Are you using social media to its fullest ability to help you in business development? Learn how using social listening can help you to build your book of business in Jaimie Field’s latest post.

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Have you ever thought about using social monitoring to build your book of business?

Social monitoring/listening is using tools, like Google Alerts, Social Mention, Talkwalker, Mention (to name a scant few) to monitor what is on the internet based on specific queries that you set up. Many of them are free of charge or offer a freemium version (a less robust form of the program with minimum features of the version for which they would make you pay).
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iSGu85T8TXS9zXJ20iBU__MG_9585With Instagram offering multi-account support (yay!) from within the app, it’s an appropriate time to talk about some marketing strategies for how to get noticed for using Instagram professionally.

Instagram is my favorite social media platform, and if you’re not yet familiar with it, or using it, Wikipedia tells us that it is:

mobiledesktop, and Internet-based photo-sharing application and service that allows users to share pictures and videos either publicly or privately…Instagram lets registered users upload photos or videos to the service. Users can apply various digital filters to their images, and add locations through geotags. They can add hashtags to their posts, linking the photos up to other content on Instagram featuring the same subject or overall topic. Users can connect their Instagram account to other social media profiles, enabling them to share photos to those profiles as well. Originally, a distinctive feature of Instagram was its confining of photos to a square; this was changed in August 2015, when an update started allowing users to upload media at full size. In June 2012, an “Explore” tab was introduced, showing users a variety of media, including popular photos and photos taken at nearby locations, trending tags and places, channels for recommended videos, and curated content. Support for videos was originally launched in June 2013, and had a 15-second maximum duration and limited quality, with Instagram later adding support for widescreen and longer videos. Private messaging, called Instagram Direct, was launched with basic photo-sharing functionality in December 2013, and has gradually received major updates incorporating more features, most notably text support and “disappearing” photos. In August 2016, Instagram introduced a “Stories” feature, letting users add photos to a story, with the content disappearing after 24 hours. Instagram added live-video functionality to Stories in November 2016, augmented reality stickers in April 2017, and face filters in May 2017.”

Many of you may be thinking “so what? It sounds like something for kids to use, and not that big of a deal.” So let’s look at the usage statistics:

After its launch in 2010, Instagram rapidly gained popularity, with one million registered users in two months, 10 million in a year, and ultimately 700 million as of April 2017. Its users have uploaded over 40 billion photos to the service as of October 2015. As of April 2017, Instagram Direct has 375 million active users, while, as of June 2017, the Instagram Stories functionality has over 250 million active users. Instagram was acquired by Facebook in April 2012 for approximately US$1 billion in cash and stock. The popularity of Instagram has sparked an engaging community, including dedicated ‘trends’, in which users post specific types of photos on specific days of the week with a hashtag representing a common theme. Instagram has received positive reviews for its iOS app, and it has been named ‘one of the most influential social networks in the world’.”


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The weather is finally beautiful here on this Two for Tuesdays – low humidity and low heat, just the way I like it! 

Another thing I like, as you may know, is LinkedIn. Our first Two for Tuesdays post offered two tips for LinkedIn, and there’s so much to gain from it that I’m back to bring you two more! The first post focused mostly on what changes you could make to your profile, while today, we’ll look at what you should be doing in terms of your usage of LinkedIn.

Tip One: Make it Effortless

The first few years I was using LinkedIn, I had to try to remember to check it periodically. I was mostly reminded any time I would get an invitation from someone to connect (or if someone accepted my invitation), but otherwise, it certainly wasn’t at the top of my mind. I’d wager that that’s the case for busy lawyers and marketing professionals as well. 


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We’re kicking off a new feature today here on Zen – Two for Tuesdays! I’ve given myself the assignment of sticking to an editorial calendar for the blog this year (everyone get excited!) and one of the regular posts I’d like to contribute is this one, which will cover two quick tips that you can

This afternoon, I had the good fortune to sit in on Kevin O’Keefe’s webinar on "Beyond Blogging: Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn." I’m already sold on the benefits of all three for law firms, but I love hearing Kevin’s stories which I can relate to our attorneys to win them over. The five most important things I heard Kevin say in his webinar were:

  1. Starting to use these tools isn’t a strategy – it’s a tactic. Saying that the strategy is to get on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook is like saying you’re going to have the lawyers drive red cars. It doesn’t make sense. Use them as relationship-building tools and tools that frame your identity.
     
  2. Because media is more social, and a shared experience, you need to be doing those things that will cause your information to be shared by others who have people trusting them. 
     
  3. Just because another law firm is doing something doesn’t mean you have to do it. 
     
  4. It doesn’t matter if your clients or perspective clients ever see your information being shared or if they read your blog – influencers and amplifiers are seeing it and connecting you to the right people. 
     
  5. Empower the lawyers at your firm to use social media to build relationships.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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I had the good fortune of presenting to our members at the 2010 ILN Regional Meeting of the Americas on Social Networking and why it may matter to our attorneys.  I began by taking an informal poll of the room to see how many in the audience were regularly using social networking sites (I clarified that by "regularly," I meant logging in once a week and connecting with someone in their network in some way).  It was a fairly small number – about 15-20% of the audience.

Though social networking is a hot topic, there are still many attorneys who question how it can be useful to them in business development at all, so I gave them a few reasons why, starting with American Lawyer Media, Zeughauser Group & Greentarget’s recent survey of in-house counsel.  I mentioned two important points for them that came out of the survey:

  • Blogs are an increasingly preferred mechanism for obtaining business and legal related industry information.
  • Corporate counsel are getting more of their business and legal related industry information online than from traditional print sources.

I also mentioned that the survey showed that in-house counsel are using blogs, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook to get their information and judge law firms.


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