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5 Ways Law Firms Can Use Social Media to Their Advantage

Don’t be a wallflower. Social media is used daily by most of your potential leads, so disengagement will only give your competitors an advantage.
If you aren’t familiar with the different social media platforms, don’t count yourself out of the game. You can always learn what each site does best, and from there you can communicate to the right audiences who you are and what is on your mind. After all, what you are selling clients is your knowledge and skill, and through social media you can write and talk about what you know.
Use these tips to connect with your clients, and convert more leads!

1. Make your profile one you would want to follow

One of the biggest mistakes many law firms make is to assume that just by having a page, they will attract visitors. In order for you to make the most out of your social media presence, you need to make it a page that you would want to follow. This means you should share posts regularly, including links to news articles and other blog posts that you find interesting or relevant to your practice area, as well as blog posts from your site.

You might also want to post updates about your firm, including milestones and special events. But be sure not to make it a habit to only post about yourself and your interests. Facebook is a “social” site, which means you can and should engage in conversations with others, such as by commenting on other people’s posts, links, status updates and tweets. Just as on Facebook, on LinkedIn you should publish articles, blog posts, and other useful material to your network.

You should have a vested interest in keeping your followers engaged with the conversations you dictate through your profile.

2. Be human, but professional
(and always with your brand in mind)

Branding is all about continuity, so use text, tone and photos that your clients will recognize you by as they navigate from your website to your various social media profiles.

When creating a Facebook company page, be sure to create it with your firm’s brand in mind. On your “About” section, feel free to copy what you have down on your website to promote the sense of continuity between sites.

To keep things human and social, you can occasionally post updates regarding special events and milestones for your firm, awards and news relating to your attorneys, and posts with less-formal commentary.

Facebook is a good place to share with your audience the human side of your firm, which means you can afford to be a little informal. Be aware of your audience, and use a tone that fits. These strategies will help dictate the narrative of your firm that you have the power to curate.

3. The buzzword in social network
is “network”

Make yourself available to those who seek you by always following up on connection invitations and messages, preferably with personalized messages rather than automatically generated ones. The same rules apply for the invitations to connect that you send.

LinkedIn is probably the best platform for professional networking. When used effectively, LinkedIn can be as important to your law firm as a telephone. It’s true: With over 200 million users, LinkedIn is the largest online networking environment in the world, and has the potential to connect you with leads at every turn. You will most likely use LinkedIn to seek strategic alliances to help build your client base, connect with prospective clients, gain information about clients, competitors or industries, or to develop relationships with people in your field.

LinkedIn differs from Facebook in several ways. No one can post comments, pictures or links to your profile. LinkedIn is a bit more private than that. It’s a place to nurture the relationships you already have, connect with old contacts and seek out connections with new ones. You can also see who your contacts know, and you can request to connect with them as well.

Networking is a business activity, so treat it as you would with in-person networking activities. LinkedIn facilitates that process by allowing you to do it from your office, saving you valuable time, and you should treat it seriously.

4. Don’t just post. Engage in discussion.

With over 200 million people using Twitter to follow news and commentary, it offers lawyers a lot of marketing and PR opportunities. One major mistake law firms tend to make when engaging on Twitter is using it solely as a place to post links to their blogs. To be more effective, engage in conversations with community members regarding topics that are relevant to your area of practice.
Retweet posts you find interesting or informative. Follow leaders in your field, members of Congress, political figures and other lawyers to stay up to date on breaking news in your field of practice. Responding to people, answering questions, retweeting, and replying to tweets will bring you more referral traffic than sharing posts alone.

5. Always consider Google

As the most widely-used search engine in the world, Google should always be on your mind when considering how to make the most out of your social media marketing pursuits. Although Google cannot gather information from your LinkedIn or Facebook profiles, it can gather data from your Google+ profile.

Google+ might seem like a mystery to some. Yes, it’s a social network, but it goes beyond what sites like Facebook and LinkedIn were created for. In fact, Google+ was not even created to compete against social networking sites like Facebook. It was created to facilitate the search engine’s ability to cater to individuals’ interests.

Since its inception, Google has implemented several changes, and now it primarily provides niche services, such as “Collections” and “Communities,” which help individuals find material that interests them. You must be aware of how to take advantage of what Google+ can offer you. Think of Google+ as a space to establish your law firm’s business page. To do this, you must post content relevant to your audience regularly, and obtain positive reviews from clients. You can also use it to network with other attorneys, and continue posting links to blogs and articles that are relevant to your practice area. Connections on Google+ are categorized as “friends,” “acquaintances” and “following,” thereby allowing you to decide with whom you wish to share particular updates.

Ultimately, you will gain high rankings on Google search results if your law firm’s business page bodes well on Google+, so consider it high on your priority list.

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