Social Media for Law Firms
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Social Media for Law Firms

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Basic introduction to uses of social media in law firm.

Basic introduction to uses of social media in law firm.

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    Social Media for Law Firms Social Media for Law Firms Presentation Transcript

    • SOCIAL MEDIA
      What is it and why should you care?
    • WHAT IS SOCIAL MEDIA?
      A new way to communicate and network – news and information is held by millions and distributed to a few niche markets.
      Works by providing a way to INTERACT
      Examples: blogs, discussion boards, mashups, microblogging, online video, photosharing, podcasting, presentation sharing, social networks, widget, wikis, virtual worlds, bookmarketing/tagging and crowdsourcing/voting
    • The Basics
      People are much more selective of what information they consume. The relationship is now two-way and continuous.
      LinkedIn – networking
      Facebook – community
      Twitter – conversation
    • Believe Social Media
      Is A Fad?
    • Social Media is Not A Fad
      “Social media is not a fad or frivolity, but a paradigm shift sweeping both the legal profession and society at large.” ABA LawPractice Management, January 2010
      The Face of a New Generation – fastest growing demographic on Facebook is 35 years and older.
      The Informed Consumer – consumers trust the information they locate online: blogs, video, online communities, websites
      Social Media is Fast and Cheap – 24-7 world, social media delivers the news at record pace…..at very little cost.
    • Social Media Is a Tool for Achieving Your Goals
      Goal is not to see how many followers or friends can be compiled.
      Large number of followers does not translate into large number of referrals or clients
      Instead, social media gives ability to focus message on specific target audiences and develop a specific strategy to meet goals
    • Social Media Changes the Medium… Not the Message
      “Using social media does not transform appropriate conduct into something unethical.” ABA
      Unethical communication (revealing a client confidence) is unacceptable if communicated by tweet, email or phone call.
      Flip side – a blog analyzing a recent case or explaining how to file bankruptcy isn’t transformed into bar-regulated advertising because it is self-published online.
    • Why should you care?
      Old vs New Marketing
    • Why should you care?
      400 million people on Facebook
      60 million on LinkedIn
      50 million Tweets PER DAY and adding 300,000 new users DAILY
      91% of users connect through their mobile devices
    • DO
      Do create a strong password and change it frequently
      Do go through all settings and UNDERSTAND and determine your privacy settings.
      Do tell people who you are. Use your real identity and demand that others do the same.
      Do make it clear you are speaking for yourself and not on behalf of the firm
    • DO
      Do make sure that your profile is up to date and active. Use a photograph, fill out the profile information, make it easy to find you.
      Do be accurate.
      Do maintain client confidentiality
      Do be willing to take a hit. If you are challenged or criticized – that is the price you pay for two-way open communication.
    • DO
      Do use LISTS to make Facebook more productive
      Do speak about the issues of law generally and factually.
      Do respect audiences – show proper consideration for others’ privacy and for possibly objectionable or inflammatory topics (politics/religion).
      Do Think First- never put anything in writing online unless prepared to see it on the front page of Above the Law. Remember: What happens in Vegas stays on Youtube!
    • DO NOT
      Do Not give legal advice
      Do Not cite or reference clients
      Do Not criticize the judiciary in any way.
      Do Not use the firm logo without permission.
      Do Not respond to anonymous “challengers”
    • Ponder First
    • Common Objections to Social Media
      Silly names – “google,” “tweets,” “friends,” “blogs” – often sounds like talk of gum-snapping teenagers. Doesn’t sound like the language of business.
      “I don’t need to.” – SM allows transparency, gives firm a voice and shows willingness to listen
      “We’ve been doing fine without it for years.” – the business/marketing world continues to evolve and companies re-inventing themselves as innovative by use of social media. Fortune 500 companies are embracing SM.
    • Common Objections to Social Media
      “Worried about the legal ramifications/regulatory issues.” – Firm must draft a social media policy that clearly outlines responsibilities.
      “It’s too risky; we’re better off doing nothing.” – Do you really want to risk letting your competitors take over opportunities you are missing?
      “You can’t measure it.” - Do you measure conversations? Relationships?
      “We will not make any money using SM.” – Have to look at traffic generated to website, connections and relationships built as a result of SM.
    • Common Objections to Social Media
