Social Media Tips for the Lawyers

Although, the legal industry faces more strict rules governing their use of social media (bureaucratic regulations), a recent survey from communications consultancy Greentarget notes that in-house attorneys now are using new media platforms to deepen their professional networks; to obtain their legal, business, and industry news and information; and to enrich their social and personal lives.

I do realize when it comes to the law firms, there are some additional ethical rules involved for using social media, but there are many ways to use social media that doesn’t violate those rules.

Given the large number of law firms at every block in Washington, D.C., if you are one of those just about to get on the social media bandwagon, here are several tips and rules:

1. Blog Baby Blog or Microblog

Like other type of  businesses, one of the most effective ways to show the potential clients in your region your legal expertise is to blog and blog it right. Building a credible discussion resource on topics in your practice area can serve as the foundation for your professional presence on the social web.

If you are one of those busy lawyers don’t have much time for blogging, at least consider “microblogging” – Twitter.

2. Prove your expertise in your practice

To achieve this, try to become the source for News in your practice area.

Social media is a fantastic tool for any business owner, large or small, legal or not. It’s an excellent way to drive traffic to blog posts, gaining insight into what potential clients and others in the legal field are saying and building referral networks.

In addition to the content in your blog, site or Newsletter. Try to aggregate News about your industry. The best tool to do this is Twitter. If you use it effectively, you can  share pertinent information that will help you to brand your firm as subject matter experts. Just make sure you space out you tweets at least 30 minutes apart. If you tweet back to back, it’s considered annoying to a lot of people and might backfire.

The info stream flows both ways. As you tap into fellow experts in your field, the content they share will inform your own discussions.

3. Social Referrals

Try to get social referrals from your network, not from your followers.  You should be making connections with other thought leaders in your practice area and relevant industries so that when they know of someone in need, they can refer to you as a credible source

4. Get As Personal As you can

Many professionals who have had success will emphasize that finding a good balance between sharing expertise and personality is the way to go.

Twitter  and Facebook are the least formal of the major social networks, so don’t be afraid to share your personal interests, including sports, food and wine, or other hobbies.

Prospective clients are looking for a real live person who they can connect with, and who can guide them through important business, financial, and personal matters.  That personal touch with social media could make or break an important connection.

Any other rules and tips missing?

Feel free to follow me on LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter

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About Elias Shams
I have been a serial entrepreneur in telecom and social media space for past 12 years or so. I hold a M.S. degree in Telecommunication Engineering from the George Washington University and a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland. I’ve lived and worked in many countries and cities including London England, Tehran Iran, Bonn Germany, Paris France, Alicante Spain, Delhi India, and my favorite of all Washington, DC of great US of A. Two of the greatest Washington, DC based companies I worked for and very proud of are Yurie Systems which was sold to Lucent in 1998 for $1.23 B and telezoo.com that I founded in 1999. I am currently the founder and awesomizer @ awesomize.me

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