law firm social media strategyOriginally posted in the American of Legal Administrators (ALA) Capital Chapter August 2012 Newsletter.  This is part two of a three part series. Click here to read part one.

Which Platforms?

Which social media platforms will you use in your law firm’s social strategy? This can seem large an enormous decision when first dipping your toe in the social media pool.

I like to look at comparable firms who are already using social media. What are they doing right (or wrong)? Where does your firm already have a presence?

In most cases, LinkedIn would be a great place to start. It’s been my experience that most attorneys have LinkedIn profiles. But, in  my experience, most of them aren’t as great as they could be. Set aside some time to view your law firm’s LinkedIn Company Page, and see how it stacks up to your competition. Check out all the available features, and see if you’re taking advantage of them. For example, did you know LinkedIn Company Pages have a “Service Spotlight” built in under the Services tab? You can add three custom designed slider images that can include clickable links to your website, blog, articles, etc. This is a free feature too (you can’t say that too often!). Continue Reading…

law firm social media strategyOriginally posted in the American of Legal Administrators (ALA) Capital Chapter August 2012 Newsletter.  This is part one of a three part series.

More and more law firms and lawyers are starting to use social media as part of their business development and marketing strategy. Once considered a passing fad, more and more law firms are hiring dedicated in-house social media professionals as discussed in The Washington Post’s recent article, Law Firms Get into the Social Media Game. These specialists are handling social media account maintenance, content creation and strategy creation.

When it comes to social media, the majority of US law firms are focusing on a combination of LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and blogging. And, a handful of firms are testing out newer social networks such as Pinterest, Tumblr and Quora.

Creating a social media strategy for your law firm is paramount, and it’s the first thing you should take on (after getting approval and buy-in from upper management of course). Your strategy should include which platforms you will use, who will be responsible for education and maintenance, how you will advertise your newly created social media accounts, and your metrics to measure the always important ROI (return on investment). Continue Reading…

how to integrate outlook and linkedinDo you use Microsoft Outlook for email communication at your law firm? If so, and I’m 99% sure you do, did you know you can integrate your LinkedIn profile with Microsoft Outlook? This feature has actually been around since February, 2010 but I rarely see lawyers or legal marketers utilizing it as much as they should.

Why sync LinkedIn with Outlook?

First of all, as soon as your Outlook and LinkedIn accounts are connected, Outlook will start importing data from your LinkedIn network.  Each time you receive an email, you’ll see if the sender has a LinkedIn profile and if you’re connected.  If so, their LinkedIn information including their picture and title will be displayed in a panel below their email.

You can also see what articles they’re reading, who they are connected with and when they’ve updated their profile.  This is all done without leaving Microsoft Outlook.  This is important because if you see that one of your connections has an update that interests you, you can respond right away.  Maybe you can congratulate them on a job promotion, comment on a status update, etc. You get the picture.  Continue Reading…

facebook mistakeToday I did a webinar for LMA titled “Facebook for Law Firms” and I wanted to share some of the highlights with you.  On a side note, I want to say a huge thank you to Nancy Myrland, and all the gals over at the Legal Marketing Association for having me present today.  It was a blast.  We had a great time discussing the ins and outs of Facebook Pages for law firms, using your personal Facebook account for business development and going over case studies.   I’m working on doing some webinars on my own soon too!  Anyhow, without further ado, here are the 7 deadly sins of law firm Facebook Pages:

1.) Not enabling the message feature. This is one of the most overlooked features of Facebook Business Pages.  If you haven’t done this yet, open a browser and go do it right now.  Click “Edit Page” and then click “Manage Permissions”.  Scroll down the page and make sure you check the box for Show “Message” Button.  Now, Facebook users have the ability to message your Facebook page. Rest assured, you will receive a notification if you get a message.

2.) Telling people to like your page via your cover photo.  It’s against the rules for you to encourage Facebook users to like your page via a “Like Us” image in your Cover Photo.  I made this mistake and a big thank you to Nancy Myrland for letting me know.  It’s also against Facebook policy to advertise prices such as “40% off”, contact information, and calls to action.  A great example of a law firm cover photo is Goodwin Procter. Check it out here. Continue Reading…

linkedin website redesignLinkedIn has been instigating a lot of moans and groans lately.  From giving Twitter the cold shoulder by not allowing tweets to automatically post to LinkedIn, to not allowing blog RSS feeds on LinkedIn Company Pages anymore, I’ve been wondering what’s going on.  On a side note, I’m in favor of not allowing Tweets post automatically on LinkedIn.  It’s a newbie mistake to post identical content on multiple social networks at the same time.

