I’ve read countless posts regarding Google+ and I’ve not posted any commentary yet because I didn’t have anything new to add. After four weeks of dipping my toes in, I thought I’d add my two pennies worth. It has great promise for being a tool for creating dialogue and improving engagement. It is ’more personal than LinkedIn’ and has the potential to be ‘more content and context than Twitter’. One thing that may become a bug bear for many is managing your circles (some have cited circle fatigue already) and managing all the content and deciding what is important for you. Some simple tips would be to keep circles to a minimum and think about muting threads.
In my previous posts about social media I’ve not really touched on the most important aspect of social media tools, engagement, and in this case specifically client engagement. This is where G+ gets a potential A+ for law firms. Potential only because it’s too early to really tell, but the promise is there. The ability to share content and information to one, some or all of your circles is key. You aren’t just broadcasting a message to all your connections (like Facebook) you can target your content to certain groups. Please note though that content shared by the author could be limited to a specific circle but that doesn’t prevent someone else sharing that content outside of it’s initial intended group.
As for the volume of potential engagement I was intrigued by reading some stats early in the life of Google+ that established social media users where getting X 125 more engagement and comments through G+ over Facebook. Needless to say it won’t be for everyone or every firm immeadiately. In the same way other social media isn’t though I expect to to change rapidly over the next couple of years.
However on the potential for client engagement stakes alone it’s easy to see how with a some strategic planning (very important) it could fit in to a law firms marketing plan.
- It’s a free channel with potential exposure to millions
- Ability to create target lists and content direct to only those individuals
- The ability to share content (in context) in messages beyond 140 characters
- Done well it could easily be an extension of your firms website
- Googles SEO means that the content is indexed and searchable
This of course will only be possible when Google introduces business pages. They have a number of beta pages like Ford‘s, and you can see how a law firm can create and manage an extra channel for their content. Perhaps in time it for some firms it could be their only channel for content?
What does this mean for you the lawyer or legal professional. If you are into social media then get yourself a personal account, and have a play. I was in early (ish) and am still finding my feet but it’s good to get in early. If you’ve got a blog post content to Google+ and see what happens, you might establish a larger readership. If social media isn’t your thing (you’re probably not reading this if it isn’t) but in case you are then there will be plenty of time to have a play once the dust settles. As don’t forget Google+ is still in beta (despite its 18 million users) and will evolve.
There is of course a ready made Google+ with company pages is already out there in the form of DeferoLaw, but I don’t think Rich even expects to compete with Google..!
Please note this is my first post about legal and law firm marketing so please forgive me, as I may be way off the mark - I’m not a legal marketeer (is this a word?) and therefore no real expert.