After previously outlining some of the more common social media dangers for lawyers, we are now focusing on how you can market your practice by getting started on the top social media networking platforms.
When handled properly, social media can be a valuable tool to promote your firm’s brand, raise your public profile, grow your professional network, and amplify your subject matter expertise to your connections and beyond.
If you are new to social media, here are some of the basics:
The most obvious social media platform for business networking is LinkedIn, which provides your digital résumé to millions of potential business connections. A recent survey by the PR firm Greentarget found that a majority of general counsel consider LinkedIn a credible source of industry information and use it frequently to vet potential hires.
LinkedIn clearly and easily guides new users through the profile development process, which our team recommends for anyone who is new to the website. To get the most benefit from your presence on LinkedIn, it is crucial to input and update information about yourself and your practice on a regular basis. Doing so will help elevate your profile among other lawyers and potential referral sources.
In addition to an individual professional profile, we also recommend establishing a LinkedIn company page spotlighting your entire firm. A company page will also enable you to create sponsored content that can be used to target other LinkedIn members who are most likely to hire you personally or refer you new work.
While legal marketing professionals normally caution against putting your professional persona on Facebook, we advocate setting up a professional page for your firm. Facebook Business is a great way to develop and leverage a profile dedicated specifically to your firm or solo practice. Establishing an account is simple, as Facebook’s company page builder guides you through each step of the process.
Like a LinkedIn company page, a Facebook business account gives you access to the tremendous advertising potential of the world’s largest social network. Not only can business owners develop and deploy advertising with Facebook Business, but the site’s analysis and reporting tools can also help interpret advertising performance to further improve your marketing efforts.
Even though there are no dedicated business pages in the Twitterverse, it’s still advisable to set up a Twitter account that speaks on behalf of your firm, as opposed to you as an individual. This way, you can prevent any confusion between the personal you and the professional you among your potential clients and referral sources.
Setting up a Twitter account is easy – simply select a handle (e.g. @MuseCommLLC), enter the name of your business, upload a profile and cover photo, and start tweeting.
After exploring the basics of the Twitter platform, you should select other Twitter accounts to follow. Some of the go-to Twitter accounts for attorneys include state and local bar associations, legal publications, district attorneys’ offices, and competing law firms, among others.
It is also recommended that you follow current and potential referral sources on Twitter, as well as your clients and potential clients. Remember that you can boost engagement with your Twitter account by retweeting or sending @mentions to interesting accounts.
While blogging isn’t considered social media among purists, it does merit consideration as an effective way to easily craft your message, start an online conversation, and ultimately reinforce your authority in your area of practice, which can lead to new clients.
The best blog posts are those that are updated regularly and consistently. If you decide to post on the second week of every month, stick with that schedule. Blogs should also provide timely and relevant content, which can lead to engaging and potentially profitable interactions with readers.
When getting your blog started, try to have at least three posts already prepared and ready to upload. That will allow you to overcome any unexpected scheduling snags without skipping a beat or potentially losing momentum or readers. Plus, once those posts are ready, you can begin publicizing your knowledge on social media and driving traffic to your site.
The consensus is that social media can turn anyone into a marketer, which is good news for small or solo firms looking working under a tight budget. However, there are various nuances to social networking that take time, patience and testing. As with any marketing plan, the key is making sure each element works together to provide a robust social media presence.
Christina DiPinto is a copywriter and content strategist who has always wanted to make lawyers happy (“always” isn’t an understatement – her mother and uncle are both attorneys). When she’s not focused on developing marketing communications for the lawyers in her life, Christina can be found practicing yoga, playing pub trivia, and planning trips to the #WestCoastBestCoast. Say “hi” at email@example.com.
Muse Communications LLC helps lawyers and law firms grow their business through content marketing and highly targeted media relations. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.