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Gabriel Cheong started his own law firm straight out of law school. One year later he purchased the law firm where he once interned. Now Gabriel runs Infinity Law Group while blogging, tweeting and marketing his firm. He’ll be one of four speakers participating in this year’s “Lightening Round: Avvo Success Stories” May 13 at Lawyernomics 2015. We asked him to share some hard-earned lessons he’s learned using social media for his family law practice.
Unless you’re willing — and financially able — to employ someone to coordinate all of your law practice’s social media, chances are you’re doing it yourself, when time allows. I’m a lawyer, not a social media “expert,” though I have worked with some so-called experts for my firm. Here’s what I’ve come to realize about using social media for your law firm.
Experts will tell you that you must have a blog or a Facebook page, use Twitter and Yelp, and be on the latest platforms. The truth is, even if you followed that advice and set up profiles on all known social media sites, your time simply will not allow you to engage in those channels in any meaningful way. So where to focus?
If you set up a Twitter account and you hate sending tweets on your smartphone, then that account will simply sit idle. It won’t do your business any good. However, if you’re already comfortable using Facebook for your personal contacts, then probably it wouldn’t be a stretch to set up a Facebook page for your law firm to make professional contacts. The more comfortable you are, the more likely you are to use it.
Your time as an attorney is money. The more time you can spend not managing your social media, the more time you can devote to billable work. Try to find a way to not repeat work for your cross-platform social media postings. So, for example, if you write a blog post, you should have that go out to Twitter and Facebook automatically. If you post on Twitter, you should have it set up so that it connects with your Facebook or Instagram account (if you wish), so you don’t have to post individually to each site.
Services such as Twitterfeed help tremendously with time-savings. The Instagram and Twitter apps for iOS and Android also have built-in functionality on cross-platform postings.
If you’re going to be using Facebook and Twitter to reach out to clients and networking sources, keep in mind that no one likes to be sold to. Instead, try to share interesting things relating to your business or practice area, or just to you personally.
I’m a divorce attorney, but on my Facebook and Twitter feeds, I regularly post things having nothing to do with divorce, because I am also a human being and I want my network to know that. It’s easier to relate to me when you know that I’m not sitting at my desk billing 24/7. As in real life, networking and marketing online means making friends so that they will refer business to you.
I end with this because the Internet is littered with stories of people who were not mindful of what they posted online, and it has come back to haunt them. For examples, look here and here. Think before you click!
Gabriel Cheong is the owner of Infinity Law Group LLC in Quincy, MA. He holds a J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law, and a B.S. in computer science and B.A. in mathematics from Binghamton University. His law practice is primarily focused on divorce and family law litigation and mediation. Follow him on Twitter @GabrielCheong.
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