Social Media can be difficult for law firms. With all sorts of restrictions on what they are and aren’t allowed to say on their pages, it can be difficult to see where the benefit lies in having a presence on there. But LinkedIn, seen as the most “professional” of the top Social Networks, is increasingly finding favour among lawyers, especially with those over 40. So, here’s a guide to how your firm can get in on the act, and start networking with all the right people.
Pages and Profiles
Firstly, make sure that each member of staff in the firm has his or her own profile, and encourage them to complete as much of it as possible. This includes a photo (professional only – if you have photos on staff profiles on your website, use these – no holiday snaps!).
LinkedIn content is indexed in Google, so think SEO when completing your profiles. What are your target audience likely to search for? Make sure you use this when it comes to filling out your job title, description and summary of your specialities.
Staff should also complete previous work experience and education. This all helps when it comes to building up a picture of your company and staff as reliable, trustworthy and experts in your field. Likewise, if you or any of your staff are members of any organisations or have won any awards, put these on your profiles too.
Each staff member should link to the firm’s website from his or her profile. Note: On the dropdown menu, instead of “Company Website”, choose “Other”; this lets you input your own anchor text for the link. Put the name of your law firm in here.
Create a company page. Optimise this in the same way – make sure you don’t stuff your company name with keywords though, just your name will do. That way, people searching for you will be in no doubt that it’s your page they want.
Products and Services
What services does your firm offer? Are you a specialist firm or are you in general practice? LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to promote your products and services on your company page. Make sure you optimise this for the terms your target audience are most likely to use, though; remember your SEO!
You can also include links back to the relevant page on your site for a particular product or service, and for the individual who deals with it.
LinkedIn is a Social network, so this means that you need to engage with others on there. Start cultivating relationships with potential clients – start following their company pages, and connect with influential people who work there.
You could also build relationships with other lawyers or firms who might refer clients to you if they don’t specialise in that particular area of law. For example, if you work in property law, you could start connecting with estate agents and developers.
When you’re sending out invitations to connect, try and personalise it, don’t just send out the standard LinkedIn invitation.
You also need to keep your LinkedIn company page updated regularly, and be active in discussions, which brings us to…
LinkedIn Groups are distinct from company pages. Use your company page to share news and information about your company and industry. But you can also create a LinkedIn group for your existing clients, in which you can encourage discussions, answer questions, and offer exclusive content. This will all help towards client retention, and existing clients may also recommend you to other businesses or individuals.
LinkedIn has a sort of Q&A facility, called LinkedIn Answers, in which members can ask questions or answer questions posed by other members. Start taking part in this discussion. It will soon become apparent that you are engaged, helpful and an expert in your field, and it may well help send some business your way.
Keeping up to date with industry developments
Because LinkedIn is so popular with lawyers, it’s a great place to look to when it comes to keeping track of industry trends, news, developments and even big cases. Join relevant groups, such as Corporate Lawyer Network, or UK Solicitors to really keep abreast of events.
About the guest author: Tips from Andrew & Co. LLP, a specialist independent firm of solicitors with offices in Newark-on-Trent and Lincoln. Andrew & Co. Work with companies and individuals throughout the East Midlands. They can also be found on LinkedIn.
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