Roberta M. Gubbins, Esq.
I Write Content--You Practice Law

Draft Three / blog

Posts tagged social media
The Social Media

The lawyer sitting next to you at the conference is busy writing a tweet for Twitter, another is taking a selfie to post on Facebook. It seems that everyone except you are busy using social media to market their practice. Should you jump into the social media pond?

Maybe, maybe not.

Social media has its good and bad points. To understand what is best for you, your first step is to analyze your practice. Understand the legal service you offer in order to know your target market—their age, demographic, economic position. Knowing your practice will help sort out the pluses and minuses of using social media and decide which social media platform is right for you.

What is social media?

Social media is defined (Merriam Webster) as: “forms of electronic communication (as Web sites for social networking and microblogging) through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content (as videos)”

Think Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest and so forth. Each attracts a particular audience. If that audience includes your target market, you could consider joining the group.

The advantages of using social media:
·      Social media marketing is cost effective AKA free. You can sign up, create a profile and post information without paying a cent.
·      You can reach consumers that never come to your speaking events or read your newsletter or your blog. Your tweets find new readers who will comment or retweet your tweet to their followers leading to an even larger audience.
·      You gain name and brand recognition.
·      People come to know you by your choice of words, style of writing, topics you pick. Use an easy to read style, offer real information and show them you are approachable and they will be loyal and frequent readers.
·      Social media builds relationships.
·      Use visitor analytics and readers’ comments to learn more about your audience. Knowing their interests will help you find topics for them.
·      You can post a link to social media on your website and your SBM Enhanced Profile, making it easy for readers to find you.

The disadvantages of social media marketing:

·      Time—time is money, time spent on social media is not billable time, time you don’t have, which means if you start a social media be sure you are aware that time must be set aside to continue the postings.
·      Content needs to be written, edited, revised and published—again a time issue.
·      Social media creates demands on your talent; posts need to relevant to your practice and interesting to a wide variety of readers. Fortunately, as a lawyer, you have access to a variety of topics with the weekly SBM e-journal and the SBM news-links posted daily.
·      You lose control of your content. Everything you publish is available to be commented upon positively or negatively by all who read it.
·      Social media doesn’t have a quick return on your investment. It builds relationships and firm loyalty over time so you need to decide to be in it for the long haul.

Social media can bring many benefits and increased profits to your practice, but it does come with limitations. With good planning, you’ll be successful. If you decide to start a social media account, it could be you taking “selfies” and posting news items to your readers at the next conference. You’ll be in good company.
LinkedIn--The Professional Networking Tool in Your Toolbox
LinkedIn is the professional networking tool in your marketing toolbox. It is a business oriented social networking service. Think of it as a tool to help you organize all the networks of fellow lawyers and clients who refer work to you. And it does so in a way you can understand with results you can see.

To be effective on LinkedIn, you need a marketing plan for its use.

Start by asking yourself “What do I want to accomplish with LinkedIn?” 

Do you want to:
Build your client base
Cultivate relationships with particular businesses
Search for a position
Create your own web presence outside that of your firm or
Establish your expertise?

Whom do I want to attract?

If you’re searching for a position in a law firm, you want to attract the attention of law firm managers, recruiters or human resource departments. On the other hand, if you want to build your client base, your profile and publications should address potential clients’ needs. Tailor your message to fit your intended goal.

Your Profile:

Now you know why you’re on LinkedIn, you can create an effective profile, one that uses some of the keywords that your reader uses to search for a lawyer such as “Traverse City Elder Law Lawyer.” Write your profile in first person (“I”) as if you were talking to that client in your office. Add to your profile using LinkedIn sections. Upload your video, write a short blog for the publications section, and, if you volunteer, add volunteer organizations. Remember to include a picture, your skills in the skills section and make sure your title states clearly the type of law you practice.
Marketing Toolbox

Build a network
Remember that LinkedIn is a professional networking site. Its purpose is to build relationships. Start by connecting with people you know. Send invitations to connect on LinkedIn as part of your follow-up after you meet new people at an event. Add something personal to the standard invitation such as reminding them where you met.

Use LinkedIn Groups

LinkedIn offers groups for every situation one can imagine and while some may be of little value, some are helpful. If you search the profiles of the people you want to meet, you will find the groups they belong to. You can join the group and follow the discussions, commenting and adding articles or links.


Updates are short messages you share with your network. You can send an update directly from your home page using the update box. Experts say that 80% of updates should be news or information for your readers and 20% about you. Review the updates posted to your home page and comment when appropriate.

LinkedIn is about networking and building relationships. Check your homepage or read the update e-mails for news about others in your network. Respond with a congratulatory note or information that can help them further a project. Taking a few minutes to scan your home page, respond to updates and send comments can bring good results when done with your goals in mind. And, remember to include a link to your LinkedIn home page on your SBM enhanced Profile page in the Member Directory and your website.