Think social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are just vehicles for teenagers and college kids to share gossip and post videos of their latest reckless stunts? Think again.
Even though it’s still in its infancy, social media is proving to be a powerful tool in the adult world. The Arab Spring uprisings were fueled by Twitter and YouTube. Closer to home, social media is affecting the legislative process, not to mention the way businesses relate to their customers.
If you’re not making full use of social media in your practice, you could be alienating your clients and your community. Here are three social media myths you might have bought into, along with the truth you need to know.
- My Clients Don’t Use Social Media. The truth is, more than half of all social media users are over age 30, and many are significantly older. The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project found that, between 2009 and 2010, social media usage by 55- to 65-year-olds increased by 88 percent. And usage among adults over age 65 doubled. Your clients and prospective clients do use social media, and more of them are logging on every day.
- Social Media is Unprofessional, Not to Mention a Waste of Time. No social media site, in and of itself, is inherently professional or unprofessional. Social media is simply a means of communication. It’s what you and your staff do with a Facebook page, a Twitter account, or a LinkedIn profile that can make it a valuable tool for showcasing your firm’s professionalism, unique personality, and value to the community. And while you may view social media as kids’ stuff, your clients likely do not. The tide is turning, and people are beginning to look online to verify the legitimacy of the businesses they deal with. Before long, the lackof an online presence might make you appear unprofessional to a prospective client.
- What’s the Point? Keeping Up With the Options is Too Hard, Anyway. If you try to maintain a presence on every new site that crops up, you’ll spread yourself too thin and fail to accomplish anything. The point is not to jump on every new social media fad the moment it comes out. There are a few tried and true sites. I’ve already mentioned them.
Establish a presence there, and start building relationships with your current clients, as well as with prospective clients. This means offering useful, meaningful content and soliciting feedback. In other words, have a conversation. Your online presence can’t be static or stagnant.
That’s the point of social media – building relationships.
President and Co-Founder
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
9444 Balboa Avenue, Suite 300
San Diego, California 92123
Phone: (800) 846-1555