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Social Media for Lawyers: How to Boost Your Practice and Avoid Pitfalls. Presentation by David Harlow at Plenary Session of Massachusetts Bar Association Annual Conference March 2010

Social Media for Lawyers: How to Boost Your Practice and Avoid Pitfalls. Presentation by David Harlow at Plenary Session of Massachusetts Bar Association Annual Conference March 2010

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Marketing and Branding Your Legal Practice Using Social Media Marketing and Branding Your Legal Practice Using Social Media Presentation Transcript

  • Marketing and BrandingYour Legal PracticeUsing Social Media
    Social Media for Lawyers:
    How to Boost Your Practice and Avoid Pitfalls
    Massachusetts Bar Association
    2010 Annual Conference
    David Harlow JD MPH
    The Harlow Group LLC
    1
    March 11, 2010
  • Why Social Media?
    All the cool kids are doing it . . .
    Willie Sutton logic: it’s where the money is
    Remember: It’s one arrow in the quiver
    2
    The Harlow Group LLC
  • Uses of Social Media
    Preliminary questions:
    What are your strategic goals?
    How can social media help you achieve them?
    What resources will you devote to this effort?
    How will you structure this effort?
    Clear planning early on can help avoid retrenchment and/or errors later
    3
    The Harlow Group LLC
  • 4
    The Harlow Group LLC
  • Four key social media tools
    Blog, or Blawg
    Twitter
    Linked In
    Facebook
    Remember, the medium is not the message
    Social media strategy must fit in with remainder of marketing strategy
    Depends on your target audience
    E.g., new media startups vs. insurance companies
    The Harlow Group LLC
    5
  • Blawg
    What is it?
    Why do it?
    Legal web log = law blog = blawg
    Web 2.0
    Online journal, posted in reverse chronological order
    Interactive
    Links
    Comments
    RSS: (“push”)
    PR/marketing for your practice and yourself
    Improved web presence (Google loves blogs)
    Networking
    Other bloggers
    Readers
    Referral sources
    Clients
    Marketing
    Higher Google profile
    more press calls
    6
    The Harlow Group LLC
  • How to blog
    Pick a niche and start writing
    Don’t stop . . . commitment matters
    You will find your voice . . . or several voices
    Don’t do this unless you really like writing and have something to say
    But don’t be put off by the fallacy: “If I’m thinking it, then everyone must be thinking it.”
    Begin publicizing after writing several posts
    Read voraciously
    Join the conversation
    Comment on, and link to, other blogs
    The Harlow Group LLC
    7
  • Learning the ropes
    Read other blogs
    Find them via directories, e.g.:
    Blawg.com
    Justia.com
    ABA Journal
    myHq:blawgs
    Read Blawg Reviewand posts from other blog carnivals (definition) (examples) and follow the links
    Subscribe to blogs using a feed reader, e.g.:
    Bloglines
    Google Reader
    The Harlow Group LLC
    8
  • Technical stuff
    The Harlow Group LLC
    Blogging infrastructure
    Choose a platform
    DIY
    Typepad
    Blogger
    Wordpress
    Posterous
    Others
    Hosted, designed, optimized
    Justia
    LexBlog
    9
  • More technical stuff
    Syndication
    Tune into the magic of RSS – “really simple syndication” for your feed
    Register with Feedburner(RSS & email for the dinosaurs)
    Link love
    You must give in order to receive
    Track readership
    Track reactions and links with Google Alerts
    Freshness and authority count
    Track incoming traffic with StatCounterorSiteMeter
    SEO: Adjust writing based on this information
    The Harlow Group LLC
    10
  • Blog carnivals (“traveling posts”)
    Participate in blog carnivals (definition)
    Submit posts
    Host carnivals
    General and specialized; legal and non-legal
