Dc Bar Assn  Social Media Legal Overview Suzanne Turner
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Dc Bar Assn Social Media Legal Overview Suzanne Turner

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An overview of legal uses of social media -- with thanks to Lexis Nexis for some of the graphics.

An overview of legal uses of social media -- with thanks to Lexis Nexis for some of the graphics.

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  • Networking is increasingly critical to the legal industry. A recent study called \"Networks for Counsel,\" conducted by Leader Networks, in partnership with LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell, revealed some interesting data, such as the increasing difficulty of in-person networking efforts.Meanwhile, social media adoption among legal professionals in on the rise -- especially Corporate Counsel -- for very specific business reasons:Access to specialized infoEasier information exchangeFaster decision resolutionThe Networks for Counsel study can be downloaded at http://www.leadernetworks.com or http://www.leadernetworks.com/networks_study_form.shtml
  • There is a great deal of innovation going on around social media. New tools and opportunities are created almost daily for every imaginable connection platform. Streaming video, photo upload, micro blogging, virtual worlds are everywhere. For the digitally curious, expert social media users or experimenters, there is great variety online. We have showcased this variety here. BUT, for professional users of social media, the landscape need not be so overwhelming. The next slide offers a overview of the social media \"Landscape for Lawyers\" – a more selective and targeted look at the online professional networking tools and opportunities available for you to advance the business and practice of law. 12
  • Just what are the key online professional networking activities for lawyers? Listening, collaborating and promoting. These may sound easy, but the order is important. Contributing or promoting yourself without listening first is like talking loudly during a concert. It creates a bad first impression. Just as the first impression you make in person can have lasting consequences, your first forays into social networking online can have a long-term impact. Google never forgets what you've posted, commented on or discussed.The first phase of social media engagement is listening. Observe what others say and their tone; monitor your reputation and the reputations of people important to you; follow trends and watch for opportunities to participate and contribute. This step is crucial -- the need to monitor and observe your own activities never ceases -- and includes:Creating Google or private community alertsSubscribing to newsfeeds and blog readersScanning social media – Blogpulse, tweetscan, community searchesPhase two is Collaboration -- taking actions to engage with other and become visible. You might:Join an online community or professional networkCreate a basic profileConnect with peers, help others make connections and begin to leverage those connections to expand your networkContribute to ratings, rankings and surveysAdd your comments to a blogParticipate in discussions and groupsAsk good questions and offer useful advice and answersEach profile detail, connection, rating or survey response, blog comment or discussion post adds depth and detail to your online persona, and helps create trust and respect inside and outside your specific community.Phase three is Promoting, which takes collaboration a step further to create an active marketing stream of your online activities. Think of this as a program for creating and expanding your personal brand online, developing a professional reputation based on thought leadership contributions and support of your firm and other practitioners. Both Corporate Counsel and Private Practice attorneys benefit from actively promoting their POV online – be it to get more business, find a new position or stay connected to industry trends and developments. Engaging in each of these three phases – listening, collaborating and promoting -- enhances the impact of the other phases. The result is greater trust, greater visibility and stronger connections within the professional network. In turn, you will be able to utilize Online Legal Business Tools such as preferred provider lists, integrated search and client ratings more effectively. This will advance your legal practice in new ways -- more quickly, more thoroughly and, in most cases, at less cost than through traditional off-line methods.12
  • As the CareerBuilder study suggests, the business rationale for creating and maintaining a positive, effective online persona is very persuasive. Your social media profile -- not just your actual profile but all the elements that make up your online reputation -- is your calling card in the digital age. Before any meeting or event, people will search online for you, so it's to your benefit to control and shape what they learn about your professional life.
