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

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 />