Which Social Media Site is Best for Legal Professionals?

The annual Marketing Partner Forum, held in Naples, Florida, brought together managing partner, marketing partners and senior business development professionals to examine how attorneys and law firms can stay relevant in a very crowded marketplace by providing greater value to clients.

A recap of six of the sessions follows along with the key takeaways. I’d welcome feedback or further discussion.

This breakout session, called The Legal Meet Social in 2014, focused on social media and its implications for marketing and building new clients in the legal industry.

Which social media site is best for legal professionals?

When it comes to social media websites, there are those designed for the individual (Twitter), those for brands (Facebook) and those with the power of combination – most notably, LinkedIn. As a newly emergent generation leads “open source lives,” people are increasingly becoming an extension of brands, and this in turn changes the way marketers operate. Bylined articles, for example, offer a perfect intersection of brand and individual. Ultimately, the goal is to become the subject of people’s conversations, and social media offers an excellent way to see firsthand what kinds of conversations people are having.

Using social media for client building & networking

There is a certain etiquette to utilizing social media for client-building purposes. LinkedIn’s analytics allow you to see who is sharing your content, and it is good form to always follow up with people who share your content on a regular basis.

But before you can start using LinkedIn effectively, it’s important to establish three things: profile, network and engagement. Even the first of these three can be challenging, as many attorneys are slow to embrace change, making it somewhat tricky to convince them that LinkedIn is something their firm needs to adopt. One way to do so is to show them that their existing clients – as well as many prospective clients – are already active members of the website. LinkedIn allows attorneys to connect with more people more easily than ever before in human history, and the website will show you the reach of your status updates to boot. In 14 seconds, you could write a status update that gets 800 impressions. There is really no other marketing tool quite like it, and activity on the website greatly enhances business development for any law firm.

LinkedIn can be used for:

  • Pre-call planning and research
  • Client follow-up and rapport building
  • Ensuring quality connection in perpetuity
  • Sourcing new contacts through relationships
  • Staying in front of clients and/or prospects through content distribution
  • Creating and engaging networks by sharing events, celebrating wins and new hires and demonstrating personality and industry involvement

Measuring return on investment in the age of social media…

ROI can be measured through attorney engagement, reaching visibility, brand consistency (via the quality of the profile), marketplace connectivities and more. LinkedIn is truly one of the greatest social media tools for those in the legal industry, and those attorneys who ignore or neglect it do so at their own peril.

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