Sandy Spadaro, founder of SS Marketing Solutions, has generously agreed to be this week's Guest Blogger. So many attorneys shy away from Social Media thinking that it is just one more time waster. Like anything, it depends on how you use it.
LinkedIn – The Savvy Lawyer's Choice for Social Media:
Strategic Professional Use of Social Media for the Legal Community
Social media communities give us the opportunity to go beyond the reach and value of paid advertising to create the personal relationships with clients and prospects that are so important in today's market conditions. We all know we can't ignore that it's out there – it's a tool and a resource for both connection and education. But in a world, YOUR world, filled with billable hours and legal compliance, can you really turn social media into a tangible asset?
Indeed you can. Though it takes time, incorporating this into your existing marketing plan is essential. With the right strategy tactics, the use of social media outlets can grow a strong and positive reputation.
A big challenge you face is that many platforms are used for both personal and professional communication. Let's review:
- Twitter is the foremost micro-blogging platform. By using 140 characters or fewer with each post, your business strategy here is to use this tool to drive traffic directly to the places where you post your content or relevant material, ie. your website or blog.
- Facebook is the leading user-friendly platform for posting imagery. This allows for the interesting and eye-catching ability to tell your story; however, most folks are here primarily for diversion and it gets difficult to separate friend from client.
- LinkedIn is still the most professional platform for connecting in business. The user is limited in its use of imagery uploads or personal chit-chat. This tool has an array of professional uses, including but not limited to loading your past work experiences, featuring books, articles or presentations and participating in discussions.
You MUST decide which channel to use for which purpose.
So let's talk about LinkedIn, the best existing platform for keeping things "strictly business." There is never a question about personal vs. professional use here and is thus one of the best sites for services providers. There are a few reasons LinkedIn works for lawyers.
- Keyword functionality here is high. Making sure your profile is 100% complete and chock full of keywords is important in order to be found. There are 3 main areas you want to place your keywords: The Headline, the Summary and your Groups & Interests section.
- Applications loaded onto your profile share your presentations, white papers, or company brochure. Use this tool to create a summary of your specialty areas or post the seminar handouts from your latest event. There has been great success with professionals who have promoted information about their favorite non-profit organizations here. In this platform, applications are not for gaming but rather for the additional layers of information seen on your profile.
- Groups Directory allows you to find and follow like-minded professionals with similar (or complementary) knowledge, experience and compliance limitations. Searching for legal groups and organizations can help you to increase your database of connections as well.
- Discussion among group members is more a show of expertise than it is a method of advertising. Pose a question, ask for a resource or referral, or take the opportunity to answer the questions placed here. Participation is the key to this strategy. Each time you ask or answer, everyone in the group sees your face and can link to your full profile.
- Events and seminars can be promoted to each Group you belong to. That increases your visibility more that simply posting to a public site, being that everyone who belongs to each group will receive the invite directly – often times allowing you to reach people that are not on your physical mailing list.
- Quality Control on this platform is high and exercises some rather strict processes for connecting, which allows you to better qualify your leads. Choose to keep your database small, or use this tool to meet the friends of your connections, but either way they need to know you or be recommended.
The most critical approach you can take is to "be more observant than loud." If you're new to this platform (or any other), create your profile and take the time to build your comfort level by watching successful case studies before interacting.
About Sandy Spadaro:
One of New Jersey's Forty Under 40 and NJ's 50 Best Women in Business, Spadaro is currently the President of South Jersey's National Association of Women Business Owners and regularly speaks & writes on topics of marketing & communication. Check out her marketing podcast series at www.10Exit4.com.
Contact Sandy at: