Should lawyers consider other social media alternatives outside of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn?
We're all familiar with the big three of social networks being, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. However, the internet is a big place and there are other social media platforms which exist, and we'll assess whether the alternatives offers any advantages for lawyers wishing to market their practice.
It's not often that Google can be considered as the underdog, however, they most certainly are in this instance. It may actually come as a surprise to some that Google actually has a social media platform, but yes, they do, and it's rather elegant.
So what's the deal with Google+? Well, for anyone who is unfamiliar with the platform, it's a combination of Facebook, Twitter, with a bit of Pinterest thrown into the mix. Google+ perhaps most resembles Facebook in its 'feel', however, it also makes use of hashtags, along with highlighting topics that are popular on Google+ - two hallmarks of Twitter.
However, the most pertinent question is: How useful is Google+ as a marketing tool? Well, quite useful as a matter of fact, because a presence on Google+ can potentially mean a better search ranking. Therefore, the marketing potential can be tremendous for lawyers.
Now, you may not exactly agree with YouTube being a social media platform but allow us to explain why we believe that it is a social network.
Yes, YouTube may be all about videos, but let's take into consideration that the site attracts over 800 million unique visitors per month, and over four billion hours of video is consumed globally, making the potential reach of YouTube staggering.
What makes YouTube social is that comments can be left in relation to any videos you may post. Furthermore, if you do start a YouTube account, people may also subscribe to your space, ensuring that you can consistently reach potential clients if you post videos of value regularly.
Lawyers can use YouTube to their advantage as a lead generating tool by talking about the latest legal developments, or answering common legal questions that may be of interest to the public. By having a presence on YouTube, potential clients can put a friendly face to the legal practitioner who may best represent their needs.
Tumblr has certainly been making a splash in the news and business pages of late, and why not? It's arguably the most exciting social media platform right now, and with a young, hip demographic, the user-base of Tumblr is a marketing department's dream come true. Primarily concerned with animated GIFs and photos, Tumblr, as a marketing tool for lawyers may be limited. Also, many memes start off at Tumblr, so some legal practitioners may understandably be reluctant to engage with the platform.
Similar to Tumblr, Pinterest is a highly visual social media space and for retailers, Pinterest is extremely valuable, but what about lawyers? Well, it's difficult to envision users of Pinterest utilising the platform to search for a lawyer. However, the space may be good for posting visual content such as interesting infographics for example, but beware, the space can also bring about a number of IP issues, and for lawyers who are concerned about their intellectual property being repurposed without their permission, Pinterest may not be their cup of tea.
Social media is certainly exciting and there are number of substantial benefits for lawyers who are able to take advantage of the tools at their disposal. Some of the most thrilling social media developments are happening outside of the 'big three', however, platforms such as Tumblr have a completely different feel to say, LinkedIn. So having a presence may not be very effective. However, if your firm can successfully leverage some of the other platforms, you'll most certainly be ahead of the curve.