YouTube: A Mandatory Social Networking Opportunity for Lawyers
BY Kerrie Spencer STAFF CONTRIBUTOR
Your firm runs a high risk of missing out on the mobile wave of the future that carries with it trillions of potential clients if you are not using social media to get your message out.
Believe it or not, one form of social media will help potential clients get a feel for your firm instantly. Online videos have the ability for prospects to see your professionalism and understand your compassion for their legal needs. YouTube, the most popular video site, had a trillion hits in 2011, proving its popularity is on the rise and will be a critical site for your firm to broadcast on in the years to come. People connect with videos in a different way than static forms of a firm’s message and YouTube delivers a forum you cannot afford to ignore.
The main thing to keep in mind about YouTube is that will help with top of mind awareness. It is instant, carries a visual and visceral impact, can be replayed, shows who you are, shows your expertise and lets people get a sense of who you are. If you want people to hire you and your law firm, you want them to know who you are, not what they might presume about the firm from other marketing. Would you deal with a faceless entity that claims to have a good track record winning cases? Even if you have your picture on your website, you will want to have videos about the firm for people to see, hear and watch. It helps them connect with you in ways that would never happen if you only used a website to advertise your presence on the Internet.
If you are not comfortable with the idea of being a talking head, get someone else in your firm to do it for you, or have it done professionally. Having an identity that people recognize when contacting you or your law firm is worth far more than you realize; it’s one of the major routes to getting clients and being successful in your business. The trillion or so visitors that interact on YouTube is just the tip of the iceberg. Those figures are expected to jump exponentially for 2012. In fact, YouTube is predicting that 90 percent of all web traffic in 2012 will be video.
For those that are not big on grandiose predictions, or like to take news like that with a grain of salt, even if you estimate on the conservative side for the year, the numbers can only go up. This means your future clients are on YouTube right now, waiting to hear about your firm, what you champion, how you say it and how you present yourself. While video can be daunting for some, it is how you need to market for your future client base. People tend to forget a website, but they do not forget a video that can be replayed all the time.
This is not to say that you do not need your website, because this is still a necessary marketing tool and will remain so. With YouTube make sure your website link is included in the video. After seeing a video, nine out of ten people also check your website for a better sense of what your firm offers, where you are, what types of law you practice and pictures. Yes, even though you may be on YouTube, people still want to see more pictures on a firm’s website and see what else they can learn. Give viewers what they want and you will win clients.
It is also important to note that 75 percent of all new channels within the next ten years or so will be Internet channels. This is an opportunity to promote your firm like you have never seen before. With video you can control the message, outshine the competition, and increase your search engine optimization too.
On YouTube you can get social with connected sharing options. When a video is uploaded, it can also be linked to your Twitter and Facebook accounts. Through YouTube you can also change the size and resolution of videos and also view them in HD through the playback setup in the settings menu. To adjust resolution, hit the resolution count on the bottom right. And while you’re there, you might want to learn how to manage your history. This is important for a law firm that is regularly posting new videos. YouTube has a “my viewing history” section in the video manager. Just click on your username in the top right. The site also has keyboard shortcuts. When watching a video, click on it, then use the spacebar for the pause/play button. The left and right arrow keys act like a rewind and fast forward button, and the up and down keys control volume.
YouTube is the leading site for most people viewing online videos. Online video automatically grabs your attention, and research indicates listener’s brain patterns sync with the brain patterns of the speaker on the video, making it a real powerhouse delivery. Nothing can beat the powerful impact of a strong attorney conveying an issue that matters. Videos are social, personable, entertaining, informational and enduring. They are your investment in securing future clients in the mobile era.