Integrating social media in your offering – 3 great examples professional services firms can learn from

by Kirsten Hodgson

It’s essential to keep an open mind, and to be willing–better yet, eager–to try new things - Michael Abrash

In the last week I’ve seen three examples of professionals and professional / financial services firms doing things  differently. Not simply to be different, but because they’ve come up with a smart idea.

Example 1: 140#ukemplaw tips in 140 characters

David Morgan at Burness Paull in Scotland has been tweeting employment law tips since 16 June 2011.

Burness Paull’s employment law marketing strategy is ‘first to market with legal developments’ and to communicate these in an easily digestible, need to know way.

David decided, in an attempt to engage others, to put out his own tweets using a new hashtag #EmploymentLawTip and to combine this with the well-used #ukemplaw hashtag. He set about tweeting numbered employment law tips. He tweeted his 100th tip in May 2012.

He put together a publication 100 #ukemplawtips in 140 characters shortly thereafter.

The original publication struck a chord with many HR practitioners and employment lawyers alike. As a result David’s continued to post tips on Twitter and has just released the second edition of his book.

This contains some great tips that would prompt HR managers to take action and seek further info if needed. It also demonstrates David’s understanding of social media – I imagine that’s important for an HR lawyer – and gives readers a flavour of who he is. He comes across as approachable, and slightly self-effacing, someone you could easily pick up the phone to if you had an employment law issue.

This is a great way of adapting your offering to social media and of re-purposing tweets.

Example 2: Ray White social platform site: by the people, for the people

Thanks to Joel Barolsky for alerting me to this one...

Ray White, the real estate company, has set up a platform in Australia designed to be the ultimate site for property hunters. It lets people choose the community they want to live in based on the feedback and experience of others. Content is generated by those who live/work or have lived/worked in a suburb. It’s designed to make the house-hunting process easier and more streamlined.

This feature, called Ray White Neighbourhood Knowhow’ is on the company’s website, under the ‘Community’ tab.

According to an article on marketingmag.com.au:

“users can also rate, review and rank their community much in the same manner of a tripadvisor.com type set up. And it’s no surprise, because The Ray White Group has signed an Australian partnership with streetadvisor.com to create the social platform.

“…the new features will give users a sense of community-orientated feel with “Unedited commentary help [ing] you choose your ultimate community based on the experience of others.”

A quick look at the platform revealed lots of information about suburbs and streets (which have been rated) to answers to ‘the best pizzas in a suburb’ to the ‘best coffee in Melbourne.’ It’s local nature and helpful info means people are likely to return. And that’s got to be good for the Ray White brand.

Here’s hoping they roll it out in New Zealand!

Example 3: Interactive infographics: travel guides by HCC Medical Insurance Services

Thanks to Tony Vidler for sharing this one…

HCC Medical Insurance Services have created a series of interactive travel guides designed to answer travellers common questions and to have a bit of fun.

They range from:

  • travel tips for business travellers, where people can select if they are ‘novice’, ‘intermediate’ or ‘expert’ travellers. They then see handy hints and can link to a range of apps to help them work while travelling, to assist with check-in or just to make them laugh,
  • a tool that tells you the full international exit and entry code you have to dial to call anywhere in the world, 
  • tips and info on US visas, 
  • through to Explorer Travel – an extreme guide to the world (I quite like the bucket list on this one). 
Relevant blog posts are then set out below each infographic. According to a post on the Marketing Sherpa blog, the Explorer Travel infographic generated 3.9 million views and “significant lifts in email revenue (up 96%)”
I love that they’ve gone beyond a static infographic and have injected some humour into these while still ensuring their usefulness.
There you have it. 3 great ideas that those in professional services can learn from.
What do you think of these examples? 
What other good examples have you come across? 

 

 

Specialising in professional services and law firm marketing. I help firms to retain and grow existing clients and attract more of their ideal clients. My core services include social media for lead generation, voice of the client programmes and tender strategy and development. Outside of work I love to run. I’m a bit like Forest Gump in that I’m not that quick but can keep going for ages. I also enjoy coming up with new inventions. Unfortunately, most of them have already been invented! | * Professional services marketing consultant | * Legal marketing consultant | * Law firm marketing consultant