In this “best of” ABA TECHSHOW post I feature the best tips, tricks, and insights for lesser known social media sites. To get off on the right foot take heed of the following:
Practical Advice for All Social Media Interaction
- Always present the best public face that you can.
- Keep all social media accounts updated and refreshed to boost SEO and search engine rankings.
- Fill out profiles completely, use images, interact respectfully, observe ethical constraints, and be honest.
- Claim your accounts! Sites like AVVO create profiles based on publicly available information – better to log on, claim your account, and be certain the information presented is accurate.
- If you blog, post headlines to Twitter, LinkedIn, and other appropriate sites noted below. Start a discussion linking back to your post.
Pinterest is a visual social network. Users upload, share, and comment on images pinned to a virtual bulletin board. A Pinterest page for your firm might include infographics, videos, pictures, and slideshows. Photos from your blog posts and PowerPoint CLE presentations are just two possible sources of content. Remember to follow other users and link to or repin their content. When uploading, use keywords and organize your Pinterest boards around specific themes.
Facebook remains the big dog in town, but creating a Google+ business page will help boost the SEO of your Web site or blog (in Google’s search engine at least). Once your page is up, use Google+ communities to reach out and connect to others. Sort your contacts into Circles (family, friends, clients, colleagues) and tailor your posts to each circle. Google+ has unlimited linking to other social media profiles, so take advantage of the opportunity to publicize your presence elsewhere on the Web.
Required: create a Google Business Places account – the more you participate in the Google suite of products the better your visibility on the Web. Make sure your business listing is easily found on Google.com and Google Maps.
Optional: consider adding your business location to the GPS-based Waze so clients can find you or create a Foursquare badge to attract clients and offer a “special” for anyone who checks in at your venue. What is Foursquare? A free app to “help you and your friends make the most of where you are. When you’re out and about, use Foursquare to share and save the places you visit. And, when you’re looking for inspiration for what to do next, Foursquare will give you personalized recommendations and deals based on where you, your friends, and people with your tastes have been.” Foursquare boasts 30 million users worldwide and offers a merchant platform for businesses. One option is to create an ad that will appear when a user “checks in” at a nearby location, perhaps a restaurant or coffee shop.
Business Review Sites
Like it or not, clients post reviews of law firms. One of the most popular review sites is Yelp. Be proactive and claim your Yelp page to track what clients and others are saying. Post Yelp badges on your blog or Web site, make announcements on Yelp, and respond to ALL reviews. Try the free version first. If you upgrade to the paid version of Yelp it will boost your firm to the top of the list, allowing you to feature a review of your choice.
Slideshare is a document and presentation sharing site that is poorly utilized, but gets tons of traffic and sharing. Accounts are free. Repurpose posts and articles by uploading to Slideshare and linking back to your blog or Web site.
Use Flickr as another means to interact with your network or as a source of images for blog posts. Check the use or permission level of the image, link back, and always include attribution to the source.
A Final Word about Ethics and SM as Part of YOUR Firm
Tailor social media to your specific practice and the ethical rules in your jurisdiction. For example, it may not be the best idea to offer clients the opportunity to “check in” on Foursquare at your criminal defense firm. Start conservatively, use your common sense, and contact your bar’s ethics hotline when in doubt.
All Rights Reserved – Beverly Michaelis – 2013