Three Ways to Outsmart the Competition with Social Media

Stephen Fairley, Rainmaker Institue, law firm marketing, legal marketingMy friend Stephen Fairley has some great advice about beating the competition in his Rainmaker Blog. In case your missed it, I've excerpted it here:

By nature, attorneys are a competitive bunch, but very few know how to turn that competitive nature into a legal marketing advantage. This is especially important for small law firms and solo practitioners, who rarely have the resources to out-market the big law firms. 

So if you can’t out-market them, try out-smarting the competition by using social media tools to gain insight into what your competitors are doing and if it is resonating with your target market.

Here are some tips on using social media tools for competitive intelligence:

Find their social media footprint. Go to each competitor’s website and look for links to their social media pages – usually it’s an icon that you can click on that will take you directly to their LinkedIn and Facebook pages, Twitter feed, etc. If it is not displayed on their website, you can search for them on each social media site.

Using LinkedIn. If your competitors have a company page on LinkedIn, you can see a list of their followers (kind of like an online client list). You can also scour information on employees and the activities they are engaged in on LinkedIn, which will give you some insight into how they are marketing themselves on this business site. This is also a great way to gather data on a company you may want to pitch. And it goes without saying (but I’ll say it) that you should be following all your clients on LinkedIn as well.

Using Facebook. You may have to become a fan of your competitor’s page to see everything they are doing. It’s worth it to get inside their Facebook marketing strategy! You can find out how (or if) they are using Facebook to generate leads and how their fans are reacting to what they are doing.

Using Twitter. You can view your competitors’ tweets to learn what kind of strategy they are using and judge its success by the number of followers they have. You can also view all those followers and get information on them through their short bios. One Twitter management tool – Tweepi – allows you to see follower details on one screen. Be sure to search on Twitter by username so you can see replies to your competitors’ tweets, which can provide some valuable information on the feedback they’re getting. You can also research what content on a website gets the most retweets – a good sign it’s something that their followers like that you may want to consider emulating.

Using social media for competitive intelligence gathering not only helps you learn about what your competitors’ law firm marketing strategies are and how they are working, but also lets you identify areas they may be missing – areas you can successfully target with your law firm marketing.



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