four ways to attract attention on LinkedInFirst things first. We all know LinkedIn is the preferred social network for attorneys and law firms.

Two years ago, when I first got involved with social media for law firms, it was common for me to not find the people I was searching for on LinkedIn. For example, I often add everyone I meet in person to LinkedIn. It was frustrating when I couldn’t find them.

This is definitely not the case in 2012 as almost everyone I look for has a LinkedIn profile.  What separates the great from the average is how people utilize all of the various features on LinkedIn. It’s also important to have a fully optimized profile.  Check out my post, How Many of You have an Optimized LinkedIn Profile?, for more information. It’s not good enough to just fill out your profile anymore. You must do that pesky act we all talk about so often – engage

The LinkedIn Blog recently published an article about four ways to stand out on LinkedIn that I thought you’d find useful.  Here’s the distilled version:

1.) Status Updates: LinkedIn users who share content with their LinkedIn networks at least once per week are nearly 10 times more likely to be contacted by a recruiter for new opportunities.  News feeds are prominently displayed on home pages due to the recent LinkedIn upgrades.  Take advantage of this by sharing articles, blog posts, 3rd party content, newsletters, etc. Remember, quality is key. Don’t over post either.  Continue Reading…

law firm mobile websiteMore and more people are using their smartphones instead of traditional desktop computers to find and view websites.  Have you looked at your firm’s website on your smartphone? How does it look? What about your competition? You should also take a look at your site from a variety of smartphones as it can look different on each one depending on how your mobile site was created.

I recently read a post by HubSpot, The 20 Things User Want Most from your Mobile Site, and I thought you might find this information useful when making the case for your firm’s mobile-friendly website:

  • 96% of smartphone users have viewed websites that were not mobile friendly.  You can use tools such as Google Analytics to see how many people have viewed your firm’s website from a smartphone
  • 74% of users say they’re more likely to return to a website if it’s mobile-friendly Continue Reading…

social media strategyOriginally posted in the American of Legal Administrators (ALA) Capital Chapter August 2012 Newsletter.  This is part three of a three-part series. Click here for part one and click here for part two.  I posted this previously as well but WordPress decided to misbehave, I apologize for the double post. 

Training and Engagement

If your social strategy includes having attorneys actively using social media, you will have a lot of training to do. How you do this can vary. Traditionally, one-on-one sessions work best, but this may not always work depending on the size of your firm. Nevertheless, plan on weekly or monthly training sessions, and go over what’s expected. Items to be discussed include (but aren’t limited to):

  • Technical details such as how to log in, privacy settings, and “lingo”. Remember, Twitter includes acronyms such as: RT, MT, #FF, IMHO, and many, many more.
  • If the attorneys are posting status updates, talk about best practices for URL shorteners, what to include in the status update and remember to provide lots of examples. Continue Reading…

law firm social media contentWhen it comes to law firm social media, content is key.

If you’re not sharing your own content, you’re most likely sharing 3rd party content.  Posting these 3rd party links on your Facebook Page, Twitter account or LinkedIn Page sends readers away rather than sending them to more fabulous information about wonderful you!  Please note, posting 3rd party information is a great idea but there should be a healthy ratio.  On the flip side, if you post too often about yourself, you’ll be perceived as self promotional and that may turn some people off.

What kinds of content should law firms share?

Heidi Cohen posted an article this morning, [INFOGRAPHIC] Social Media Marketing: Choose the Right Content For the Job, on the 7 categories of social media content.  Here is a breakdown of what kind of content law firms should share via social media:

Blogs: When it comes to social media, attorney written blog posts are a great starting place.  They should include links back to your firm’s website to help with SEO as well. Blog posts are great for strengthening your brand, attracting new clients, answering questions to build your expert reputation, provide thought leadership and promote conversations with fellow colleagues in your practice area. Continue Reading…

why law firms don't get involved with social mediaI was looking for blog inspiration this morning and one of the first places I looked was the Searches tab in Get Clicky (Get Clicky is a great alternative to Google Analytics – it’s definitely worth checking out) to see how people found my site.  One of the most popular searches that popped up was “Why Law Firms Don’t Use Social Media”.  Because this is a common concern, I’d like to discuss it further in this blog post. I look forward to your comments and additions in the comment section below.

Time

Taking part in social media takes up valuable time and most attorneys I speak with would rather be billing than posting on Twitter or Facebook.  This is a warranted concern that needs to be addressed when implementing your social media strategy.  The good news is that there are many tools available like Hootsuite and Twitter that allow attorneys to streamline their social posts.  It’s also important to know that as you get to know the social realm, you’ll spend less and less time posting on a daily basis.  The learning phase is very front loaded.   There are various tasks relating to social media that members of your marketing and/or business development may be able to help with as well. Continue Reading…

New LinkedIn Law Firm Company PagesWhen it comes to social media we all know nothing stays the same for very long.  Formats change, people groan and we move on.  Today, LinkedIn announced on its blog that LinkedIn Company Pages are getting a complete redesign.  Don’t worry about updating your law firm’s LinkedIn Company Page yet as the new style is only available to a handful of companies like Philips, Citi, HP and Dell this week.  Common folk like us can expect to see the new format by the end of this year.

Here’s 5 things you need to know about the New LinkedIn Company Pages:

1)  LinkedIn Company Pages are not getting any new features.  They are only updating the look and feel of the page.

2) Status updates and Products & Services will be more prominently displayed. Continue Reading…

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…