Question: I am an attorney looking to build my brand online. So what social media platforms should I get active in, or are any of them really that important?
Kristi A. Dosh: If you’re on no other platform professionally, you should be on LinkedIn. It’s the most comprehensive social media platform for professionals, providing opportunities to do the following:
- Improve your visibility. It won’t be uncommon for your LinkedIn profile to appear in search results ahead of your law firm bio. That said, you’ll want to be sure you keep your profile up-to-date for potential clients and referral sources.
- Read and share the latest news. In addition to keeping abreast of news around the industry, you can use LinkedIn to post updates about things like your 40 Under 40 Award or an article about a litigation win.
- Publish original material. LinkedIn Publisher allows anyone to be a blogger and can greatly increase your exposure. You can post original work or republish posts you’ve blogged elsewhere and reach an entirely new audience. Posts appear right on your profile and can be read by anyone, even if you aren’t connected. It’s a great way to show potential clients your expertise.
- Find a new job. I haven’t practiced law for four years now, and I still receive messages on LinkedIn from legal recruiters several times a month. Increasingly, recruiters are using LinkedIn to search for the perfect match for their client instead of sifting through hundreds of resumes they receive in response to a job ad.
Kristi A. Dosh is Director of Sports Marketing and Vice President of Public Relations at Reputation Ink. She can be reached at email@example.com.
Elizabeth Lampert: No doubt, social media has created huge opportunities for attorneys, and many are using new media platforms to extend their networks, obtain their news and information, and globalize their social lives. There is nothing to suggest social media use is a fad. In fact, its impact will accelerate in the future.
The unprecedented reach of social networks, mainly the more well-known Facebook and Twitter, have been professional game-changers for many attorneys. Also, LinkedIn is a must and has in many respects taken the place of the traditional resume.
Law firm blogs are being used to create content, spread opinion and gather followers. In addition, with video becoming more and more a part of how we receive news, YouTube is coming into its own, and attorneys are dabbling with Periscope, Vine and other video platforms.
Aside from the usual suspects, I suggest SlideShare, the Internet’s largest platform for sharing presentations. SlideShare has over 60 million unique visitors every month; it receives five times more traffic from business owners than any other platform of its kind. The built-in sharing tools let you post to your social media accounts. To be successful on this publishing platform, though, your slide deck should be focused, graphic, educational and tailored for SlideShare viewing.
Try it, and as with all applications, take the time to understand what makes each channel different and what works and doesn’t work for your needs.
Jenna R. Wagner: Facebook and Twitter are great social platforms, but lawyers should pay particular attention to the 360 million professionals who have already harnessed the power of LinkedIn. In addition to serving as a virtual meeting place for all things business, LinkedIn has quickly grown into a news aggregator and publishing platform, making it an attractive resource for lawyers and others in the legal sphere.
By using a few tips and tricks, you can make a big impact while spending limited time away from those billables. Build your network with people you know, join industry and special interest groups (there is literally something for everyone), and follow businesses and potential clients.
In addition to liking, commenting and sharing news on LinkedIn, you can now publish your own content through the site’s publishing platform. Just make sure what you share provides value to your connections. You will begin to establish your professional identity and, as long as you’re active, increase your brand’s value by creating visibility.
In addition, if you’re in a position to spend a few bucks and really enjoy writing, JD Supra has become a leading source for all things legal news and could serve as a great resource to build your online brand.
Jenna Wagner is Director of Marketing for Barley Snyder LLP. She leads the firm’s marketing and communications efforts for its offices in Pennsylvania and Maryland. She tweets at @jhandywags and for @BarleySnyder.
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