Posted by Robert Half Legal on Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - 08:00 | Follow me
When you hear the term “social media,” do your thoughts automatically turn to funny cat videos on Facebook? Social media platforms are not just for personal use. Many law firms are finding that they can be an effective means for advertising and marketing the business while providing useful information to clients and potential clients in the process. In law firm management terms, this means greater client retention and increased leads on new business.
While there are perils involved in taking a firm into a public forum, the benefits greatly outweigh the risks. Here are some suggestions for launching your law firm into the social media sphere.
1. Pick a platform
Select a popular platform like Twitter or Facebook and set up professional pages for your business to share news and connect with clients and colleagues. LinkedIn opens you up to the largest client database online and allows you to write blog posts and link to relevant information for increased exposure. Foxwordy, a new platform only for legal professionals, can help you take networking to the next level by opening dialogue with other lawyers, as well as allowing you to exchange referrals and manage your firm's reputation. Google Alerts or RSS feeds can summarize your activities, while uberVU via Hootsuite allows you to gather data and collect real-time business metrics.
2. Start blogging
Law firm management can be somewhat conservative, often erring on the side of obscurity in the realm of social media. But engaging in a transparent way with your audience through blogging is the first line in establishing your firm as a thought leader. Seventy-six percent of corporate counsel who responded to an InsideCounsel survey said they consider a lawyer’s blog when they’re weighing which firms to retain. In fact, general counsel read attorneys’ blogs slightly more often than professional journalists’ blogs.
3. Present solid content strategically
The link between your social media strategy and your business development strategy is crucial. Law firm management content needs to be social, sharable and geared toward driving traffic to your website. Some things to bear in mind when curating your content: Cut the legal jargon and write plainly for a business-oriented audience (but use keywords). Include social share buttons on blog posts to make it easier for clients to link to your content. Add a multimedia element by including professional infographics and videos. Fine-tuning your content will lend credibility to your legal management team, which ultimately can result in more business.
4. Protect yourself with a policy
There are inevitable risks to social media, including the inadvertent exchange of confidential information. As such, it’s imperative that your law firm management team put a social media policy into place. Draft general guidelines for each platform on what lawyers can share online, and stress that they cannot communicate with clients or opposing parties through these networks.
In an industry where confidentiality is the first line of defense, it can be somewhat harrowing to take your law firm management profile into a public forum. But as the lines of communication in the world of business continue to move toward public online platforms, it’s in your firm’s best interest to embrace social media and bring some aspects of your operation into the public arena.
Which social media platforms does your law firm management team use? Share your experience below.