Coordinated Attack

Implementing a social networking strategy for business development requires coordinating the management of several applications with the ultimate goal of funneling interested prospects into the sales pipeline. Most attorneys and firms abhor the terminology of “sales pipeline,” but that’s what business development is all about. You want to create a relationship with your audience and ultimately connect with those in need of your services to generate new clients and matters.


All of the basic social networking tools have strengths and weaknesses, mostly weaknesses, when it comes to business development. That’s because they were not developed to be specifically a business tool, they are social networking tools. The strongest application for generating leads is your blog. A blog is your soapbox. It’s the medium where you can stand and espouse your opinion and demonstrate you skills and expertise. This is the electronic equivalent to a face-to-face meeting without actually meeting, or the phone call with out the phone. The blog is the centerpiece of your social networking strategy.


The other tools are your feeder applications. There purpose is to create a web of contacts that you can reach out to when you have something important to say in your blog. After all, you are not going to convert any one with a short Twitter tweet or a Facebook super poke. But you can get their attention with these applications and then point them to your blog where you  have the space to write with more detail. (These other applications, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, also have other marketing type functions that I will cover in later posts.)


The final component in your social networking strategy is your firm’s website. A blog by design is not a comprehensive white paper or treatise on a subject, rather it’s more akin to a conversation, an introduction of your opinion or understanding. The advantage is that your reader gets a chance to know you, your personality and style. By contrast, the content on the firm’s website is more detailed and extensive. You cite and reference documents, videos and events within your blog to support you theme. If the topic and your presentation of it interests your readers who are at this point anonymous to you, they will follow the links to delve deeper. Here they can learn more about the issue you introduced, become acquainted with the firm and its totally offering of services. It is also at this point where they may sign up for newsletters, alerts and event invitations and enter into your marketing department’s database system. The firm’s marketing communications keep them abreast of the breadth and depth of services, and their continued monitoring of your blog provides them with a personal contact. At some point your blog reader may reach out to you directly.


At some point in this process the reader is likely to have reached out to you via a direct message.  It’s important to enter these contacts into your CRM so you have a mechanism to track your contacts and journalize the conversations. Prior to this point you were communicating with an anonymous audience. Now you are in a position to develop a more personal 1-to-1 conversion with your prospects.


Using the new social networking applications to easily promote yourself and your capabilities is a great idea. But it’s equally important to do so with a strategy in place that maximizes your effort with an end goal to capture leads and feed them into your sales pipeline.


Next Post in the series: Define your Community

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