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With 600 blog posts added to the web every minute; and around 30,000 Tweets happening every second, there’s clearly a lot of information out there in the social media spheres. That information is now being used to direct new clients and customers to businesses of all kinds. The legal profession is no exception.
The social media sites use information provided by their members to develop exclusive networking opportunities – and I mean “exclusive” in the traditional, you only get to come in if your name is on the list, sense. All social media works on the same notion – that people engage in social networks by mutual agreement, and that people not mutually agreed to be included in those networks don’t get access to the information shared among them.
So as a law firm your strategy is to get involved in the social networks that your associates use. In one sense you’re one step of the game already, in that most legal business comes through professional referrals already. All you are really trying to do is to formalise that process online, where a lot of your professional compadres are already hanging out.
LinkedIn is a fine example of a useful marketing tool for any firm. LinkedIn is best thought of as Facebook for businesses and business people, where the social graph (that’s the information used to direct advertising opportunities and recommendations in a social media site) is based on business types, job titles, and career paths. Law firms using LinkedIn can target business areas by developing a business social network with the right interests: car insurance companies, for example.
The basic social media marketing mix for law firms is as follows:
All of these elements are key to maintaining a useful social networking presence for your law firm. Each element has a different function:
Twitter is most useful for law firms researching potential business. Keep abreast of current news in your area of law, search for key terms in that news on Twitter, and you’ll find trends that can lead you into whole groups of potential clients.
Facebook engages your ultimate end user – individual clients. By maintaining a Facebook presence you are simply playing a good numbers game – with more than three quarters of a billion people using Facebook every day, the more engaging and active your law firm is on the site, the more people will see who you are.
LinkedIn, as noted above, is the ideal professional networking site. Every new professional contact a law firm makes is potential new work. It’s the numbers game again, but this time with fixed odds – even better.
A blog allows your law firm to develop an authoritative personality, and even to become a force for information and advice within your industry. Enterprising lawyers who have blogged regularly on their field of expertise find that they are regularly consulted on appropriate questions of law – perfect advertising for your company.