Lawyer-Appropriate Use of Social Networking (Part B)

LinkedIn: Professional Social Networking

LinkedIn is the professional version of Facebook. While Facebook began as a school-only venture and eventually opened to everyone, LinkedIn has managed to stick to being a business social networking portal. Your profile here is more apt to be seen by other lawyers, but remember that your clients are also professionals and may be looking for your profile on LinkedIn as well.

The profiles here are simple and focused on your professional credentials rather than your favorite music artists and religious views. There's less space to put personal information, as the LinkedIn profile highlights your education, work experience and skills.

One of the best features of LinkedIn is the ability to recommend others, whether you're a former colleague, boss or client. Recommendations are worth their weight in gold; they're similar to the number of fans your Facebook has. The more recommendations, the more experienced and trustworthy you look to potential clients.

Facebook: Need I Say More?

The behemoth (as of 2010) of the social networking world is Facebook. Not only can you have your own personal profile, but now your law firm can have its own profile as well. With Facebook's ever-evolving legal marketing uses and privacy battles, it's tough to write advice that won't become obsolete in a few weeks.

My best advice for Facebook is this: everything you say and do through your profile can come back to haunt you. Don't think that a comment is ever truly gone if you hit the "delete" button. The bottom line is that you should never commit to the Internet anything you don't want used against you.

Social networking can be a boon or a bust depending on how effectively and safely you utilize it within your legal marketing campaign. If you're ever in doubt of how the world of social media works, ask someone who knows.

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Ben Glass
Ben is a nationally recognized expert in attorney marketing and the owner of Great Legal Marketing.