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The Importance of Social Media for Lawyers

Attorney Social Media Marketing

Having a great website is not enough. To maintain the top position in the search engines you must effective harness the power of social media. Social media allows attorneys to actively promote their practice online and network with other attorneys. Properly utilizing social media can allow an attorney to accomplish all of the following goals:

  • Connect with local clients;
  • Strengthen their online reputation;
  • Drive traffic to their website;
  • Network with other legal professionals; and
  • Improve their website's search engine rankings.

At Internet LAVA, we understand how important social media is to any attorney's internet marketing campaign. We do all the work by setting up all of your social media marketing platforms, linking them together (when appropriate), and allowing you and your staff the ability to participate in this critical process.

Each profile is also integrated with custom graphics and filled with content to create a professional and distinguished online persona. Many law firms have also found our Google Plus for attorneys guide useful in enhancing their online social presence.


Social Media Marketing Information Center


What is Social Media?

Social media refers to any form of online content that can be published and shared on a website through a network of users. This content is known as user-generated content and often includes opinions, news, pictures, videos, links, and other items. Social media has transformed the way businesses and consumers communicate on a day-to-day basis. It allows the everyday user to publicly broadcast, publish, and distribute information quickly and easily.

Media created through social interaction has a completely different kind of effect on business compared to traditional media. With traditional media such as television, radio, and newspapers, the content is distributed as "one-to-many," meaning the publishing or broadcasting entity distributes the content to many end-users. With social media, the content is distributed as "many-to-many," meaning that the end-user creates the content and actively engages many other end-users.

Top Social Media Sites for Attorneys:


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The Social Media Revolution

Social media has revolutionized the way all of us communicate and conduct business every day. Over the past several years, the popularity of social media has exploded across the. Social media has played a key role in the spread of messages from a personal level to a business level and everywhere in between.

It is important to realize that social media is not a fad and is not going away. Social media presents a fundamental shift in the way the world actively communicates. For the legal community, it is important to embrace each of these new technologies as they arise since it will allow you to communicate more effectively with your ideal clients, in addition to a host of other benefits.


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The Domino Effect: Saving Time and Multiplies Your Efforts

A successful social media campaign can help improve your overall online presence. The process involves creating, optimizing, connecting, and socializing in the most popular social media sites. When this is done correctly, the links to the information you submit will multiple quickly. See how the "Domino Effect" works by considering these two scenarios:

Scenario 1: An attorney that does not have a social media presence writes an informative article on some legal topic. The article is published in a local bar association publication and added to the website. Over the course of the next 30 days approximately 100 people read the article.

Scenario 2: An attorney that has a strong social media presence writes an article.

  • The article is published in a local bar association publication and added to the organization's website.
  • A link to the article is added to the law firm's Google+ Page.
  • A link to the artlcle is added to the law firm's Facebook Page.
  • The articles is mentioned on Twitter which is then automatically displayed on hundreds of the attorney's profiles including LinkedIn and Cornell LII.
  • The attorney posts a short description of the article with a link on the law firm's blog.
  • The blog entry is automatically displayed on hundreds of other sites through the RSS feed.
  • The attorney bookmarks the articles and several of the other links just created on the attorney's Delicious and StumbleUpon pages.
  • Numerous other posts promoting the article are created on several of the attorney's other online profile pages.
  • Each of the attorney's friends, fans, connections, and subscribers are notified of the article. Several of them read the article and decide to share it with each of their friends.
  • Over the next 30 days, the article receives over 1,000 visitors. Furthermore, the search engines will start to see that article as an authority on the topic and for years to come it will receive additional traffic from the client's ideal clients looking for information on that exact topic.

The most intriguing aspect of the second scenario is that because the attorney already had a strong social media presence prior to writing the article, it took less than 20 minutes to promote the article by using these online resources. As a result, the article received more than 10 times the amount of traffic in the first month.

Now do you understand what we mean by "Domino Effect?" The best social media sites are interconnected which means they communicate with each other. By multiplying your efforts you can quickly gain a huge advantage over your competition that does not yet understand how to harness the power of social media. Used effectively, social media will further increase the traffic to your website and improve the overall search rankings of the website.


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How can Social Media help my Legal Practice?

Attorneys can use social media to actively promote their legal practice online in several ways:

Online Profiles – By creating online profile pages on the most popular social networking sites such as Google+, Facebook and Twitter, attorneys can share important information and connect with consumers while gaining exposure online. When used correctly, social media also allows an attorney to establishing strong inbound links to the law firm's main website from some of the most popular websites in the world.

