Thursday, March 9, 2017

Attorney Social Media For Business?

LinkedIn has always been the go-to social platform for business professionals of any kind. But lawyers have noticed the benefits of other social platforms and are starting to branch out..

According to MyCase, 73% of lawyers have a personal presence on LinkedIn, 27% use Facebook for professional purposes, and 23% use Twitter for professional purposes.

Here's how they're using social media for business..

1. Promoting A Blog

Lawyers are slowly beginning to reap the benefits of blogging for their business success. 26% of law firms maintained a legal blog in 2016, up from 22% the year before. And social media platforms are great places to promote a blog and bring in traffic. But some legal blogs are better than others at attracting social community interest.

Media strategist Drew Keller said, "Too many of the blog posts, videos and articles I see in the legal community feel like a closing argument. Your storytelling needs to reflect the human experience."

Use your blog as a storytelling platform, not a place to post your legal arguments. Then you can make the most of social media to promote it.

2. Engaging With Hashtags

Some lawyers are taking advantage of already trending hashtags to broaden their reach on social media.

"No social media presence is effective without using hashtags," said Chris Vernon, attorney at VernonLitigation."Every industry has them, and they"re a great way to engage with your target audience. For example, #LegalTech is a popular hashtag lawyers use to join conversations about new legal technology solutions. Another example is the #ShutItDown hashtag that became popular during the Eric Garner protests. Many lawyers used the hashtag to tweet their contact information, offering legal services to protesters who were arrested."

3. Becoming Industry Thought Leaders

In recent years, social platforms have become gateways to the news, and news about the legal profession is no exception. Many lawyers are building their reputation as industry thought leaders by sharing and commenting on the latest news in their field.

Another option is to curate and share news on industries related to your practice area. That's what Bob White, a Florida attorney does. He uses Twitter to share tech articles he finds every week. According to Mashable, Bob has managed to bring in a few tech companies as clients as a result.

Becoming a thought leader in your industry is a lot more than just sharing content. Instead you should ask, "Why is this information important to me?" and "What should I do about it?" The answers to these questions will help you brainstorm ways to engage your audience through interviews. Gathering feedback, you can create your own blog content based on industry news and the thoughts of your audience.

4. Word-of-Mouth Marketing

Most businesses turn to social media to connect with their target customers or clients, but that's not the case for lawyers. Most legal offices aren't on the lookout for "walk-in" clients that found them on Twitter.

Instead, they're looking to make connections with other credible thought leaders that may know someone who needs legal help. It's a way to vet prospective clients as they come from a credible source.

So how can you get these valuable social contacts? Attorney Nicole Black said, "One way to connect with other attorneys is to locate and follow blogs in your practice area or your geographical region. Leave comments after posts that interest you. Engage in conversation in the comments with other readers and the owner of the blog and link to your blog or website when commenting."

5. Keep it Ethical And Stay Safe

Probably the most important part of the way lawyers use social media is following ethical guidelines, according to The Rodriguez Law Group. As a public platform, social media puts your activities and mistakes in public. People use tools like Checkthem to carry out background check on firms and persons before they deal with them, so using social media makes it more important than ever to follow ethical guidelines at all times.

The New York State Bar Association issued Social Media Ethics Guidelines for New York attorneys. But it's prudent for all lawyers to follow these on social media. Here are some points to consider:
  • Existing attorney advertising and solicitation rules apply to social media posts 
Whenever promoting legal services on social media, you must include the same information required in print advertisements. This is a challenge when you're limited to 140 characters.
  • Protecting a client's identity and data
The American Bar Association Model Rule 1.1 has always required attorneys to be competent in their areas of practice but starting from 2012, it required them to be adept in the use and risk of technology. Hence, lawyers using social media for business must take precautionary steps like encrypting clients' sensitive documents they send, using secured WiFi networks and protecting their computers against ransomware.
  • Attorneys should be careful using "Pre-Defined" headings on social media
Twitter personalities can call themselves whatever they want on social media, but that's not the case for lawyers. If you describe yourself as a "specialist" in a certain area of law, that means you're legally certified by the American Bar Association, no matter your experience in the area.

Guest Authored By Jimmy RohamptonJimmy is a freelance writer, business consultant and the creator of HowToCreateABlog, where he empowers people to gain digital skills. He's written and consulted for many companies including Cadbury, LEGO, BMW and Unbounce. He's a Hootsuite Certified Social Media Consultant and a Digital Marketer Social & Community Specialist, and he shows people how social media can be a key to personal and professional development. His work has appeared on Entrepreneur Magazine, The Huffington Post, Engadget, and more. Follow Jimmy on Twitter.

As more lawyers join social media for business purposes, the benefits and best practices will likely become even clearer..”

    • Authored by:
      Fred Hansen Pied Piper of Social Media Marketing at & CEO of Millennium 7 Publishing Co. in Loveland, Colorado. I work deep in the trenches of social media strategy, community management and trends.  My interests include; online business educator, social media marketing, new marketing technology, skiing, hunting, fishing and The Rolling Stones..-Not necessarily in that order ;)
    Follow Me Yonder..                     Instagram

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