    SeeBlogCarnival.com
    The Harlow Group LLC
    11
  • Blog carnivals (cont’d)
    Blog carnivals I contribute to and/or host
    Blawg Review
    Health Wonk Review
    Grand Rounds
    Others:
    Carnival of the Capitalists
    Cavalcade of Risk
    The Harlow Group LLC
    12
  • The Harlow Group LLC
    Google juice in action
    13
    OIG
    Health Blawg
    HFMA
    Ober
    Kutak
  • The Harlow Group LLC
    Google juice in action (cont’d)
    14
    Health Blawg
    Politico
    CNN
    ABC
    CBS
    The New Republic
  • From blogging to microblogging
    Twitter
    Microblogging platform -- 140 character limit per post
    Millions of registered users, including big business and lawyers from solos to Am Law 200
    “Broadcast” vs. interactive
    Can be used for one-way communication
    More effective as medium for conversation
    Networking and communication tool
    15
    The Harlow Group LLC
  • Using Twitter effectively
    Need to establish tactics that further your marketing strategy, e.g.:
    Broadcast blog posts
    “Tweet” information/links not worth a whole blog post or that you have no time to blog about
    Follow other “tweeps” of interest
    Engage in dialogue – public or private – with other tweeps
    Follow hashtags of interest; post with hashtags
    Participate in tweetchats
    The Harlow Group LLC
    16
  • The Harlow Group LLC
    Some Twitter tools
    To find other tweeps to follow:
    Twellow (index organized a la the original Yahoo!)
    Twubble, MrTweet (once you’re following some)
    JD Scoop list of 500+ twittering lawyers
    Legal Birds aggregator (Justia)
    LexTweet aggregator (LexBlog)
    To follow tweeps without being overwhelmed by the volume; lets you assign tweeps to groups
    TweetDeck or Seesmic
    Twitter on the go
    TwitterBerry, UberTwitter or iTweet
    17
  • TweetDeck
    18
    The Harlow Group LLC
  • Some Twitter tools (cont’d)
    Integrate tweets into other social media
    E.g., tweet via Ping.fm
    configured to post to Twitter, Facebook, Linked In.
    Feed blog through Twitterfeed or FeedBurner so post titles end up in “tweetstream” with links back to the blog.
    Posterous, other platforms allows for easy integration into multiple streams
    • Google and Bing Twitter search increase blog posts’ and tweets’ exposure
    The Harlow Group LLC
    19
  • Facebook and Linked In
    The Harlow Group LLC
    Online networking communities
    Leverage your network to avoid cold calls
    Allow you to feed content to their sites, including
    RSS feeds of blogs
    Tweets
    Allow you to remain top-of-mind
    Need to use the right online tools to reach each of your target markets
    20
  • Facebook
    The Harlow Group LLC
    Personal pages and business pages
    Personal pages – access may be limited to “friends”
    Business pages open to all
    Examples:
    David Harlow and The Harlow Group LLC
    Turned “friend” into a verb
    Useful platform for communication with defined groups and friends
    21
  • Linked In
    The Harlow Group LLC
    Linked In – “Facebook for grownups”
    Allows for exploration of contacts’ networks
    Includes Q&A forums to demonstrate expertise
    Adding functionality mimicking Facebook
    Groups
    Feeds
    Slideshare
    Convergence of Linked In, Facebook, Twitter
    22
  • Resources
    • Electronic Frontier Foundation: Legal Guide for Bloggers
    • Twitter for Lawyerson HealthBlawg
    • Darren Rowse’sTwiTips
    • My Web 2.0 sites:
    • HealthBlawg
    • HealthBlawg on Twitter
    • Linked In
    • Facebook
    The Harlow Group LLC
    23
  • Questions / Discussion
    The Harlow Group LLC
    David Harlow JD MPH
    The Harlow Group LLC
    harlowgroup.net
    healthblawg.typepad.com
    twitter.com/healthblawg
    david@harlowgroup.net
    617.965.9732
    for contact info in an sms, txt dharlow to 50500
    24