  • Understanding how you or your firm is perceived in the online world is a competitive necessity. By regularly conducting searches on yourself, your organization and industry, you gain valuable insights into what information is available to others. This is especially important for legal practitioners who have a public face through speaking engagements, specific expertise or cases. Tracking your reputation online will give you a better sense of how you, your firm or your area of practice are perceived.It's also a fast and free way to identify emerging legal issues or up-and-coming practitioners. Monitor the changes in search results on these topics or people over time. Watch where you or the legal topics you follow appear in search results -- and pay attention to the sources. If you track them over time while building your social media participation, you will likely notice an improvement in your search rankings due to your increased visibility online. You can also spot wrong information in your background or bio and take action to change or remove it.Unless you are already active online or especially well-known, you won’t find too many search results that you didn’t know about: a talk you gave, a case you were involved with. If you do discover unexpected mentions, take advantage of the opportunity to get involved. You can’t stop people from talking about you, but once you know it is happening, you can choose to participate in the conversation. For example, if you write an article for a legal publication, bloggers and online commentators may mention it. Use their mentions to respond or leave a comment online. If someone disagrees with your ideas, seize the chance to expand your thesis and discuss your thinking process. All of these participation activities on social media will raise your visibility and help people who may be searching for or about you online.
  • In addition to blogs, there are lots of other places to find information, people and watch trends. Content-sharing sites such as SlideShare and YouTube can quickly and engagingly signal the sentiments of many people in relationship to an issue or topic.
  • There are 4 major categories of digital channels that are especially useful for lawyers.The first is blogs and online news. The Web is awash with millions of blogs, but there is a select group that are dedicated to law-related commentary or showcase legal ideas, issues and trends. Companies and individuals may publish blogs on their company web sites, using blog tools such as blogger or WordPress, or belong to a blog network that aggregates topical or industry blogs into a single place online. Both blog strategies are useful and their success -- as measured by traffic and comments -- depends upon their visibility. Many bloggers take multiple approaches, publishing their blogs independently, submitting them to blog networks and linking to them on professional networks to receive the widest exposure. Reputation Aggregators is the second channel. Reputation channels allow an attorney to watch, follow and amend information about their own professional identity, as well as locate and track information about the backgrounds and affiliations of other lawyers. Google is, of course, the mother of all reputation engines and will surface much of the information that is publicly available. Naymz and Spoke are sites where public information is displayed about a person but one can also augment or enhance that data by soliciting endorsements and references online or adding information that is not public, such as awards or positions. Jigsaw is a different kind of reputation engine. It is a contact directory where a user can purchase contact information for professionals on a one-by-one basis.Blogpulse offers a scan for a URL, name or word -- such as a legal term -- to measure how many bloggers have mentioned or linked to the word or URL.The third channel is Communities. There are many professional networks and communities open to the legal profession or used by lawyers to share information and collaborate with peers. Private legal-only online communities such as Martindale Hubbell Connected offer a safe and protected place for legal professionals to connect online and share information about themselves and their practice. Other communities include JDSupra which focuses more on document sharing and collaboration; Legal OnRamp and LegallyMinded.com are also examples of online legal communities.Finally, Social Networks are places where the primary goal of participation is to connect with others. LinkedIn is the most widely used business-oriented social network online. Thousands of lawyers have profiles and bios posted on LinkedIn as a way to be seen and share information in public about themselves. The majority of social networks are public, so any information posted on them is accessible by Google and other search engines. Plaxo is another example of a network that is open to all but is largely used by professionals to maintain up-to-date contact information about themselves and others.
  • Using two examples of leading social media sites -- Martindale-Hubbell Connected and LinkedIn -- we will explore how these sites can be used, and we can discuss several scenarios so the benefits and practical applications can be better understood ...
  • In this example, we are using a profile from Martindale-Hubbell Connected. [Go through key points ...]Additional commentary: Her profile indicates she has completed a client review which demonstrates her involvement in and commitment to the legal profession. We are left with the experience of feeling this is a professional that is someone we want to or should know.An effective profile conveys far more than simply a picture and a bio. The details enhance the individual's credibility, accessibility and substance, just as a real-life encounter might. The profile encourages someone to make contact and establish a professional connection.21
  • Let's bring the power of a social media profile to life and see how far-reaching a good social media profile can be.By conducting an online search, an attorney can find someone -- for example, a legal or subject matter expert -- and discover how he might connect to that expert through mutual connections, even if the connection is indirect through one or more intermediaries. Instead of just “blindly” contacting or connecting to someone, he can now use his relationship channel to reach 2nd or even 3rd degree connections with greater reliability and confidence.21
  • Both Martindale Connected and LinkedIn offer groups as part of the professional network experience. Joining a select number of groups is a preferred way to narrow and deepen your connections and collaborations with other professionals via shared affiliations and interests.There are different kinds of groups available on professional networks – private groups which require a group owner to approve your participation- public groups that anyone can joinIdeally, you may want to join two to five groups per network, being mindful of the commitment this entails. Smaller groups typically require more engagement and participation. The expectations for small group collaboration will be higher than for a larger network where there are thousands or million of users. Often times, when you join a group, your membership profile will display a badge or indication that you are part of the group. This is a great way to signal your specialization and expertise to the world. In some cases, you may not want that badge to appear and you can amend your privacy settings so that the group is not displayed on your public profile.