Many of these profiles can be linked together allowing you to post a message in one place and have that message instantly update hundreds of other profiles.

Blogs – By uploading videos to popular video sharing websites such as YouTube or Vimeo, the attorney can advertise their law firm's services and share important information about their legal practice. Many of the profiles allow the attorney to upload or link directly to their video. One video can be put on the web in hundreds of different places that are relevant to your particular area of the law.

Of course, the video can also be added to your main website, map listings, and any blogs that you control for added SEO benefit.

Video Sharing – By uploading videos to popular video sharing websites such as YouTube, MetaCafe, and Yahoo Video, the attorney can advertise their law firm's services and share important information about their legal practice. Many of the profiles allow the attorney to upload or link directly to their video. One video can be put on the web in hundreds of different places that are relevant to your particular area of the law. Of course, the video can also be added to your main website and any blogs that you control.

Social Bookmarking – By creating pages that bookmark and share important websites with other users (such as Delicious and Digg), attorneys can promote their law firm and provide their ideal clients with links to other important online resources.

Legal Networking – By actively participating in legal networking sites and directories such as AVVO, attorneys can strengthen their online reputation, and receive endorsements. Even better, attorney networking sites like AVVO allow the attorney to answer questions online or create legal guides to strengthen their online reputation.

Not only does the website and profiles allow the attorney to connect with potential clients, it also allows the attorney to connect with other legal professionals, which can lead to a more enjoyable practice and an excellent referral base.

Business Networking – By creating profiles and business listings on business related sites such as MerchantCircle.com and InsiderPages.com attorneys can connect with local consumers, other businesses, and other legal professionals. This provides a stronger backlink and allows the attorney to control their presence everywhere the law firm can be potentially mentioned.

RSS Feeds – RSS stands for "Really Simple Syndication." RSS allows content to be syndicated automatically through a channel of web feed. When an attorney posts a blog entry, publishes an article or distributes a press release, a summary of the content can automatically be syndicated throughout all of the other profiles and social media sites on the internet via RSS.


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Social Media Optimization

Social Media Optimization (SMO) for attorneys is a process of attracting your ideal clients to your content by promoting and publicizing it through social media. While search engine optimization (SEO) focuses on your main website, optimizing your social media sites also indirectly benefits the main website.

Creating posts on social media pages that have an interesting description and directly promote your firm's online material can cause a wave of traffic to your main website. For example, you can tweet or post an entry to your Facebook page that directly promotes an interior page of your website, or one of your blog entries.


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Social Page Relevance

It is important that each social media page you create is relevant to your area of law to ensure better search rankings for your social media sites and your main website. Each link that points to your main website from other sites needs to contain information that is directly related to your area of legal practice.

Of course, sites like Google+, Facebook, LinkedIn, and MerchantCircle are not exactly related to the legal industry. So how do you improve page relevance? You make them relevant. This can be achieved in several ways, here are just a few:

  • Attorney's Google+ Profile: Each attorney in the firm should have a Google+ profile. When that attorney writes an article or wants to point out a particular issue mentioned on the law firm's website, Google+ profiles the perfect platform. Additionally, the attorney can share information from the law firm's Google+ Page.
  • Law Firm's Google+ Page: The law firm should create a Google+ Page which highlights firm news and articles written by the individual attorneys. Attorneys can then "share" posts from the Google+ Page or the firm can "share" posts from the individual attorney's Google+ Profile.
  • Attorney's LinkedIn Profile: Add several paragraphs of information about your legal practice and add an RSS feed from your blogs. You can also connect your Twitter status updates which will be displayed on the LinkedIn profile and connect with other attorneys in your practice area throughout the country.
  • Law Firm's MerchantCirle Listings: Fill in information about your law firm, post regular blog entries that can include a short summary about the topic, and add a link directly to your website. This platform allows you to connect with other businesses that are related to your business.
  • Law Firm's Facebook Page: Facebook gives you the ability to add information about your firm to an "about" section and post updates. These updates can include links to blogs or pages on your website, relevant articles users would be interested in, law firm news, and other items.
  • Attorney's Twitter Account: Publish regular tweets about related legal topics to your Twitter page, link to a particular interior page on your main website, and retweet interesting articles from other legal professionals. Be sure to engage in dialogue periodically with other attorneys or users.

We created this summary of some of our techniques to give you a general idea about what we can do to improve the effectiveness of our social media efforts. Busy attorneys worry that they will not have the time or energy to do it properly.

