What is viral marketing, and can I use it to promote my law firm?

You’ve probably heard of “viral videos”: short video clips that spread through the Internet via YouTube or other sharing sites. Viral marketing works basically the same way: people voluntarily share your marketing materials (such as your articles, videos, or website) from person-to-person. This is considered the brass ring of marketing: people are spreading your message without your lifting a finger or spending any additional money.

Here are a few ways you can facilitate viral marketing for your law firm:

  • Sharing widgets. Every post and page of your website should have a button to “share” the story with others with only one click. The easier it is to promote an item, the likelier it is your readers will do so. Most of these widgets also have running tabulators, telling readers how trusted you are as a source.
  • Encourage “likes.” You should already have a Facebook page for your business, and you must also encourage interaction. Post a link to a controversial blog post or news item, and encourage people to comment. Counting your “likes” will help you track the popularity of the post.
  • Email it. Even those readers who are not on any social media sites will have email addresses. Catering to them is as easy as having a “send by email” button on your pages, with the added bonus that emails are easily forwarded (and accounts are usually checked several times per day).

You should keep in mind that it’s not enough to present the option of sharing; people won’t forward your materials to their friends unless they want to. An overt advertisement is unlikely to get passed on, but a current news story, local event information, a funny quote or a cute picture will circle the Internet several times. In order for you to be shared, you have to stay interesting.

Ben Glass
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Ben is a nationally recognized expert in attorney marketing and the owner of Great Legal Marketing.