Social Media and Professional Services


Lately there has been in influx of lawyers, CPAs and physicians into the social media arena. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. are now being used by these professionals in an attempt to connect with each other and potential clients. I say attempt because their intentions are good, but their execution leaves much to be desired.   Why Blog

Professionals in these fields are not marketers, nor are they the ‘average Joe’ on the street. What they have to offer is expertise and insight. It’s a shame their tweets and status updates don’t reflect this expertise.

Example: An attorney starts a Facebook Fan Page, but can’t figure out why clients aren’t lining up to follow it.  Or this: a client begins to receive Twitter messages from their physician, about things that have nothing to do with health.  This is just plain silly, and somewhat off-putting to the clients and patients.

There is no better way for a lawyer, accountant, or physician to demonstrate their expertise, establish themselves as a thought leader, and get new clients by word of mouth than through a blog. The blog also offers the highest ROI for online marketing for professional services.

Why? Because the blog offers the professional an opportunity educate their reader/client/potential client. Insights about Small Business Law with an occasional opinion thrown in can escalate an attorney from #15 in a firm of 30, to #1 because he/she is the only one connecting with that market. A post about the latest diagnostic technology being used successfully by a local physician will guarantee a response from potential patients with the symptoms described in the post.

My recommendation to these professionals is to not put the cart before the horse. If you want to use Twitter, at least have a good blog post to tweet about. If you want to use Facebook, at least have a good blog to send your Fans to. And, if you’re going to use LinkedIn, then a blog will enhance your professional standing within that business community.

Charlene Burke

Owner, Search by Burke: providing online marketing expertise to small and medium-sized businesses to make sure their websites become an extension of their sales force, working hard to attract visitors and convert them to customers. Customers are looking for your product or service online, we make sure they find you. Our focus is connecting searchers with your website and converting visitors into sales leads. Owner, Burke Research Services: working with a network of information professionals, providing primary and secondary research to the business community, i.e. market research, technical research, sales lead generation, surveying, etc. We sweat the details so you don't have to. 

  5 comments for “Social Media and Professional Services

  1. December 25, 2009 at 7:24 pm

    I second the recommendation that these professionals find a way to become Thought Leaders and Influencers through blogging.

    But I also have other suggestions for them, which I listed in my own favorite article to date: Ten Mistakes Made by Social Media Newbies.

    One of the key strategies is to “Lurk” and “Listen” for awhile, so they can study protocols and strategies.

    Because I’m still learning all about How To Do Social Media Marketing, and I’ve been at it pretty much 24/7 for most of this year, it’s easy for me to recognize how difficult it is to get to a place where you “Know Everything.” Hmmm– My prediction for 2010: More and More people will realize Knowing Everything is, of course, impossible, but “Learning the Ropes” is possible and ought to be done.

  2. Nils Montan
    December 26, 2009 at 10:28 am

    Thanks Charlene, very good point. Without a good blog, and I would underline good here, I am not sure what all the twittering is directing the potential clients to?

  3. December 26, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    @Shari – you’re absolutely correct that ‘lurking’ and ‘listening’ on social media channels is a very good way to get tuned into the marketplace. Without being tuned in, no professional can be the thought leader.

    @Nils – my thoughts exactly. If the tweets are not directing someone to do something, go somewhere, act on a request…then what good is the tweet? Thanks for your response.

  4. December 27, 2009 at 5:22 am

    I’m a huge fan of blogs for service professionals, but here’s a reality check — most cannot write or maintain the consistency. And, I agree, professionals should consider blogs before Tweets or Facebook. See my Dec. 20 post on Facing off Against Facebook.
    http://www.thebloggersbulletin.org/2009/12/20/facing-off-facebook/

    Similar to firm marketing, professionals look to ad agencies, social media pros and freelancers to help them with copy. The best firms hire staff, frequently trained professionals in the field who would prefer to market lawyers rather than go to court and argue a case. But, most, aren’t yet willing to make the financial commitment for non-billable time staff.

    I love blogs for professionals, and there are ways to approach it correctly. This is a great topic for future exploration.

  5. December 27, 2009 at 7:00 am

    @Rhona: So glad you referred to your post Facing off Facebook. I recall reading it and having it begin my process of thinking about professionals and their inability to use online marketing efforts effectively. And your reference to the reality check is appropriate – it is why I offer blogging services as part of a full-service online marketing agency. As for future exploration of the topic, I look forward to reading your posts and gaining inspiration for additional posts. Thanks!

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