At Internet LAVA we work hard to set up all the accounts properly and maintain them on your behalf. Furthermore, we take the time to educate your law firm on easy and quick ways they can participate in the social process.


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Social Networking

Making friends and forming connections is an important aspect of social media and can directly promote your law firm to your ideal clients. Traffic is a big factor in both page relevance and link popularity. The more traffic your social media pages receive then the more traffic they will drive directly to your website. Increasing traffic to your social media will also improve the value of the links that point to your website and in turn, will improve your website's search visibility.

The reason why search engines love social media pages so much is because they are constantly being browsed and updated. If you simply create a social media profile, and then neglect it, it will become static and will not help your cause. User interaction with a law firm's social networking website also gives search engines more confidence in your website as a legitimate and worthwhile source.

The more connections that you have on your social media profiles the more traffic you will receive to your website. When all of the profiles are properly linked, many attorneys are surprised at the wave of connections that find those sites. Forming these connections by obtaining "friends" "followers" "fans" or "connections" is extremely important to successfully marketing your practice through social media.


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Social Promotion Activities

Stay involved and keep your visitor engaged by actively participating in social promotion. Be social and regularly communicate with your audience. Post comments on your law firm's page. If you read an interesting blog entry that was posted by another attorney then comment on it. If you find a website that is interesting and relevant to your practice then bookmark it. If you think of an interesting point that you feel your audience should know then tweet about it.

For most attorneys, the majority of time they spend online is spent reading and looking at content that is in some way related to their legal field. Why not spend a few extra minutes each week and share this content with your audience? The more you actively participate in social promotion the more your social media pages will benefit and the more traffic your website will ultimately receive.


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Interesting Social Media Statistics

How many years did it take for other forms of media to reach 50 million users?

  • Radio - 38 years
  • Television - 13 years
  • Internet - 4 years
  • iPod - 3 years
  • Facebook added 100 million users in less than 9 months!

Other interesting social media statistics:

  • If Facebook were a country, it would be the 4th most populated in the world, behind China, India, and the United States.
  • YouTube is the second most popular search engine in the world.
  • There are over 200,000,000 blogs.
  • Over 900,000 blog posts are created within a single 24-hour period.
  • Flickr now hosts more than 4 billion images.
  • YouTube hosts over 120 million videos.
  • 80% of companies use LinkedIn as a primary tool to find employees.
  • An average of 27.3 million tweets are published on Twitter in a single day.

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Consistent and Effective Social Media Management

Simply creating social media pages and linking them to your website is not enough to achieve the desired results. While inbound links from social media sites will help with link popularity, the main benefits cannot be achieved unless the links are properly optimized to connect with hundreds of different interior pages within your main website. Furthermore, these outlets must be monitored and updated on a regular basis.

Several factors play an important role in achieving a successful social media marketing campaign. At Internet LAVA we have a formula that is constantly updated to include new social media sites. Within a matter of weeks we can create your profiles and teach you how to most effectively use your time to communicate your message to your ideal clients.

We specialize in managing your social media campaign for you so you can focus on your practice and your clients. At the same time, we give you login access to each social media profile we create on your behalf allowing you to login and further promote your law firm. Most attorneys find that once they have the proper social media structure in place, it is fun to create content and distribute it to a vast audience.


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Social Media Solutions for Busy Attorneys

At Internet LAVA, we understand that staying one step ahead of the competition requires using emerging technologies effectively. Social media is one of the most important and efficient ways of spreading exposure for your main website while managing your online identity.

Busy attorneys can either start from scratch and spend years learning how to effectively manage their social media profiles, or busy attorneys can rely on Internet LAVA to set up every profile, link them together, and allow the "domino effect" to multiple their efforts.

Call 1-800-292-LAVA for a free consultation to find out more about internet marketing, including website design for attorneys, effective techniques in attorney online content writing, and other elements critical in law firm marketing. Call us today and learn more how a comprehensive social media strategy can help your firm grow and attract new clients in the age of the internet.


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Resources for Lawyers Using Social Media

Many In-House Counsel Are Social Media Savvy. But Biglaw Firms? Not So Much - Great article pointing to a recent survey of 164 in-house counsel attorneys about their social media habits. The survey shows that in-house counsel attorneys are using social media including blogs, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter for business purposes and to judge law firms.

Big law firms tend to be the resistant to allowing their attorneys to effectively use social media. Small and mid-size firms can use this to their advantage by developing effective social media campaigns that focus on the strengths and personal style of their individual attorneys.


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