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Social Media: When Lawyers Should Do Everything

This post is a follow-on to yesterday’s coverage of the Hubspot webinar: The Science of Timing:  When to do everything.

As we discussed in a previous post, Hubspot spoke to 22,000 entrepreneurial business types with an avid interest in making money on the web through email campaigns, blogs and internet advertising this past Tuesday.  It’s safe to say that there weren’t a lot of lawyers or law firms on the call.  However, most all of the research they discussed hold true in both a B2C and a B2B environment:  savvy lawyers and their marketers would do well to apply this research to their own on-line communications.

Here’s what I heard that can be immediately be applied by lawyers and law firms.

1. The work week is 24/7 for B2B – and the weekends and early mornings may be an unexplored goldmine for communications.

Let’s look at Facebook, that stepchild of legal social networking.  While many AMLAW 200  law firms (i.e. business firms) discourage the professional use of Facebook, lawyers who engage in “retail’ practices of law such as Family law, Bankruptcy and Trusts and Estates should be taking advantage of Facebook – and they should be posting on the weekends, specifically Saturday and Sunday between 10 am and noon.  That’s when Facebook shares are highest, indicating that people are engaged, focused and are inclined to pay attention at that time.  We all know that Facebook can be time consuming and crowded, so why not advertise at the peak time?

Email stats also reveal high weekend traffic.  Open and click-through rates are highest on weekends, and email opens are highest in the very early morning – we’re talking 6 and 7 am.  This means that it is worth testing your firm newsletters and alerts to be sent at 5 am Saturday morning, something that initially sounds counter-intuitive.  I say “test” because I can hardly believe things have changed so drastically in 5 years.  In 2006, Tuesday mornings at 10:30 am had the highest open rates, but Hubspot’s stats seem very solid.

2.  Subscribers are feeling the love most in the beginning:  get’em while they’re hot.

It might also be time for law firms to learn something from email marketers and bloggers.  Hubspot showed numerous slides illustrating how much more responsive new subscribers are (think exponentially), as opposed to aging subscribers.  In the first 4 days of signing up for your blog, enewsletter or information service, subscribers are at their most responsive to your offers.  What does this mean for law firms?  We don’t gift with purchase, right?

Look at it this way – a potential client signs up on your website to receive the firm’s weekly Capital Hill Energy Update. You could thank that subscriber through an automatically generated email that also offers them a free analysis of the upcoming session’s legislative agenda for Green Energy issues.  Because they are in the honeymoon “responsiveness” stage, they will click through and have the free analysis sent to them.  By sharing more of your expertise and increasing the potential client’s understanding of your knowledge, you have taken another step toward creating a relationship with that potential client.

3.  Figure out what you blogging goals are, then time your posts accordingly.

Few dispute how critical blogs are for lawyers and law firms to promote their expertise.  Given the time and effort required to maintain a blog, you want to go about it in the smartest and most efficient way.  Hubspot gives us some guidelines – and enough more information to make it clear that having defined goals for your blog is critical.

Not surprisingly, peak blog viewing time is Monday, mid-morning.  If you are looking for the most eyeballs, that’s when to post your fresh content.

However, if you are really jonesing for comments – and for many bloggers, knowing that they are sparking conversation is the ultimate measure of success – then put up a post Saturday and Sunday morning between 6 and 9 am.  Hubspot research shows that this is peak comment posting time – presumably because people have more time to read, think and respond.

If however you most want to be cited (and backlinked to) by other bloggers, any day of the week in the very early in the morning is when linking activity is highest.  This makes sense when you think of it – bloggers are up early, posting before they begin their work day.  They are out trolling the internet looking for something interesting or relevant to talk about and respond to.  You can be at the top of their Reader by scheduling your post to show up at 5 or 6 am.

Hubspot’s last tidbit was probably greeted with a dispirited expression by all of the bloggers in the crowd:  the most posts, the more unique views and links, period.  If you want to really excel, post more than once a day.  That’s what I call a high bar.

I’m interested to test out Hubspot’s research.

What about you — have you tried weekend posting or distribution of firm materials yet?  If so – what did you find?