Social Networking and Web 2.0 for Lawyers


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Presented by Steve Matthews (Stem Legal Web Enterprises) and Susan Van Dyke (Van Dyke Marketing & Communications) at the Pacific Legal Technology Conference, October 2, 2009, in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

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  • What does “ strategic ” mean? Simply put: does this activity bring you closer to your goal or target market?
  • “ You have more money than you think ” [bank ad campaign] – you also have more contacts than you think Take initiative and make contact – build your own network Develop referral network – develop a group of champions. Water and feed regularly Use tools to help Social networking sites – linkedIn, Twitter, even Facebook Databases – build a database and automate as much as poss Collect business cards – get your assistant to help categorize your contacts and sign them up for a holiday card and newsletters. Think: compound interest!
  • Social Networking and Web 2.0 for Lawyers

    1. 1. Social Networking and Web 2.0 for Lawyers Steve Matthews Stem Legal Web Enterprises Susan Van Dyke Van Dyke Marketing & Communications
    2. 2. Social networking: friend or foe? <ul><li>Why you should care </li></ul><ul><li>Why you should participate </li></ul><ul><li>Most common choices </li></ul><ul><li>Tips, tricks and the golden rules </li></ul><ul><li>Getting started </li></ul>
    3. 3. <ul><li>“ It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” </li></ul><ul><li>- Charles Darwin </li></ul>
    4. 4. Web & world are changing? How so? <ul><li>Traditional Media in trouble </li></ul><ul><li>“ We are all publishers ” </li></ul><ul><li>Technology barriers for web-communication lowered or gone! </li></ul><ul><li>Vast majority of lawyers have no online profile </li></ul>
    5. 5. Decline of Print Media “ US newspaper ad revenues predicted to drop 42.5% in seven years” “ One big problem newspapers have in this age of instant information is the lag time between story creation and distribution. Compare that with online content, which is timelier and mostly free. News organizations also compete with blogs and user-generated content sites.” Source:
    6. 6. Yellow Pages <ul><li>“ In the 2008 survey, search engines (e.g., Google) pulled ahead of print yellow pages for local business information” </li></ul>Source:
    7. 7. Who’s Searching? “ 81% of Internet users worldwide used search engines in 2008.” Tip: Think about consumer research, and how Lawyers can back up referral endorsements? Google your own name! Source:
    8. 8. Who’s creating content? “ More than 82 million people in the US created content online during 2008...” Source:
    9. 9. Growth of Social Networks By 2013, an estimated 93% of adults over 18 will be regular social network visitors. Source:
    10. 10. Business Development Value <ul><li>Benefits of online participation? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Increased media exposure </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A dominant presence in the search engines  </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Frequent exchanges with other experts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Establishing/Improving Relationships </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Competitive Intelligence on clients </li></ul></ul>
    11. 11. <ul><li>“ 90% of life is showing up.” </li></ul><ul><li>- Woody Allen </li></ul>
    12. 12. Be strategic and focused <ul><li>Your time is precious. </li></ul><ul><li>Before you hit the gas, understand WHY you’re participating and WHO you’re communicating to. </li></ul><ul><li>What is your message? </li></ul>
    13. 13. Your personal brand <ul><li>What’s on your t-shirt? </li></ul><ul><li>Living your brand </li></ul><ul><li>The art of storytelling </li></ul><ul><li>Repeat </li></ul>
    14. 14. Three golden rules <ul><li>Be relevant </li></ul><ul><li>Be timely </li></ul><ul><li>Be helpful </li></ul>
    15. 15. Be relevant: respect your audience <ul><li>Your impatient audience </li></ul><ul><li>Lurking competitors </li></ul><ul><li>Messaging and thought leadership </li></ul><ul><li>Content is king! Think: Keywords </li></ul>
    16. 16. Be time sensitive <ul><li>Consider expectations of the medium </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Twitter is NOW </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blogs are more thoughtful, opinionated </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>LinkedIN and Facebook are for connectivity, not thought-leadership </li></ul></ul>
    17. 17. Be helpful in unexpected ways <ul><li>More than good karma = good business </li></ul><ul><li>Create a memorable experience </li></ul><ul><li>Build referral sources </li></ul><ul><li>Make connections </li></ul><ul><li>Encourages 1:1 interaction </li></ul>
    18. 18. Arg! Too many choices <ul><li>Most sites are unique, if only subtly </li></ul><ul><li>Understand where your clients, prospects and referral sources are gathering </li></ul><ul><li>Find and read leaders in your field as a starting point </li></ul>
