SUMMARY OF THIS ARTICLE:
• How to apply/create branding for your practice when designing social media page?
• How to promote these social media pages
• Q & A on social media
• This article is part three of the Social Media Teleseminar Series. You can check out Part One here and Part Two here
Social Media Part Three – Branding & Promoting Your Social Media Pages
Welcome to the teleseminar on social marketing Part 3 hosted by Divorce Marketing Group. My name is Martha Chan. I’m the Vice President of Marketing for Divorce Marketing Group. We host this teleseminar once a month to help divorced professionals market themselves.
If you are not in front of a computer you may want to find yourself in front of one and turn it on. Turn your browser on because during this seminar you will likely want to check out a few things that we would be discussing.
While some of you are doing that, I will take 30 seconds to give you a bit of background on this seminar series we’ve been hosting. This is Part 3 of a three-part series on using social media to grow your practice. We know that we have covered in Part 1 and Part 2 how to build and how to use Wikipedia, blogs, Facebook and Twitter. For those of you who have not attended the previous parts, it is not necessary that you must have attended those two sessions. In today’s session we will be discussing how to grow the followings and connections on these social media pages and if you’re interested in finding about how to build them, send an email to email@example.com and we will send you the transcript from the first two sessions. Also at the end of this teleseminar we will be answering questions from our participants. So if you have any questions, please email them during the seminar to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Just a quick introduction to Divorce Market Group and who we are: We are an agency dedicated to helping divorced professionals market their practices and we’ve been doing this for the past 14 years and have over 200 family law firms, mediators, financial planners, etc. as our clients.
Today we are going to talk about how you can use social media pages to brand your company and to get your message out and how you promote these pages once you’ve got them set up.
As I said before, we have discussed building Wikipedia pages, blogs, Facebooks, Twitter pages and LinkedIn pages. A lot of these pages offer the ability to customize them. Different sites offer a different degree of customization. Of all the ones that we mentioned, LinkedIn and Facebook probably offer you the least amount of customization possible. You’re only allowed to use your logo or display an image of yourself or a book that you have written.
As well, Wikipedia of all these that we’ve discussed allows you the least amount of personalization. As I’ve indicated before, Wikipedia is supposed to be an encyclopedia so the information provided has to be very objective and not promotional at all. Whereas the other social media pages you could pretty much post whatever it is that you would like and promote your services.
Now comes Twitter as well as blogs. They are by far the two social media platforms that you could do whatever level of promotion and customization that you like. So for example, if you already have a website or you have some marketing brochures for your firm, you have a logo, you want to adhere to the same design, color, look and feel when you set up your Twitter page and when you set up your blog. You can include your logo. You can include images from your website, images of yourself, of different say attorneys in your firm that you might have. For an example, you can look up the Twitter page by our company. You can do that by going to twitter.com/divorcemktg. There you see that the background colors that we have echoes the colors from our company website as well you see our logo and images of our owners.
Now in terms of branding, aside from the look and feel, social media is where content is really going to drive your brand. What I mean by that is because it is up to you to post whatever you wish, it is a huge opportunity for you to let the world know what services you have to provided, what you are like to work with, perhaps the philosophy of your firm, and most importantly if you are to state your opinions about certain things such as the law, perhaps you think the divorce law needs to be changed or you have a strong opinion about certain divorce cases that have recently been published, that’s where people by reading what you post will get to know where do you stand on certain issues. Now obviously, anytime you put out an opinion, you’re going to have someone who would agree with you or disagree with you. So you could also look at this as a way of perhaps even pre-screening some of the clients that you are going after. For example, I know a lot of our clients are going after collaborative divorce, peaceful divorce. So if you were that person and you say these are your philosophies and you are making information available on peaceful divorce, it’s unlikely that you will attract someone who wants to go to court and fight for everything that they believe is rightfully theirs.
At the same time, whatever you post and say on your Twitter, on your blog, on your LinkedIn profile, there’s always some reactions and therefore also consequences. We highly recommend that you keep what you post to be professional, directly related to your company and the service that your company provides. I’ve seen people post on Twitter or their LinkedIn pages something about what they’re doing that day, something that would be not related to the business. My suggestion is that you stay away from doing that on these pages.
On Facebook, you could create a personal profile and that’s where you could communicate these things within your friends and family but when you create a page that is meant for divorcing people and you’re using it to generate business, then let’s keep the content be totally related to that topic. Otherwise, those people who are connected to you or following you will find that the information that they’re getting is irrelevant. The other thing is that we all have opinions. When you state those, you need to know that there’s always a consequence. Let us suppose that you have certain political orientation. There’s nothing good or bad about having a strong political orientation that you want the world to know. But, where do you publicize that? If it is on your professional and public profile, and say you’re a supporter of the Republican party, if you publicize that just know that there will be some people who may disagree with you and therefore think that you’re not the right professional for them to hire. Just be aware. That’s the part on branding.
In the next part of this seminar I would like to move on is to discuss what happens next: Once you have these pages, what do you do to promote them so that you reach as many people as possible? The very thing I’m going to talk about is how to do this so that it’s simple and doesn’t cost you anything.
All of us I hope by now are using email. At the end of your email if you do not have a signature set up, you will want to do that. And for those who have a signature set up, you want to add a line at the end of your signature which would provide a link to your blog, a link to your Wikipedia page, a link to your Facebook page, Twitter and LinkedIn so that with every email that you send to clients and prospects, they are provided with the information for them to click and be taken to those relevant pages. By all means put all these on your company brochure, on your website and on your business cards.