  • Create profiles or join networks where you are most likely to build or grow the professional relationshipsLinkedIn and Martindale-Hubbell Connected ExamplesKey points:- Develop an online identity and manage your online reputation actively- Cultivate your identity – don’t leave it to random encounters- Have a point of view or value to contribute to the conversation- Participate slowly but regularly, and build over time -- \"only fools rush in\"- Create a steady drumbeat of credibility and value- Reciprocity matters – be a good online neighbor and help others- Everyone is “Google-able”

Dc Bar Assn  Social Media Legal Overview Suzanne Turner Dc Bar Assn Social Media Legal Overview Suzanne Turner Presentation Transcript

  • D.C. Bar Association Thought Leadership I: Using Web2.0 to Show Expertise May 21, 2009
  • Agenda • Thought Leadership 101 • Web 2.0 – Why bother? – Landscape – Basic Rules – Basic Tools – Special Legal Considerations • Introduce Presenters
  • What Thought Leadership IS • A strategic decision about your firm’s market position in 2-5 years • Positioning your staff’s expertise to achieve those goals
  • What Thought Leadership ISN’T • Legal jargon-filled press releases (as one example)
  • Thought Leadership Planning • READY • AIM • FIRE
  • READY • Pick area of focus that: – Supports strategic thrust – Leverages firm core competencies – Has market space to establish leadership • Conduct research to substantiate viability – ie: what are investment banks, large consulting firms doing; – what are other law firms doing and how large are their marketing staffs comparatively?
  • AIM: Planning • Goal – Where currently positioned? Growth potential in 2, 5, 10 years? • Benefit – What are core differentiators? • Strategy • Tactics (tools) • Establish case with white papers/legal journal articles • Consider seminars and webinars – invite current clients to participate • We’ll be talking today about Web 2.0 and on June 11th about traditional media • Resources – partner time, staff commitment, hard costs • Success Measures
  • FIRE • Implement plan • Establish and monitor success measures • Make necessary course corrections
  • Web 2.0: Why Bother?
  • Everyone’s Doing It According to the Networks for Counsel (2008) study by Leader Networks and LexisNexis… Approximately 50% of counsel belong to a social network such as LinkedIn or Facebook (as of April 2008) • Corporate Counsel are over 3x more likely to use their network for professional reasons • Counsel prefer a private online network for just attorneys • Martindale-Hubbell Connected is the online network attorneys favor most And they believe it helps them work… – Access to information I can’t get anyplace else – 46% – Easier exchange of information – 45% – More quickly find and evaluate the right legal partners – 29% 10
  • The Social Media Landscape
  • Primary Professional Networking Activities for Lawyers Utilizing Online Legal Business Tools • Referral management • Integrated search • Client ratings 12
  • Maintaining a Positive Online Reputation Career Builder did a study (Sept. 2008) on how employers and hiring managers use social media to vet candidates. Top factors that influenced their hiring decision included: • 48% - candidate’s background supported their qualifications • 43% - candidate had great communication skills • 40% - candidate was a good fit for the company’s culture • 36% - candidate’s site conveyed a professional image • 31% - candidate had great references posted about them by others • 30% - candidate showed a wide range of interests • 29% - candidate received awards and accolades • 24% - candidate’s profile was creative Keep your digital persona professional and appropriate. Clean up any digital dirt on personal sites. 13
  • Listening: Reputation Management • Discover your online identity – Research yourself, your firm or company and your area of practice – http://www.google.com/alerts – Fix or edit any incorrect information about you or your firm. • If you find yourself quoted, mentioned or commented about on a blog or article, use comments area to respond – right away Activity + Credibility = Visibility 14
