[Professional Series] Social Media Tips for Lawyers

Order! Order! You’re on the web: A quick social media reference guide for those in the legal business.

For every yin, there’s a yang. For every lawyer, there’s another one.

And like two sides of a coin, both are inseparable. The modus operandi for all being the same – One speaks, the other listens; then, there is a role reversal – the other speaks, the one listens. This carries on ad nauseum till either of the two has decided to call it quits.

So, for a profession that’s known for this routine exercise of talking and listening, is it okay to stay mum digitally? What do you think are the best practices for the best that people can talk about on social?

Social media has created new opportunities for all, especially those in the law and order business. It has given them a platform to voice their opinions and angst. But this must be done with great caution as the every good client-attorney relationship is built on mutual respect, privacy and trust.

Here’s listing out a social media tips for lawyers :

Be Newsworthy

It is the stepping stone for your professional presence on the social web – blog, tweet or even simple status updates. Do whatever you can to put up a face digitally and voice your legal expertise. While most of you would get cold feet by just hearing the word social, this would enable you to project yourself as a credible source of information.

In addition to creating your own content, it is also important to aggregate news about your industry. Twitter is ideal for this and using it effectively to share pertinent information can help you brand yourself as a specific subject matter expert. It is a great conversational platform if you manage to get the right listeners.

Build a network

Networking works for professions of all kind. Digital platforms have just given it bigger wings. If you are an attorney or a handler of the law, it is imperative that you go out and about – building a strong network for yourself. I recommend using LinkedIn or twitter if you don’t want people to rendezvous with you at a personal level. Don’t let people in your life by openly adding them on Facebook.

Support a cause

Put your best foot forward.We all have causes that we associate with, causes that form the heart and soul of our being. The best approach to leading your Social Media profiles is openly standing up for a cause. Now don’t go out and about beating the drum – just limit it to a level that allows you feature in the search results with just the right keywords.

Be amicable, but don’t go over the top

Working with a law firm is not like selling candy. It is a task that requires you to take the burden of a huge responsibility. So, even your Social media should be approached with this thought in mind. Your aim should not be to have a huge heard of followers and readers with the hope that some of them will call you for legal advice one day. You should position yourself as a dependable source through your social networking platforms and aim to makeright connections with other thought leaders in your practice area and relevant industries.  Getting clients could be your agenda, but it should only be off the record.

Remember, it’s all about the conversations that you manage to build. Here are a few other tips you can use to building engaging conversations– leave comments after posts that interest you, engagein conversations in the comments with other readers or the owner of the blog. You can also link them back to your blog or website when commenting, but make sure that whatever you post does not come across as spam.

Another way to connect with other lawyers is to participate in online forums on lawyer-specific networks or join forums on more general online networks like LinkedIn and Facebook. I did a quick Group search on LinkedIn and found out a few, significantly active groups that you could join:

Be approachable, but don’t share real advice

When engaging on the web, make sure that you know the difference between sharable insights and actual legal advice — the two should never be confused by followers or friends.

Put a disclaimer at the top of your blog, and leave room in your Twitter bio to express this point. A simple “tweets are my own” would also work.

Get Personal

Social media is not a broadcast channel for talking shop 24/7. Many professionals who have had success will emphasize that finding a good balance between sharing expertise and personality is the way to go.Twitter is the least formal of the major social networks, so don’t be afraid to share your personal interests, including sports, food and wine, or other hobbies

Summing up

With this, I’ll leave you with a classic case of the best and the worst laid out profiles. One already HAS a name big enough but no Twitter activity, the other EARNED a name big enough just by its Twitter activity. Please reckon the use of two familiar phrases here – The Early Mover and The Non Mover – the Early Mover has an added advantage by virtue of its follower to tweet ratio (3.19); whilst the twitter bird for the Non Mover refuses to chirp. Another noteworthy point here is that although the Early Mover has significant followers, it also follows a significant number of people. A wise move?Can’t say.But I have to admit, it is a sane (and widely accepted) technique that lets you reach more ears.

 

So now that you’ve read this article, go ahead, log on and rest your case!

 

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