I am working on some materials with Gina Rubel for a CLE seminar on ethics, advertising and Social Media. As I looked through what she had written I came across an interesting video which I will embed here. It explains well the use of Social Media and Word of Mouth advertising.
Let me give you a real world example that just happened to me to show you how it works.
I Need a Vacuum
About a year ago I needed a new vacuum. I wandered into a store uncertain what I wanted to buy. I came across a variety of vacuums and started looking them up on the Web. In the end, based on what I found, I made my choice. As it turned out, I made a good choice.
Someone Else Needs a Vacuum
Monday I went into the store to buy something else and saw a woman pacing back and forth in the vacuum aisle. She looked puzzled. I said to her, “you look puzzled.” She responded, “Too many choices, I don’t know what to buy.” I pointed out the one I had purchased and said, “this one is great, I have a dog that sheds a lot and it works for me.” She responded with some concerns about its size and a few other issues. I responded and then went on my merry way. A few minutes later as I was leaving the store I saw the woman and her husband with the vacuum I had suggested in her cart.
How Did I Pick my Vacuum?
So let’s look at what happened. First, I found the vacuum by looking at reviews with my smart phone while I was in the store. This is a common method of shopping. It is not at all uncommon to see people looking things up online while they shop. There are even apps that will help you do this, such as Google Goggles, take a picture and the app looks the item up for you. Next, because I was so pleased with my vacuum, I recommended it to a complete stranger who in turn purchased it.
How Does it Work?
Had information about the vacuum not been available online, I probably would have left the store without one, gone home, logged on to the Web and done my research there.
A combination of online information and word of mouth sold not just one but two vacuums.
Why Does it Apply To You?
Now I know you aren’t a vacuum. Actually you are a much more expensive, important and difficult decision. If you aren’t online, if people can’t find you when they are “shopping” for an attorney, how will they hire you?
When people need a lawyer they are often in a panic. Did they get pulled over and get a ticket? Did they get a DUI? Did they get hurt at work? How will they find you quickly.
If you have an application on a smart phone that offers them advice, you can easily be the first person they call. If not, but you have a Facebook Page, Twitter Account, Website and Blog, along with an Avvo Account showing you are a-ok, you will certainly be on the top of the list.
Be available. Be the “blank.”
Did I Have a Successful Shopping Trip?
By the way, I didn’t buy what I was seeking that day (a bluetooth headset.) the store I was in didn’t have any choices with good search results and reviews. I went home and ordered what I wanted on Amazon. The store? It sold a vacuum, but not a headset.