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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