      “We can’t control the message.” – No you cannot control. SM is the voice of the client. Can monitor conversations about your brand and your competitors. Then have an opportunity to respond.
      “We want to control the message.” – You control the engagement with the public and how you respond.
      “It’s just a blog, twitter or facebook – what is it going to do?” – SEO (search engine optimization), increase in traffic, increased customer service satisfaction, brand management, customer engagement, acts as a focus group.
    • Common Objections to Social Media
      “Our customers are not on social networks.” – Want to bet?
      “We can’t control our employees using it.” – They are using now – through mobile devices. Set strict guidelines for writing about the company’s service, clients, etc. Develop social media policy to address usage.
      “I already suffer from information overload.” – Can be overwhelming at first. But, don’t want to fall behind – technology continues to change and improve the way we obtain information. Use tweetdeck or hootsuite to help manage.
    • Make Social Media Work For You
      Stay connected with top clients to retain present business – use LinkedIn or Tweet
      Form Groups – private or confidential on LinkedIn and Facebook: client team infrastructure and support
      Use social media to connect with your existing networks
      Cross-sell specific practice groups
      Maintain deal/matter contact groups
      Maintain networks post –events; ask opinions and invite comments
      Leverage law firm affiliate networks – Primerus
    • Make Social Media Work For You
      “Facebook is like the country club, an event at your child’s school, or the neighborhood barbeque.” More casual than LinkedIn or a peer network like Martindale.com or Primerus. Do you get referrals from socializing at the country club, or people you know in your social/private life?
      Example: sermo - world’s largest online community of more than 130,000 physicians who share and deal with highly sensitive medical information through social media.
      Use Tweetdeck or Hootsuite to manage and organize
      You have to create and maintain – not something someone can do for you.
    • Make Social Media Work For You
      Show your expertise rather than just advertise
      Help your clients/consumers find you and your business
      Provide a personal touch
      It is ALL about the client – not all about the firm
    • How Cumberland School of Law utilizes social media for alumni development
      Social Media at
      Cumberland School of Law implemented use of social media in Fall of 2008. Their presence can be found on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Social media plays a key part in their Alumni Relations and Development efforts.
      These outlets allow Cumberland to continue a CONVERSATION with alumni, students, and affiliates. Information is not only disseminated to connections within these media outlets, Cumberland staff members closely monitor information contributed by constituents– which leads to opportunities to ENGAGE constituents.
    • Example: Disseminating information and
      engaging constituents
      Cumberland School of Law Celebrating the Reunion Classes of 1970, 1975, 1980,
      1985, 1990, 1995, 2000, 2005
      Cumberland Reunion Weekend 2010
      78 new photos
      Elizabeth Osborne Williams these are great, thank you for posting. Are you going to
      post the pictures from Saturday night? I hope so!
      April 6 at 1:22pm
      Cumberland School of Law we're working on it! keep a lookout
      April 6 at 1:35pm
      Elizabeth Osborne Williams oh great! thanks!
      April 6 at 1:38pm
    • Ongoing Presence on Social Media Networks
      Weekly updates on facebook to engage constituents
      Daily birthday messages to constituents on facebook
      Daily updates on Twitter
      News and discussion forums on LinkedIn
      Cumberland staff have embraced the “Let Go” policy. Constituents often form their own Cumberland affiliate groups. Example: Class of 1980 group on facebook
    • IT’S WORTH IT!!!!!
      Average weekly report of the Cumberland facebook page: 659 visits, +8 fans, 10 interactions (wall posts/comments/likes)
      Social media gives Cumberland a means of effectively communicating news and developments at the school
      We have a greater understanding and knowledge of our constituents: their work, hobbies, interests, and opinions of Cumberland
      Allows our constituents a greater means of connecting with each other – for networking or personal purposes
      Supports Cumberland’s development efforts, ex. Annual Fund
      For more information on Cumberland School of Law’s presence on social media and how to get connected, please contact Lauren McCaghren, Assistant Director of Alumni Relations, at lcmccagh@samford.edu
    • Getting Started
      Start by listening – read others’ blogs and comment on them.
      Create your LinkedIn profile – make sure it is complete
      Some examples:
      http://www.virtualmarketingofficer.com
      http://www.mintz.com/home.php
      www.thebyrneblog.com
      http://bit.ly/pUJBR
      http://www.blawg.com
      http://www.justia.com
      http://www.druganddevicelaw.blogspot.com
      www.jw.com
      www.alabamaappellatewatch.com
      http://thenonbillablehour.typepad.com/nonbillable_hour/