So that’s fairly simple and easy. Once you’ve got more than one social media page set up, what you want to do is do interlinking among them. So for example if you have a LinkedIn page, within your profile, you will have at least three links that you could promote. So use those places to promote your blog, your Twitter or your Facebook pages and when you interlink them, you also can set it up so that it gives you maximum efficiency. For example, if you have a Twitter page, you could set it up so that when you post something on Twitter it automatically gets posted on your LinkedIn page as well as your Facebook page.
And if you are on Facebook, use the suggest page to friends option so that you can begin to tell all your friends about the pages that you have set up on Facebook that speak about your company. Please allow me to backtrack. On Facebook, you can set up two types of pages: one is called a profile and this is what I refer to as pages that you should use for personal use for you to connect with your friends and family; then there’s another type of page that’s called a fan page. Fan pages are mostly used to promote a company, product or a service. To establish a fan page, you have to have created a profile page first. So if you have say 50 people as your friends on your profile page, you can suggest that they become fans on your corporate page.
If you have a page on Twitter, the best way to grow the popularity of your Twitter page is to follow people. How can you follow people? What you do is, you go to Twitter and do a search by using a term, perhaps divorce. So all the people who are on Twitter who have posted about divorce will show up and what you want to do is follow them. A lot of people have a protocol on Twitter which is when you follow them they will follow you back and that’s one quick way of increasing the numbers of followers to your Twitter page.
Our company also offers a service of re-tweeting. So if someone is following us, and a client of ours is posting on Twitter and we receive their posting we can re-tweet it so that the followers of our pages will be exposed to the posting of our client.
If you are using Twitter and you want to really focus on connections within your area, instead of searching divorce (say you are an attorney from New Jersey), you could put in divorce New Jersey. That way it narrows down the number of people that you want to follow and the number of people that will follow you.
When it comes to LinkedIn, we can’t say enough about having a good profile, a complete profile. The complete profile is something where you indicate your work history, what you do right now and why people would consider you and you provide some experience and qualifications. So when someone is looking you up, they can look at it and say okay this is someone who’s highly qualified. Perhaps I’m a divorce lawyer, looking for a financial planner who could help me with my divorce cases. If your profile page is incomplete or if it’s not well written, maybe I will pass you by and go to somebody else.
On LinkedIn, how you grow your connection is directly contact those people who are on LinkedIn and seeing if they would be interested in confirming and connecting with you or if you find someone who is linked to your friend but they don’t know you and you don’t know them directly, you can ask your friend to do an introduction. At times, people on LinkedIn may not agree to connect with you because they don’t know you but if a friend were to make an introduction, you’ve just made that connection.
Also once you have a LinkedIn page, make sure you search for relevant groups and join them. You could search for groups. There are a whole host of groups available. After you’ve joined the group, be sure to get active within the group. Post some discussions. The more interesting discussions you post, the more lively the interaction from other members will be. People know that they are doing LinkedIn for connections, so it’s completely okay to contact any of the people who are in the group with you by emailing them directly. I have received many emails from many people who belong to the group that I belong to and they would offer their services to me saying that they are from Virginia and they are a financial planner. That’s fine by me. At the same time, they also could become potential prospects for my own company.
Aside from joining groups, I would suggest that you start a group. I discussed this briefly before. Starting a group allows you the privileges that someone who’s just joining a group does not have. Also, when you start a group, you could be very, very specific as to what the topics is that you want the group to discuss. So for example, I have started a group called marketing for divorce professionals and since I started that group, I now have about 140 people in the group. I have emailed each one of those people to them and advised them of this seminar. So that’s one way that you can tell people about your services and promote what you have to offer.
The other is to start a discussion. This goes back to what I said about an interesting discussion. I raised the question about whether custody or access to children should be 50/50 between both parents as the starting point and since then there’s been a lot of postings from my members which provides a lot of different points of view and at the same time I have indicated to them that I would very much like them to vote online.
On my website there’s a poll for them to voice their opinion and because we also publish Divorce Magazine, some of that information we would be using as content for our website. So for those of you who are looking for content for your website, you can certainly do interesting discussions like this.
So again, for LinkedIn, for Twitter, for all these pages what we’re saying is once you’ve set them up, be active, post. On your blog, post something. If you’re not active, you’re really not using the social media to your advantage. If you cannot find the time, if you’re one of those people who just find that you’re very busy, find a way of posting. You could dictate it and let your assistant post it for you or you could simply assign it to someone that you trust, either within your company or outside of your company to do some posting for you. We do some postings for some of our clients because they trust us. What they do is they might have written up an article on a certain topic and what we can do is extract the information and do a blog post for them. It is still their opinion. It’s still what they have written except we have shortcut it for them in terms of the time required on their part. That’s about all that I’m going to say about promoting your social media pages.
We have just a few minutes left. I’m going to answer one question here. There’s a question about which social media platform should you start on if you don’t have any of these pages. I would highly recommend LinkedIn because that is a professional networking place on the internet. With LinkedIn you are bound to be connected with people who are in the divorce business. People on LinkedIn know to be professional and that’s all they do. Whereas with some of the pages, you may get a lot of postings that you have to sift through and if you’re busy that’s not something that you have time for.
Okay I think that our time is about up. Before I go I’d like to say thank you for attending our seminar. Next seminar is going to be March 17. Same time 2:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time and the topic will be about search engine optimization for websites. Before I go, I’d also like to tell you that if you are interested in receiving a transcript of today’s seminar, please send an email to email@example.com. Once again, thank you for joining. Hope to talk to you again next month. Bye-bye.