    19. 19. Social Networks <ul><li>More than 175 million active users </li></ul><ul><li>The fastest growing demographic is those 30 years old and older </li></ul><ul><li>No official stats, but company say 19 million by year's end </li></ul><ul><li>80% of Twitter users have a bio specified on their profile </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter receives more daily traffic than 5 of the 6 largest news websites in the UK. </li></ul><ul><li>LinkedIn has over 36 million members in over 200 countries and territories around the world. </li></ul><ul><li>A new member joins LinkedIn approximately every second, and about half of our members are outside the U.S. </li></ul><ul><li>Executives from all Fortune 500 companies are LinkedIn members. </li></ul>Source:;;; “ The median age of a Twitter user is 31. In comparison, the median age of a … Facebook user is 26 and LinkedIn user is 40”
    20. 20. Lawyers on LinkedIn <ul><li>Apr ‘08: 118,000 </li></ul><ul><li>Jun ‘08: 216,000 </li></ul><ul><li>Dec ‘08: 406,000 </li></ul><ul><li>Mar ‘09: 563,000 </li></ul><ul><li>Jun ’09: 840,000 </li></ul>*encompasses others who work in the industry (marketing, IT, library, etc.)
    21. 21. LinkedIn
    22. 22. Lawyers on Twitter Legal Birds (Justia) – 1372 members as of Sep /09 <ul><li>LexTweet (LexBlog) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>5088 members as of Sep /09 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Legal Tweets (Nicole Black, a.k.a. @nikiblack </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A blog that groups related, topical tweets </li></ul></ul>
    23. 23. Lawyers on Facebook <ul><li>Facebook pages can now be public facing for lawyers/law firms </li></ul><ul><li>Company pages are set for a big growth in 2009 - 2010. </li></ul>
    24. 24. Lawyers-to-lawyer Networks
    25. 25. Not just for kids <ul><li>“ Kids” in their 20s are W-I-R-E-D </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Not to be dismissed or ignored </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Future clients </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Begin a dialogue with them </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Median ages higher and gaining ground </li></ul>
    26. 26. Building and expanding your circle of contacts <ul><li>Social networking helps you maintain current relationships and create new ones </li></ul><ul><li>You have more contacts that you think </li></ul><ul><li>Take initiative and make contact </li></ul><ul><li>Invite clients and contacts to participate with you </li></ul>
    27. 27. How Clients Benefit <ul><li>Benefits of web-based networking: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Based on Permission Marketing: Social media connections have given permission to communicate about your business; this is meant to be less aggressive, so don’t violate the r ules. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provides public-facing knowledge about a lawyer and their practice - knowledge & experience </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Intangibles like temperament (black & white -vs- shades of grey) </li></ul></ul>
    28. 28. Social Media vs Main Stream Media <ul><ul><li>Reports and editors constantly troll the net for sources, thought leaders and newsworthy topics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Write with key words in mind </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Make it easy to be found   </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conduct regular searches on your firm name and your own name </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Competitive intelligence on existing clients </li></ul></ul>
    29. 29. Social Network Blocking
    30. 30. What are Firms Blocking?
    31. 31. More than Social Networks… <ul><ul><li>Webinars </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>eNewsletters </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Self-publishing: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Blogs </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Article Publishing </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Video/YouTube </li></ul></ul></ul>
    32. 32. Stop thinking, start doing <ul><li>Action Jackson! Get in the game </li></ul><ul><li>Read & comment on blogs </li></ul><ul><li>Accept there’s no control </li></ul><ul><li>Stand behind your statements, but accept mistakes </li></ul><ul><li>Let your personality shine </li></ul><ul><li>Have fun and experiment! </li></ul>
    33. 33. Start here <ul><li>Understand your firm’s position on social media </li></ul><ul><li>Choose one application and get familiar </li></ul><ul><li>Start following and commenting </li></ul><ul><li>Look for colleagues from the real world </li></ul><ul><li>Test the waters with your message </li></ul>
    34. 34. Participate Strategically <ul><li>Know who you are, who your clients are, have goals: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Niche Expertise, Geographic, Industry, Referral Demographics </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Have a Plan: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Document off-line networks, use the tools, identify groups that send you work, create targets. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Content Syndication & Routing: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Automate your content, work smart. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Repurpose content, online & offline: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Blogs = paper newsletter content; Published in a Magazine? Blog about it. </li></ul></ul>
    35. 35. Questions & Comments?