April 6, 2016
by Lori Shecter

Tips to get your partners on board with Social Media

Legal SocialIf 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 participant –and why it doesn’t mean tweeting during trial.

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 already have a relationship with the potential client. Social media can also help improve your current client relationships as they get to know you.
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’?
FIVE MINUTES A DAY: Not a writer? Not a problem! Commenting on other’s viewpoints or re-tweeting someone else’s article will increase your visibility on a daily basis without ever picking up the phone. (It’s not as hard as you think.)
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 effect, THE SUPREME COURT is on Twitter.
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.
LINKING IN IS A VIRTUAL GOLF COURSE |TENNIS COURT: Linked-In takes 15 minutes to set up and gives 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 LITIGATION 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.
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?
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 with your followers. ADDED BONUS: If you are on social media, your clients can share your posts, tweets, giving you and your firm greater exposure.
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?
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.**) However, 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.

Many thanks to the NY Legal Marketing Association for the great 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

March 4, 2016
by Lori Shecter

Create successful social media… even if you are a one man band

Social Food Ox VerteYou’re the lonely person at your company or firm:  the one person marketing department. You’re going grey, gaining weight and starting to drink…a lot. But wait!  There’s help before you decide to pull the plug and move to Alaska permanently. These tips will help you pull off a successful social media miracle and pave the way to buy-in at your law firm, dental practice, or where ever you may be working as the lone ranger trying to execute your social strategy.  But first, there is no doubt:  all social media ends with your website—the only platform you control.  If your website does not help you to bring new clients, it might be time for a new one.  Now, back to social… keep in mind that Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither can results be seen without at least 6 -12 months of diligent, but manageable work that can prove successful.   Remember, you only get out, what you put in and that  means 1 -5 times a week of activity.

Sure fired ways to get sign on and success (whatever that is)

Define success:

  1. Growth: The obvious—new clients, patients, sales, etc.
  2. The Long Tail- PR: Your post, blog, tweet, etc. gets picked up by the press and gets out to various news outlets.  Next month or next year, someone calls you based on the article.
  3. Search Engine Optimization: More traffic to your website and that’s great! More traffic, more potential leads. Make sure your website is easy to navigate and has easy to find contact information or forms. Also ensure your website is set up with Google Analytics in order to monitor where your traffic comes from

NOTE:  Analytics can be beneficial when using any social media especially to see if you increased traffic to your website, followers, or engagement. There are free tools like Google Analytics, Facebook insights, etc. as well as paid tools like Sprout Social. 

Google Analytics Panel:  Where traffic comes from

Google Panel:  What pages they view

Create Content:

  1. Original content: the best for giving your company a voice and search engine optimization (the most time consuming, but the most impactful)
  2. Curate: Share other content (and add a line or two with your own voice and or opinion

Original Content Types:

  1. Easy topics: new partners and new clients. Sharing successes helps build street creed.
  2. Opinions – Longer original content with the most social and SEO impact
  3. Videos – I know many people are camera shy, but Google is an amazing tool for SEO – mainly because Google owns YOUTUBE. A book can be written about video, but it’s starting to happen big, and really deserves another article.
  4. Power Points: Add to slide share – helps with SEO. You can also embed the slide share to your website.

NOTE:  How to get it all done?  No staff and no budget?  Consider hiring a passionate student in your field of practice to write 2 articles per month.  Give them the topic and make sure a partner approves the article.

Laser Focus:

Pick one area of practice or topic and spend 2 months in that area.  Narrow casting focus can help you achieve results more quickly than having a strategy spread too thin.  You will notice the increase in those pages on your website.  Are people landing on them and not calling or emailing?  This is a great opportunity to evaluate the page structure and/or your website content to make that area generate phone calls and leads.

Be authentic and be passionate:

Don’t write about something just to write about it.  Have a view point that is uniquely yours, generate and encourage conversation.

Pick one or two outlets… don’t go crazy:

The top platforms:

  1. Linked In
  2. Twitter
  3. Instagram
  4. Facebook
  5. You Tube
  6. Feeling adventurous? Periscope for live video – it disappears in a day, but then you can save it on Katch.me

Get ONE partner sign on and build a micro plan for her/him:

Success with one partner/practice will help get some (not all) on board and pave the road to an increased engagement track record.

Remember to eat:

In case you are wondering what food has to do with this, it was the best-catered food I have had in recent history, thanks to awesome, healthy delights from Ox Verte. I also wanted to thank the Legal Marketing Association NY for another powerful Special Interest meeting on March 3. Much of the content for this article comes from their 4 speakers:

Marc Handelman: Frankfurt, Kurnit, Klein + Selz
Guy Alvarez: Good2bsocial
Josh Brinen, Esq.
and of course, Bruce Segall, Chair, NYLMA Small Firm SIG

Lori Shecter is the CEO of We Are Immediate, a New York-based digital research, design and development agency.