minutes.”

  • Improve your content marketing strategy:  while monitoring and interacting with others, you will have the ability to see what they are most interested in.  Then, you can create blogs, social media posts or even videos around those conversations.  In addition, you can set up alerts with the keywords that impact your ideal clients and base your content around some of the things you have read.
  • Monitor your “competition”:  you could set up alerts which allow you to see what your competition is doing, or more importantly not doing, and find ways to do it better.
  • Analyzing your social media effectiveness:  Using analytics that many of the tools provide, you can see how well your blog posts, social media activities, and videos are doing across different channels.  Then, you can determine how to replicate the good and fix the bad to make your marketing efforts more effective.

Finally, one of the best reasons to use social media listening and monitoring tools is that you can stop wasting time on posting things which your clients, potential clients and referral sources just aren’t interested.  There are only so many hours in the day.  You need to find an effective strategy to convey your knowledge (go-to – authority) and personal brand to those whom you are targeting as clients. Social media monitoring and listening will help you determine what your potential clients, current clients and your referral sources are interested in hearing from you.