Fast forward to tonight. I just read on TechCrunch that LinkedIn is quietly rolling out a brand new look to some if its 160 million+ users.  So that’s what they’ve been up to.  I’m not sure why the needed to drop the Twitter functionality but maybe this has something to do with it. Unlike Facebook, Twitter hasn’t had a major interface update for more than a decade.  The new look is supposed to put more emphasis on building relationships, make better use of socially curated content and make the site a lot more sticky. Continue Reading…

LinkedIn is the social network for professional business development.  With over 160 million members to date, it’s come a long way from the stagnant platform it used to be.  Remember the days without status updates or Company Pages?

The folks at LinkedIn must be busy because they rolled out a brand new feature.  Starting today, LinkedIn users can now target Company Page status updates to select audiences.  This feature is open to the 2 million companies that currently have LinkedIn Company pages.  If you haven’t set yours up yet, check out this great post by Natalie Waddell over at the Discover Canadian Lawyers Blog: How To Create an Impressive LinkedIn Law Firm Company Page and make sure you set yours up.

How to Target Your LinkedIn Company Page Status Updates

1. Go to your LinkedIn Company Page and input your desired status update and a link if necessary.

target your linkedin status update

 

 

 

2. Select the drop down arrow next to the words “All Followers” and select “Targeted Audience”. Continue Reading…

linkedin is a goldmineEveryone knows I’m a huge advocate for using LinkedIn for business development and marketing. It’s one of the best social networks for lawyers to start with when jumping into the social media pool.

Depending on your practice, part of your business development strategy may include looking for who is responsible for sales and/or purchasing decisions within businesses.  This information isn’t always readily available on websites as these people don’t like being “bugged”.  I’ve heard stories about in-house counsel being stalked at local conferences and this is exactly why they don’t broadcast their information.

However, did you know there is a way to find these professionals using LinkedIn? I read an article from Forbes that reinforced this point: Continue Reading…

social media driven referralsAs originally posted on the Canadian Intellectual Property Blog on May 22, 2012

What is the number one source of incoming work and your business and/or law firm? I’d guess with 99% certainty, your answer will include something along the lines of word-of-mouth recommendations and/or personal referrals. In an age where 850 million+ people use Facebook, and over 75% of the population uses the Internet on a regular basis, how does social media influence these referrals and recommendations? The answer may surprise you.

Let’s pretend you are looking for a mechanic to work on your car. You remember that your friend spoke highly of his mechanic, Joe Smith, and gave you his card. After rummaging through your kitchen drawer, you find Joe’s card as well as Peter Ward’s flyer you received via mail. Peter’s flyer looks pretty awesome so you decide to do some further research on the Internet. When you type in Joe Smith’s name you find zero results; no website, no YELP review, nothing. Even though your Continue Reading…

20 awesome facts about TwitterOne of my favorite people in the world (and no, he didn’t pay me to say that) Danny Brown recently wrote a post called 52 Cool Facts About Social Media and it inspired me to write something similar about one of my favorite social media platforms, Twitter.

I like to collect infographics and statistics on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Internet marketing.  Recently, there’s been a lot of interesting news relating to Twitter and I wanted to share these with you.  Maybe you can use them to convince your marketing department it’s time to jump on the social media for law firms bus? Or maybe you’ll join yourself? Either way, I hope you enjoy them and feel free to add your own in the comments below! Without further ado:

20 Awesome Facts About Twitter – 2012 Edition

  1. There are 100 million active Twitter users
  2. 50% of these 100 million users log in every day
  3. 40% of Twitter users don’t actual tweet – instead, they read news, click links and follow accounts Continue Reading…

law firm social media trainingI recently read an article by Mashable titled Does Everyone Need Social Media Training? This question is applicable to law firms as well and the answer is yes.  If your firm is deciding to implement a social media strategy for business development purposes, everyone needs to be on board, from the receptionists all the way to top level management.

Overall, each person within the firm needs to know about the firm’s social media policy.  Are they allowed to link to the firm Facebook page as their place of employment? Can they post pictures taken within the firm or at work functions? Can they include their firm’s name within their Twitter handle? What should he or she do if a client tries to “friend” them on Facebook? These are all things a comprehensive social media policy will cover.

Human Resources

The HR department should be well versed in social media as they most likely crafted the social media policy.  They will also need to know the locations of each social media account in case conflict arises.  The HR department will also need to include social media sections and notes in the firm’s orientation binder. Continue Reading…