Marketing and Branding Your Legal Practice Using Social Media


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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

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Marketing and Branding Your Legal Practice Using Social Media

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