  • Listening: Monitoring the Online Channels Find blogs that you want to read regularly and follow those blogs • Visit them regularly (manually) or • Use a web browser to follow that RSS feed or • Subscribe by email • Follow bloggers & journalists through RSS • Connect to peers and thought leaders via the Twitter follow feature • Search SlideShare, YouTube, key social networks and join groups of like-minded professionals 15
  • BASIC RULES • It’s a conversation • Authentic and personal • You don’t control the medium – and that’s a good thing • You get by giving – starting a conversation topic, commenting on someone else’s blog, etc • Use your dinner party manners
  • BASIC TOOLS (these and your own website/blog) Blogs and Reputation Community Social Networks Online News Aggregators 17
  • Existing social media sites – strengths and weaknesses • Twitter – immediate, breaking news, “cool kids” club • LinkedIn – very professional • Facebook – quirkier, more personal • Legal Communities – JD Supra – Legal On Ramp – Martindale Hubble Connected (www.martindale.com /connected) • Communities where potential clients congregate – Example: Sermo (physicians)
  • Best Practice Social Networks for Lawyers 19
  • An Effective Social Media Profile (NOT written by your assistant) • She is reachable and accessible • Effective photo and contact information • Expertise and area of practice is clear and well defined • Credible authority established • Bio is first person • “She has spoken on 6 continents about the rule of law, women in the law, and the future of the law.” • Links to others = well connected • Interests give personal feeling • Activity and frequency of use establishes commitment 20
  • The Network Effect I have a real Professional networking estate success matter in Seattle. means making connections Who can do And using them well the work? Who do I know that can serve as a referral? 21
  • Using Groups to Segment Your Audience • Groups are a great way to segment the growing audience of professional network users – Connect with other around a common professional interest – Narrow peer groups into smaller, more focused clusters and allows for more substantial professional conversation – Enables “deep dives” into subject matter with others who understand the nuances, language and issues of a specific topic • Joining a group is a more intimate experience than joining a network – Introduce yourself to the group and offer brief background – Participate frequently and offer ideas, questions and insights – Above all, be helpful and pro-active to maximize value for all 22
  • SPECIAL TIPS FOR LAWYERS - 1 • Law firm social web policy – Appropriate business behavior guidelines – Respectful and polite – Employer’s time vs my time
  • SPECIAL TIPS FOR LAWYERS - 2 •Professional legal ethics —Commercial speech is subject to advertising rules —Copyright and fair use laws —Avoid use of proprietary and confidential information —Don’t make misleading statements
  • SPECIAL TIPS FOR LAWYERS - 3 • Legal liabilities – Admissions – Trade libel/trade secrets – Disclosure of non-public information – Patentable information – Securities fraud – Information that could undermine firm or client position w competitors
  • 8 Minute Social Media Game Plan • 5 min – scanning RSS feeds and blogs • 10 seconds – check Google alerts (respond if need be) • 3 minutes – Tweet links to key articles; ideal #Tweets/day=4 • 5 minutes – log onto professional network of choice - connect to 1-3 people every few visits -write personal e-mail to 1-2 connections -scan for a or blogs/brief comments or post message • 5 minutes or less daily – respond to comments on your blog posts • 1-2/month write or co-write blog entry - Tweet link to blog post - Post blog on network profile -RSS feed sends blog entry to all subscribers 26
  • Today’s Guests • Scott Oswald, Employment Law Group – Website best practices/SEO/Using technology during trial • Lyle Denniston, SCOTUS Blog – SCOTUS editorial emphasis • Shaun Dakin, Executive Director, Citizens for Civil Discourse – Using Twitter and Facebook/other social media • Ryan Ozimek, PicNet – Search engine optimizing legal briefs and websites to dominate searches; – Integrating and centralizing social media tools • Stan Magniant, Linkfluence – Measuring social media.
  • Thank You! Turner Strategies 1001 Connecticut Ave. NW Suite 710 Washington, DC 20036 202-466-9633 CREDITS: Legal Marketing Association; Lexis/Nexis