If you’re a practicing attorney, you’ve likely been approached by a legal marketing company that promises to help you build your Social Network. And while having a large number of followers can be important, in the legal word, it is about quality not quantity. In order to be effective, your marketing team must be aware that the ways in which attorneys should interact via social media are different than for professionals in any other industry. At WebPresence, Esq. we are attorneys-turned-social media professionals and we approach each of our client’s Social Media campaigns with the ABA Model Rules, State Bar rules, and the uniqueness of the legal services industry in mind.
Using Social Media the Right Way
For lawyers, Social Media must be used as the starting point for a dialogue and not as a tool to initiate specific legal advice. This might seem obvious, but what the ABA and/or your State Bar considers legal advice can be broad. Make sure your legal marketing team is distinctly aware of what is and is not putting your law license at risk.
A strategic, ethically sound Social Media campaign is a must for today’s lawyer interested in maintaining a successful practice. 2/3 of solo practitioners and approximately 60% of firms with 2 – 9 lawyers maintain a presence in online communities for professional purposes, according to a 2011 ABA survey. However, regardless of what your legal marketing team might tell you, not every Social Network is right for every attorney. Build your online presence smartly and cost-effectively: go where your potential network is.
Promote Your Legal Experience Where Potential Clients Can Find You
Social Networking puts a lawyer’s credentials and personality on display for new business. What your Web Presence says about you is just as important as what is does not, and will either inspire a potential client to call or won’t. Make sure that your profile on popular ‘research’ sites like LinkedIn and Avvo are up-to-date, accurate, and promote you in your best light. Additionally, if your client base is active on Twitter, Facebook, and/or Google+ start engaging with them! Feedback from current clients and posts/tweets that give prospective clients an idea of what it will be like to work with you will give them more reason to make that first call.
Cast a Targeted Net With Quality Content
Thanks to Panda and Penguin (first you’ve heard of Google’s game-changing SEO algorithms? Click here.), it has never been more important to provide UNIQUE, quality content on your blog. Never mind that your State Bar might hold the posting of inaccurate legal information against you (we kid!) — Google will push your website / blog down in search results if it sees that you / your marketing team is posting duplicative and or non-useful content. Not only are blogs used by corporate counsel (a new survey shows that 3/4 of corporate counsel review a lawyer’s blog before deciding to retain them) as a vetting tool, but a high-quality blog drives quality traffic to your website. More website visitors equals more calls which can equal more new business. Sounds good, right?
Social Media for Lawyers
With important ethical guidelines relating to potential communication and solicitation in mind, we encourage you to delve into the Social Networking scene. Follow attorneys in your field who are doing it right and see what you can learn from them. Spending an hour or so a day building your law firm’s Web Presence might seem like a lot of work (and we agree, it is time consuming), but if done correctly it will benefit your practice. Whether you are looking to build your client base, expand your professional network, or transition into a career as a legal commentator, with the right Social Media strategy, you can find your audience online.