Lawyers, Realtors and Other Professionals Should Consider Mobile Privacy and Security
Social media websites like Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest may have initially been reserved for leisurely users, but business people quickly realized their potential as marketing and promotional tools for businesses and companies to reach their target audience. Not only are corporations and retailers getting involved, but other professionals including lawyers and real estate agents are turning to social media to fuel their businesses.
"Clients used to just come in the door," Gregg Slapak, a real estate broker with Exit Realty in Wheaton, Illinois, told The Chicago Tribune. "Times have changed and you have to meet the change."
Slapak and other realtors used to rely on printed booklets and word-of-mouth to bring customers in, but now most of their business starts online. Many realty companies reach new clients through Twitter and other social media postings and business is often conducted through email, phone calls and text messages, according to the news source. While this is proving to be an effective business strategy, realtors may want to take precautions when interacting with their clients, especially through phone calls and text messages. Sharing a personal number with customers opens a realtor up to the possibility of hacking. A thief could use the phone number to gain access to a realtor's personal information, contacts and photos.
Realtors aren't the only ones who are utilizing social media to find clients, as lawyers and other professionals are going online to advertise their services. It's easy to see why, as Facebook alone has more than 485 million members who log on every day, many of whom access the service through their mobile phones, Socialable.com reports. Many lawyers have turned to blogging to get their message out to potential clients, and Facebook and Twitter are the perfect mediums to bring their blog content to a larger audience. Blogging also allows lawyers to showcase their legal expertise.
Adrian Dayton, an attorney, author and social media strategist, has been blogging for more than three years, according to Mashable. His efforts to reach an online audience have brought in clients, including one worth six figures, proving the effectiveness of the strategy.
If you're thinking of putting your business online to get better interactions, you're not alone. The Washington Post reports that approximately 40 percent of law firms acquired new clients due to blogging and other social media efforts, and 20 percent have hired social media specialists. However, putting contact information such as an email address and a phone number on a public blog can present risks.
If you conduct a lot of business on your cell phone, you may want to consider a second mobile number. This allows you to have a number to use specifically for business. Unlike the primary number, a second number is not linked to any personal information, which means anyone who attempts to hack the number will only find a dead end. A secondary number also offers another distinct advantage. It can be programmed to block calls during certain times. This means family dinners, important meetings and other events where you wouldn't want to be disturbed by a work-related call will go on uninterrupted, which loved ones will be thankful for.
Having a second phone number and taking other security measures can help prevent cell phone security issues for those of us who are working to integrate social media into our marketing strategies to fuel business. When the proper steps are taken, online campaigns can be extremely effective without the risk of disrupting professionals' business and personal lives.