If you are a law firm business owner, this is for you.
For the love of everyone’s sanity and out of respect for your own time, please stop friending folks on Facebook or Instagram just to shamelessly hawk your wares. Yes, that flies on LinkedIn but it does not on other social media platforms that were designed to nurture community, not your latest business venture. Why? Because people login to Facebook to check out, to tune into friends, to build connections, and to watch cat videos (or whatever is trending)—not to field unsolicited pitches on products they may or may not be interested in.
This is not to say you cannot use social media to further your business. You can and you should; you just cannot use it in the careless way so many people do. Let me provide a few examples of how not to use Facebook and other, related platforms that I have experienced in just the past 24 hours.
- Earlier today I got a friend request of Jane Doesntgetit (not her real name but might as well be) saying, “I love you [sic] enthusiasm and bright energy and just had to share this awesome new [product redacted].” Immediately afterward I was invited to a join a group in which I was not the least bit interested. In spite of my better judgement, I replied to the message politely saying thanks but no thanks and received no response.
- Minutes after receiving Doesntgetit’s message I was tagged in an unrelated post alongside 50+ other people pitching me on “a legitimate work-from-home opportunity that pays up to $150k a year.” I had never once had a conversation with the person behind the post and promptly untagged myself and deleted the “friend.”
- Exhausted by Facebook, I wandered over to Instagram where I had two “follow” requests from total strangers, one a self-proclaimed marketing genius I had never heard of and another from a retreat center in Europe (which may have piqued my interest when travel was a thing but in present circumstances was outright laughable). Of course, the implicit ask was that I follow them in return and maybe one day buy their product. I didn’t and I rejected their requests.
Look, I’m a business owner, too, and I understand. You’re just trying to boost your enterprise and make an impression. But here’s the thing: nobody wants to be marketed to in these ways. They are the modern-day equivalent of that vacuum cleaner sales person who forces their way into your living room and dumps dirt on your carpet.
Instead, you need to come to these powerful marketing platforms with a strategy. This means identifying your audience, building relationships and engagement, posting at optimal times with optimal hashtags, providing value, and auditing your presence (among a range of other tactics). Build your know, like and trust factor in the social space. People want to know you before they hire you. You can build an effective strategy for that. Getting into the details is beyond the present article but if you’d like to learn more about how to properly use social media to cut through the noise and land authentically, send me an email at email@example.com to schedule a Zoom.