Social Media for Law Firms

Yesterday, we covered the first part of the social media session from the Legal Marketing Association’s Annual Conference. Today, let’s jump into part two! 

Next up, on the panel we had Melissa Croteau, the CMO of Nixon Peabody. Her role on the panel was to talk about how a large firm handles social media. Nixon Peabody started using social media in 2009, beginning with Twitter. They currently have 2,500 regular followers, with a majority of those being media.

Because I’m always trying to follow the tweet stream, as well as live tweet, when I’m at a conference, I also was keeping an eye on the tweets coming out of other sessions. From another session at the same time, Russell Lawson posted what turned out to be a timely suggestion for our group as well – he noted that journalists are using their Twitter stream to find interesting or out of the ordinary story ideas, so firms shouldn’t post the same old thing all the time. If Nixon Peabody has so many media followers, they must be adhering to this idea already!


Continue Reading Social Media is Here to Stay – An LMA 2012 Re-cap Part II

You may have guessed that I have a certain fondness for social media. I’ve touted its benefits here before, so it should come as no surprise that I headed straight for the social media session while I was at the LMA Annual Conference in Dallas a couple of weeks ago.

Before I get into the nitty gritty of the presentation from the panelists and my thoughts, I’ll share what the CMO of Nixon Peabody said during the session – “The most significant thing a marketing department can do in 2012 is to develop a social media strategy.”

These are bold words from an industry that was still wondering whether social media had staying power only last year. And I couldn’t agree more. Although, I would go a step further than that and say that rather than creating a separate strategy, social media should instead be used to enhance and drive existing strategies and projects. If the tweets coming from the other breakout sessions were any indication, all of them were mentioning social media in conjunction with their topics – the possibilities for using it for law firms are exciting and valuable.


Continue Reading Social Media is Here to Stay – An LMA 2012 Re-cap Part I

You may not be surprised to learn that during the 2011 Legal Marketing Association Annual Conference, I attended the session on Effectively Leveraging Social Media as a Business Development & Marketing Tool. And it was definitely a valuable session.  

The panel was moderated by Josh Fruchter, Principal at eLawMarketing, and featured Melanie Green, Director of Business Development & Marketing at Baker Daniels, Andrea Stimmel, Business Development Director, Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle, and Russell Thomas, Director of Media & Public Relations at Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice.

The panel began by asking who in the room worked at a firm that was tweeting, had a Facebook page, a LinkedIn profile, or blogs – the majority of the room was in this category.  Law firms lean more towards LinkedIn than Facebook based on the show of hands in the room, though a few of those on Twitter said they felt Facebook had value as well.  

The panel had crowdsourced questions from the attendees in advance of the session through the LMA Conference’s LinkedIn group, and the panel was built around this.  


Continue Reading Effectively Leveraging Social Media as a Business Development & Marketing Tool – An LMA Recap

On Wednesday, December 8th, the ILN offered a webinar with Freesource’s Nathan Egan on "LinkedIn for Lawyers." Because of all the great information in the webinar, I have broken this up into a few posts, with Part I and Part II being published last week.

If You Build it, They Will Come

Nathan said that one of the common objections for lawyers using LinkedIn is that they’re too busy to do any of this, let alone "build a network."  But he assured the audience that they already have a network, built over their careers. They don’t need to build a new network on LinkedIn, just capture the existing network.

He said that LinkedIn does their best to automate this process, allowing users to upload their contacts from an email program. Users can have very few connections and in as little as an hour, send out 100 meaningful connection requests to their network. In the next day or so, those people will connect with you and you’ll have a nice network.

Nathan said that once users have built the network of people they know, continuing to develop it becomes a case of management over time. It should integrate with your work flow, if you’ve set LinkedIn as your home page, and as you see new connection opportunities, you can pick them off one at a time.


Continue Reading Webinar Re-cap: LinkedIn for Lawyers with Nathan Egan Part III

On Wednesday, December 8h, the ILN offered a webinar with Freesource’s Nathan Egan on "LinkedIn for Lawyers." Because of all the great information in the webinar, I’m breaking this up into a couple of posts, with Part I being published yesterday.

Now let’s jump right into Part II

Your External Profile – A Brand Beacon

Nathan then took the audience through an individual LinkedIn profile, saying that it can be a beacon for your brand.  He said that in social media, we talk a lot about "inbound marketing" – creating the context for people to come to you – and the profile is really where it all starts in terms of positioning.

