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You can use social media for internal marketing? Yes you can, and for more than just advertising jobs between departments. Social media technology is rapidly firing everything we do on the net, it’s making emails redundant as more and more companies switch to the more reactive and multi platform nature of social media, which can take actions made by anyone in your network and translate them into notifications and updates across a wide variety of devices.
Social media starts with one person – you – and spreads out from there. Internal marketing, the act of making your brand message coherent across all your departments and employees, is started by you too. As head of your law firm, it is your job to drive the company’s message – and the way you do that is by interacting individually with every lawyer and every staff member in your company.
Every person employed in your law firm is an expert, in one way or another. And social media technology loves experts. Use that expertise to inform your whole company. Rather than having your firm, as a faceless entity, give out dispensations on a particular legal question or a case, use social media technology to connect the information seeker (usually a potential client or referrer) with the expert.
You can do this proactively, by encouraging the individual lawyers within your firm to blog and Tweet about their areas of expertise. The followings they accrue become by default followings for your whole firm.
Some people don’t yet see the point of Tweeting or of building company and employee pages on LinkedIn. These are presumeably the same people who didn’t see the point, 10 years ago, in attending networking events or exchanging business cards whenever you met a potentially beneficial contact or ally.
The future is simple because it is basically the past, cast in a new digital light. In the old days we all networked and relied on word of mouth recommendations to get new business. These days we network online, and rely on digital word of mouth to get new business. In the old days lawyers came with a network of existing personal contacts, which they had built by dint of hard work and creating a reputation for themselves. They still do – only now that network can be visualised within social media spheres, with all of those contacts specifically linked to your company because the lawyer they are attached to now works for you.
In the 21st century, it’s time to destroy the idea of the law firm as a faceless entity – and resurrect the old idea of a law firm as a collection of legal experts working individually out of the same offices, to provide a comprehensive, respectable and trustworthy service to clients. Use social media technology to free the individuality in your lawyers and your firm becomes more than only a whole – it becomes the sum of all its parts again too.