How Important is a Social Media Strategy for Lawyers?
The evidence of the impact of Social Media on making it rain for attorneys in almost every area of law is low. We know, we are consistently asked by clients after they’ve attended a CLE or some other program, or hounded by marketers. The usual argument is that it “improves your search engine performance” and “expands your audience and reach”. That is partially true. Google recently confirmed that it does not weigh any social media activity or account into the organic search algorithm. A recent study (July 2014) by a large independent SEO website shows that Twitter accounts with fewer than 10,000 followers have less than 1% of their tweets indexed. Facebook may make an impact on highly consumer oriented practices such as bankruptcy and family law, but is it worth the effort and cost involved? There are many inexpensive strategies to effectively leverage appropriate social media platforms.
What Social Media outlets should an attorney or law firm pay attention to?
What activities generate value to the overall legal online strategy for most lawyers?
Google + and LinkedIn May Provide The Best Return for the Cost and Time Invested
LinkedIn is a professional network based on the individual. This structure allows an attorney to build a profile that describes their practice and expertise. There are areas for professional accomplishments and recognition, educational affiliations, even social groups and information sources within the LinkedIn community. LinkedIn is an excellent tool for networking, and has supplanted more traditional forms of in-person networking and social events. It provides the ability to connect with peers in the local area, throughout your state and across the nation. It is an excellent opportunity to build referral connections with attorneys who do not compete in your area of practice, or within your geographical region.
Many of our clients have used LinkedIn to establish lucrative referral relationships, and even introductions to viable business opportunities. One of our clients, the principal in an employment defense firm, reached out to the CEO of a major corporate entity headquartered in town. To his delight the CEO accepted his invitation, and over a brief period of time they built a solid professional relationship. LinkedIn is an excellent tool to broadcast blogs and other articles that position you or your firm as experts in the field or as thought leaders.
Google + is where you should focus your energies.
Google + is, well, Google. That in and of itself warrants our attention. The Google + profile allows you to construct a profile for your firm, and for yourself as an individual. Both provide opportunities for building relationships within online communities, as well as a viable platform for sharing information, blog posts and relevant articles. There is evidence that posts on Google + that are shared create tangible benefit for the associated content on the originating site. Google + is also the best location (off-site) to identify and claim geographical coverage and service areas. “Google My Business” is the component within your Google profile where information about your law firm or practice can be categorized and geographically linked.
Finally, the Google + profile is the source of “authorship”. Many attorneys (and SEO firms for that matter) stopped paying attention to authorship once the individual’s pictures were removed from Google search engine result pages. Authorship carries substantial weight, and will strengthen your online strategy. Content is still king when it comes to online marketing, and providing original, relevant and substantive information is highly valued – especially by Google. Authorship allows you to directly communicate to Google your relevance as an online contributor, while protecting your original work and the power that is associated with it.
Yes, Social Media can make a profitable impact on your online strategy. However, there is a lot of smoke and wasted effort in this sector, and the experienced consultants at Rain Marketing + Consulting would save you the time and money. We invite you to contact us with any questions you have about your social media strategy, or call 760-579-1635 to speak with us or schedule an appointment. It is important to focus on the right aspects of Social Media to increase your effectiveness and make it rain for your practice.