Most firms have put lots of money into their corporate websites, which are the umbrella marketing portal for the firm.  Nathan said that they’re looking to help people understand that the LinkedIn profile, the social assets of the firm (which are the people), are now sub-domains of the corporate website.

They have the potential to drive search engine optimization activity back to the corporate website.  Nathan said that by hard linking and key wording the profile in a meaningful way, with the keywords that the firm would want to be found for, they create a tremendous lift in their marketing efforts very naturally and passively.

Nathan said that the idea is to make LinkedIn work for the attorneys in a way that doesn’t take a lot of time. It does involve some upfront work to get it going, but he said the investment is well worth it.  Once the profile is up, running and polished, it becomes a passive part of your professional world.


Continue Reading Webinar Re-cap: LinkedIn for Lawyers with Nathan Egan Part II

The ILN has offered a webinar series to our members for the past two years, and in 2010, we’re offering a three-part series on social networking.  In October, we started with, "Social Networking Strategy & Blogging," with Kevin O’Keefe of LexBlog.  December’s webinar with Freesource’s Nathan Egan focused on "LinkedIn for Lawyers."  

There’s a lot of great information in here from Nathan, so I’ll break this up into a couple of posts.

After a short introduction from ILN’s Executive Director, Alan Griffiths, Nathan jumped into his presentation.  Due to some technical difficulties, Nathan wasn’t able to share his PowerPoint, but instead offered a fabulous demonstration of the most useful features of LinkedIn and how attorneys can make it work for them.

He started by saying that the ILN had informally interviewed a few of the attorneys before the webinar, and learned that their business objectives for 2011 centered around finding new clients, having better access to & visibility in the marketplace, being able to collaborate and share, and positioning the firm and its lawyers to be top of mind for clients.  Nathan said that these new tools, like LinkedIn, offer a way to help meet these business objectives.


Continue Reading Webinar Re-cap: LinkedIn for Lawyers with Nathan Egan Part I

With social media being such a new phenomenon, and social media tools a new technology, it’s reasonable to expect that there are a lot of questions surrounding them. 

During the ILN’s 2010 Regional Meeting of the Americas, I got a question from an audience member that I thought I’d repost here.  One of our attorneys wanted to know if a distinction is made between blogging and social media, and also, how it’s possible to keep employees from using social networking tools at work.

I explained that some people do make a distinction between blogs and social media, but I consider them to be the same thing – my reason for this is that the main idea behind social networking (effective social networking, in my opinion), is that it’s supposed to be social. So when people are commenting on a blog post you’ve written, it’s important to be paying attention to these comments and interacting with the posters.

As my ILN audience knows, and this blog audience may have guessed, I believe that social networking CAN be a professional, as well as social, tool.  I’ve said before, if people are using social networking tools at work, for personal purposes only, that’s a human resources problem – those people looking for something else to do during work time are going to be the same people making personal phone calls or emailing joke forwards.


Continue Reading Questions About Social Media?

The ILN has offered a webinar series to our members for the past two years, and in 2010, we’re offering a three-part series on social networking.  Wednesday kicked off our first webinar in the series, "Social Networking Strategy & Blogging," with Kevin O’Keefe of LexBlog.  

After a short introduction from ILN’s Executive Director, Alan Griffiths, Kevin treated the audience to an overview of social networking strategy and blogging.  He shared his experience with getting involved with the internet and what it has meant for him, in order to give the audience some context for the presentation and the benefit of his experience.

The bulk of Kevin’s presentation focused on how lawyers can be successful using social networking tools and why good lawyers tend to gravitate towards using these types of tools.  He began by talking about how few people trust advertising – only 14% – and most law firms on the internet are advertising with their websites.  

He added that a website is necessary for law firms as one point of contact, but said that it doesn’t do much for the firm’s word of mouth reputation.  He likened it to bringing potential clients to see a billboard and expecting that to encourage them to hire their law firm.  For this reason, Kevin said that using social networking tools to drive traffic to the firm’s website is not an effective use of the tools.  


Continue Reading Webinar Re-cap: Social Networking Strategy & Blogging with Kevin O’Keefe, LexBlog