June 23, 2015
by Lori Shecter

Your competition has their clients following them. Who are your clients following?

legal blog social mediaIf you are like over 65% of the senior partners at a firm today, you probably are not even reading this article. If you are, you are most likely thinking, “Why tweet, like, post, comment, or even care about social media?   I’ve been in practice for “X” years, I’m a partner, I speak at conventions, have brought in my share of clients and more. Besides, who wants to be in the limelight? I am not Bruce, Caitlyn or Miley. I want to keep my private life private.”

I don’t blame you. (But note that with social media, only you control what you post and you can block who follows you.) But before you figuratively turn the page on this, you might want to hear all about the benefits that social media can bring to you and your firm.

Top 10 Reasons to become a participantand why it doesn’t mean tweeting during trial.

THE REASONS:

  1. GETTING TO KNOW YOU: Social media helps you develop a personality. Ok, that sounded bad. You already have a personality— having your potential clients or current ones get to know you and your firm by sharing your thoughts, opinions and knowledge via social media helps pave the way for a new relationship (aka new client). The best pitches are the ones where you alreadyhave a relationship with the potential client. Social media can also help improve your current client relationships as they get to know you.
  2. THE NEW WALL STREET JOURNAL: Your clients consume media entirely differently today than they did even 2 years ago. People customize their Twitter and Facebook feeds to read the top stories of the day rather than go to each individual news site –or purchase newspapers. Wouldn’t it be great to have them reading your opinions and thoughts rather than your competitors’?
  3. FIVE MINUTES A DAY: Not a writer? Not a problem! Commenting on other’s viewpoints or re-tweeting someone else’s article will get you visibility on a daily basis without ever picking up the phone. (It’s not as hard as you think.)
  4. GETTING TO KNOW THEM: Your clients are not only consumers of social media, most clients already use social media as part of their PR and branding strategy. Wouldn’t it be nice to see what they are up to in 140 characters or less? If you are worried about the Kardashian affect, THE SUPREME COURTis on Twitter.
  5. REACH OUT AND TOUCH THEM: Your clients are interested in what you have to say about laws that affect their business…without paying the $450+ per hour. They (all of them in one fell swoop) appreciate the interest and time you take to understand their business. Great for retention.
  6. LINKING IN IS A VIRTUAL GOLF COURSE |TENNIS COURT: Linked In takes 15 minutes to set up and allows you exposure to not only your peers and clients, but gives you a place to find out new information as well as to share your knowledge. Besides having a profile and connecting with clients and co-workers, there are 100’s of legal groups on Linked In that you can join. Corporate law? No problem. Join the CORPORATE LAW GROUP with over 100,000 other lawyers. Interested in news and rulings in corporate litigation?  Join 5000 attorneys in the CORPORATE LIGITATION GROUP. But more than that, you can also join groups that impact the lives of your current and potential clients and get the pulse on what is important to them.
  7. THE COMPETITION IS DOING IT: …And your clients are following them. If your competition is writing, tweeting, posting sharing and commenting on important news (and it doesn’t have to be just legal) that is geared toward your clients, you better believe that your clients are reading it. Who are your clients following?
  8. SHARING GOOD NEWS: Win an important case? Hire a great new team member? Your client just had a victory? If it’s PR worthy, it’s post worthy. That doesn’t mean you need to write a long article. You can easily comment (1 sentence), or share the news to your followers. ADDED BONUS: If you are on social media, your clients can share your posts, tweets, giving you and your firm greater exposure.
  9. IT IS NOT SALES, IT IS NOT MARKETING – IT IS OPINING: As humans we are all selling ourselves every day—to a co-worker, a client, a judge, your spouse|partner. But this isn’t really selling. Not really. In your daily conversations about law or business you have an opinion.  Social media offers you a chance to share your thoughts and opinions. And, if by chance from sharing, you build your reputation, get a new client or retain an old client or get asked to be a keynote, that’s a good thing isn’t it?
  10. SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION: The new AVVO rating. When did you last Google yourself? What is the first thing that comes up? Is it AVVO or Martindale Hubbell? Is it your website profile (if your company uses great SEO websites like those we build at weareimmediate.com, it should be.**) Now you can personally have more control on your search results page by having a Linked In profile, writing a few articles and sharing your comments.

** Subliminal advertising example

GETTING STARTED:

I am not going to write a novel here, but will share one tip that Judy Selby (Baker Hostetler) tells her partners:

Create your Linked In profile (bio + picture) and get 200 connections (they can be your co-workers to start.)

Need help? Ask your marketing or communications department. They will be glad you did. And so will you.

Much thanks to the NY Legal Marketing Association for the June 18, 2015 meeting about social media.  There were great tips for everyone, not just partners, not just lawyers. Many of the ideas noted in this article are based on the opinions of the following panelists: Guy Alvarez (Good2bSocial), Frank Aquila, Partner (Sullivan & Cromwell), Judy Selby, Partner (Baker Hostetler), Susan Joseph,General Counsel (Raiseworks), Taylor Massa, Communications Specialist (Cooley)

Lori Shecter is the CEO of weareimmediate.com an affordable digital engagement company that provides web design and development and marketing services for – clients that need it. lori@weareimmediate.com; @lshecter #weareimmediate