I failed at social media for law firms. Specifically, I failed at creating an engaged community in my LinkedIn Group, How Lawyers Use Social Media to Get Clients. The group is six months old and has approximately 60 members. I’ve shared the group via social media and a few blog posts.
What makes this group unique is that it’s specifically for lawyers, no advertising is allowed, and I share real social strategies that work. I also share useful how-to posts (how to make a Facebook Page, LinkedIn Company Page, etc.) for lawyers just starting out.
You could read every post and not need to hire a social media specialist – I created the group specifically for lawyers that want to do it themselves.
How I’m Failing
The group has no engagement whatsoever – no questions, no discussions, no links to articles – nothing. You’ll find multiple posts from me, but almost nothing else. I’m in no way blaming anyone but myself – I’m the “expert” right? Thankfully, I’m not the only one that feels this way about LinkedIn Groups. An article by the Huffington Post, The LinkedIn Groups Have Become Ghost Towns, made me feel a bit better about my LinkedIn skills!
I’m writing this post as a how-to post more for myself than you. I started the Social Media for Law Firms blog back in 2009 when I worked in the business development department of MBM. I created it to chronicle everything I learned so that lawyers at the firm would know what to do. That blog eventually allowed me to go solo and doing social media for law firms consulting full-time. I’m using the same strategy today to (hopefully) get my LinkedIn Group going.
2016 Edition: LinkedIn Groups for Lawyers
- In 2016, LinkedIn made over two million LinkedIn Groups private to improve group quality and discussion. According to Jeff Bullas, the privacy change was based on the feedback of LinkedIn groups who crave real connections with peers and industry leaders.
- Google does not index the groups. This means you won’t find LinkedIn group discussion results when you “Google” a certain topic. BUT, don’t assume your discussions are completely private. Members can screenshot, share, email, etc. If you want something to be private, don’t share it on the Internet via social media or email – that’s my point of view.
- There’s a LinkedIn Group app for iOS users. This app makes it simple to browse through your groups, get notifications and post updates. I’ve used it before and it requires less work than the regular LinkedIn mobile app.
- All LinkedIn members can report and remove spammy LinkedIn group discussions. This is great news because managing group spam can be a daunting task, especially if your group membership grows!
- Good reasons to create LinkedIn Groups include creating a place on the Internet for professionals to discuss a specific topic and to showcase your leadership (or your firm’s leadership) in a niche/unique area.
- Before you create a group, search LinkedIn to see if someone else already stole your great idea. Don’t create a duplicate group unless you have a strategy in place for making it stand out. You should also create a brief group description and design a group logo before getting started. Create two versions of the logo: one 150 x 50-pixel version and another 60 x 30-pixel version. These icons will be displayed next to your group in search results so make sure it looks good.
- Think about how you’re going to grow group membership. You can share your group via social media, in an email newsletter, via email to members of your firm, in a link on your website/blog, etc. Craft social media updates and graphics tailored to each social media platform and post them on a regular basis.
- Come up with a consistent, content strategy. What kinds of posts are you going to share? How often are you going to post? Remember, don’t promote yourself AT ALL. Some people will tell you to go by the 80/20 rule, I’m telling you to go by the 100/0 rule. If you want to have a successful LinkedIn Group, don’t be THAT GUY.
- When deciding what groups to join, consider university alumni groups and practice area groups. Think about your target clients and what interests them – would they be on LinkedIn? What topics would they be interested in? Consider the demographics of your current/past clients – is there a pattern when it comes to employment?
- When it comes to group engagement, always make sure you’re adding something of value. AND please don’t post hyperlinks to articles without descriptions. I can’t stand it when I don’t know why I should be clicking a link. I want to know why you’re sharing it, what makes it interesting and why you found it useful.
I’m dedicated to creating more engagement in my LinkedIn group for lawyers. I’ve come up with some new ideas from all my reading tonight. If you’re interested, please feel free to join and start discussions. I look forward to seeing you there!