I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how to inspire legal professionals to blog. For me the reasons are so logical that I have a hard time understanding why anyone doesn’t blog. You get to interact with your peers, meet new people, keep current in your practice area and broadcast yourself to a larger network. You might get asked to speak at an event as an expert in your field… and you might just get a client if you’re lucky.
I read an article tonight by Niki Black on legal blogging and how it’s changing. It’s one of the best articles I’ve read in a long time and also the inspiration for this post. She writes:
“And, it’s passion that separates the good blogs from the bad. If you enjoy writing and have a passion for the topic about which you are blogging, your blog, whether it’s a group blog or an individual one, will be a success.”
She captures the essence of blogging perfectly. You must be passionate about what you do to have a successful blog. You also have to enjoy writing as it’s definitely required. If you don’t have these two key characteristics you might want to dabble in another area of social media such as LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook which can be just as effective if done correctly.
The technical aspects of publishing a blog can be learned by researching the web and following other legal bloggers. It takes time to decide which software to use but trust me it’s not rocket science. The hardest part is writing your first article and hitting post. After that it will become easier and easier and you’ll wonder how you didn’t blog before.
Successful law blogs introduce you to the writers as real people. You get to know their styles and personalities. They have opinions and voices that you depend on. They are reliable and on schedule (most of the time) and not always perfect. They cover a specific niche. These are the things that make a successful law blog. But of all these points, passion is #1 in my books.
Facebook launched new upgrades for pages today promising these features will help you manage communication, express yourself and increase engagement. The look and feel of the new page style is very similar to personal profiles.
You can update your page today BUT please note you can’t revert back to the old style once doing so. All pages will upgrade to the new layout March 1, 2011. You should also alert any other page administrators of the change before upgrading. Here’s what changed:
Photos will be displayed in a banner across the top of your page similar to a personal profile. Pictures posted by your fans will not be displayed here. You can hide a photo by rolling over it and clicking X.
Navigation links are on the left again like personal profiles.
There are two wall filters available now: posts by your page and top posts from everyone. Facebook did this to the most “interesting” stories are displayed first. Page admins will have additional filters available to them.
You can now interact with other areas of Facebook as your page and not just your personal profile. (I’m happy with this change). You’ll now get notifications when people interact with your page (+1), see activity from the pages you like in your news feed (-1), like other pages and feature them on your page (+1) and make comments on other pages as your page (+2).
You can check out the new look by viewing the Social Media for Law Firms Facebook Page here: www.facebook.com/socialmediaforlawfirms.
What do you think of these new features? Do you think they’ll increase fan engagement? I think displaying popular posts on top might help.
“I auto-unfollow those that auto-respond to me on Twitter”
One of my biggest pet peeves on Twitter is auto responded messages. These messages usually include non specific information with links to Facebook pages, web pages, etc. Auto responses can come across as efficient but if I really want your web address I’ll grab it on your profile page when I follow you.
Please do not use this feature if you decide to create a Twitter account. Auto responding is annoying and may give off the wrong impression. People have followed you to get to know you, not a robot.
Most legal twitter accounts don’t amass large followings right away either. Take the time to write a personal message and include your follower’s name. It’s also a good idea to ask if there’s anything you can do to help.
The inspiration for this article came from one of my favorite blogs, Social Media Today. The title of the post is “I’d Rather Hear Nothing Than Get Auto-Response“. (They have great titles by the way) I agree with their advice.