Social media is here to stay. It is not just a fad or something for kids, it’s a serious marketing tool. You have to be out there. Yet after all this time, social media still has limited traction in the legal profession, with few firms using social media to its full potential, which would be engaging and interacting with colleagues and clients. Generally, larger law firms treat social media as another marketing channel to spread firm news and press releases. Smaller law firms treat social media as a poor man’s search-engine optimizer. Many lawyers scoff at social media as a waste of time and counsel their colleagues to focus on traditional in-person networking, like meeting colleagues for lunch or getting involved in bar associations, to generate visibility and referrals.
Here are three ways to use social media as a lawyer to get the most out of traditional, in-person networking, and to get new clients:
- Social media can get you noticed.
Most bar associations have a distinct pecking order, which can make it difficult for a new member to receive decent assignments. Social media is a quick way to short-circuit all of the association bureaucracy. New lawyers with limited knowledge of the committee’s work, can often overlooked by the others on the committee. Blogging, which lawyers have actually been doing for over 50 years is an excellent way to share your expertise with others in a non-pushy way. You may get noticed by sharing your blogs on your social media channels, which can help you build your résumé and eventually lead to paying work.
- Social media can help you start your own group.
Maybe the bar association or existing groups aren’t your cup of tea, you’re not getting work from them. With social media, you can start your own organization. Set up a blog, or have someone do it for you. This will give your organization an online presence and credibility from the outset. A Facebook page is another cost-effective and easy way to set up a site that can be used to announce events and communicate with members.
- Social media can enable interactions.
There are multiple ways that social media can facilitate in-person interactions. You can search your LinkedIn before you visit a city and find one of your contacts to meet up with. Lunch or coffee with a colleague could lead to more business or business ideas.
Twitter can also jump start connections and conversations. If you’re attending a conference with a speaker whom you’d really like to meet, why not tweet his or her presentation? Speakers are always flattered by the extra exposure, and if the tweets are well received, you can pass that information on to the speaker.
There is a wide-open playing field for solo lawyers and small law firms to use social media to your advantage. If you need help with your social media, contact Social Jeanie.