Social Media for Law Firms


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Basic introduction to uses of social media in law firm.

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Social Media for Law Firms

  1. 1. SOCIAL MEDIA <br />What is it and why should you care?<br />
  2. 2. WHAT IS SOCIAL MEDIA?<br />A new way to communicate and network – news and information is held by millions and distributed to a few niche markets. <br />Works by providing a way to INTERACT <br />Examples: blogs, discussion boards, mashups, microblogging, online video, photosharing, podcasting, presentation sharing, social networks, widget, wikis, virtual worlds, bookmarketing/tagging and crowdsourcing/voting<br />
  3. 3. The Basics<br />People are much more selective of what information they consume. The relationship is now two-way and continuous.<br />LinkedIn – networking <br />Facebook – community<br />Twitter – conversation <br />
  4. 4. Believe Social Media <br />Is A Fad?<br />
  5. 5. Social Media is Not A Fad<br />“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<br />The Face of a New Generation – fastest growing demographic on Facebook is 35 years and older.<br />The Informed Consumer – consumers trust the information they locate online: blogs, video, online communities, websites<br />Social Media is Fast and Cheap – 24-7 world, social media delivers the news at record pace… very little cost.<br />
  6. 6. Social Media Is a Tool for Achieving Your Goals<br />Goal is not to see how many followers or friends can be compiled.<br />Large number of followers does not translate into large number of referrals or clients<br />Instead, social media gives ability to focus message on specific target audiences and develop a specific strategy to meet goals<br />
  7. 7. Social Media Changes the Medium… Not the Message<br />“Using social media does not transform appropriate conduct into something unethical.” ABA<br />Unethical communication (revealing a client confidence) is unacceptable if communicated by tweet, email or phone call. <br />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.<br />
  8. 8. Why should you care?<br />Old vs New Marketing<br />
  9. 9. Why should you care?<br />400 million people on Facebook<br />60 million on LinkedIn<br />50 million Tweets PER DAY and adding 300,000 new users DAILY<br />91% of users connect through their mobile devices<br />
  10. 10. DO<br />Do create a strong password and change it frequently<br />Do go through all settings and UNDERSTAND and determine your privacy settings.<br />Do tell people who you are. Use your real identity and demand that others do the same. <br />Do make it clear you are speaking for yourself and not on behalf of the firm<br />
  11. 11. DO<br />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.<br />Do be accurate.<br />Do maintain client confidentiality<br />Do be willing to take a hit. If you are challenged or criticized – that is the price you pay for two-way open communication. <br />
  12. 12. DO<br />Do use LISTS to make Facebook more productive<br />Do speak about the issues of law generally and factually.<br />Do respect audiences – show proper consideration for others’ privacy and for possibly objectionable or inflammatory topics (politics/religion). <br />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!<br />
  13. 13. DO NOT<br />Do Not give legal advice<br />Do Not cite or reference clients<br />Do Not criticize the judiciary in any way.<br />Do Not use the firm logo without permission.<br />Do Not respond to anonymous “challengers”<br />
  14. 14. Ponder First<br />
  15. 15. Common Objections to Social Media <br />Silly names – “google,” “tweets,” “friends,” “blogs” – often sounds like talk of gum-snapping teenagers. Doesn’t sound like the language of business.<br />“I don’t need to.” – SM allows transparency, gives firm a voice and shows willingness to listen<br />“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.<br />
  16. 16. Common Objections to Social Media <br />“Worried about the legal ramifications/regulatory issues.” – Firm must draft a social media policy that clearly outlines responsibilities.<br />“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? <br />“You can’t measure it.” - Do you measure conversations? Relationships?<br />“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.<br />
  17. 17. Common Objections to Social Media <br />“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.<br />“We want to control the message.” – You control the engagement with the public and how you respond.<br />“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.<br />
  18. 18. Common Objections to Social Media <br />“Our customers are not on social networks.” – Want to bet?<br />“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.<br />“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.<br />
  19. 19. Make Social Media Work For You<br />Stay connected with top clients to retain present business – use LinkedIn or Tweet<br />Form Groups – private or confidential on LinkedIn and Facebook: client team infrastructure and support<br />Use social media to connect with your existing networks<br />Cross-sell specific practice groups<br />Maintain deal/matter contact groups<br />Maintain networks post –events; ask opinions and invite comments<br />Leverage law firm affiliate networks – Primerus<br />
  20. 20. Make Social Media Work For You<br />“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 or Primerus. Do you get referrals from socializing at the country club, or people you know in your social/private life?<br />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.<br />Use Tweetdeck or Hootsuite to manage and organize<br />You have to create and maintain – not something someone can do for you.<br />
  21. 21. Make Social Media Work For You<br />Show your expertise rather than just advertise<br />Help your clients/consumers find you and your business<br />Provide a personal touch<br />It is ALL about the client – not all about the firm<br />
  22. 22. How Cumberland School of Law utilizes social media for alumni development<br />Social Media at<br />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. <br />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.<br />
  23. 23. Example: Disseminating information and <br />engaging constituents<br /> Cumberland School of Law Celebrating the Reunion Classes of 1970, 1975, 1980, <br /> 1985, 1990, 1995, 2000, 2005<br /> Cumberland Reunion Weekend 2010<br /> 78 new photos<br /> Elizabeth Osborne Williams these are great, thank you for posting. Are you going to <br /> post the pictures from Saturday night? I hope so!<br /> April 6 at 1:22pm <br /> Cumberland School of Law we're working on it! keep a lookout<br /> April 6 at 1:35pm <br /> Elizabeth Osborne Williams oh great! thanks!<br /> April 6 at 1:38pm <br />
  24. 24. Ongoing Presence on Social Media Networks<br />Weekly updates on facebook to engage constituents<br />Daily birthday messages to constituents on facebook<br />Daily updates on Twitter<br />News and discussion forums on LinkedIn<br />Cumberland staff have embraced the “Let Go” policy. Constituents often form their own Cumberland affiliate groups. Example: Class of 1980 group on facebook<br />
  25. 25. IT’S WORTH IT!!!!!<br />Average weekly report of the Cumberland facebook page: 659 visits, +8 fans, 10 interactions (wall posts/comments/likes)<br />Social media gives Cumberland a means of effectively communicating news and developments at the school<br />We have a greater understanding and knowledge of our constituents: their work, hobbies, interests, and opinions of Cumberland<br />Allows our constituents a greater means of connecting with each other – for networking or personal purposes<br />Supports Cumberland’s development efforts, ex. Annual Fund<br />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<br />
  26. 26. Getting Started<br />Start by listening – read others’ blogs and comment on them.<br />Create your LinkedIn profile – make sure it is complete<br />Some examples:<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />