Since launching Identity’s social media practice group, I’ve spent a lot of time discussing LinkedIn tips and tricks with law firms of all sizes. While each firm has its own unique personality and specific set of goals, I’ve discovered that the majority of firms share many of the same problems when it comes to navigating LinkedIn:
- While some lawyers really get LinkedIn, many have no idea where to start
- Often, they have no idea what to talk about on LinkedIn
- Attorneys are simply too busy to stay active
- They don’t know how to hold people accountable
Does any of this sound familiar? If you’re working on building a law firm LinkedIn program, here are a few quick pieces of advice (and relevant to-do items) that might boost your LinkedIn efforts:
Educate the entire firm
Most firms skip this critical step. More often than not, there are a few select individuals inside firms who know enough about LinkedIn to be dangerous. While those attorneys will play a key role in ensuring a firm-wide program is successful, it’s beneficial to educate all associates, members and partners on the basics of LinkedIn. Covering topics such as LinkedIn profile creation, content sharing, online reputation management and tactics to support business development will help get the firm on the same page regarding the opportunities that exist within LinkedIn. Everyone may not drink the LinkedIn Kool-Aid, but the value of LinkedIn will be properly communicated across the firm.
Leverage individual success stories
When developing a LinkedIn program for your law firm, make it a point to identify and capture individual success stories, if they exist, on the front end of the planning process. It’s great to have aspirational goals in mind, but actually showcasing real success stories can serve as a tipping point for getting more firm members engaged. Do you have an attorney who recently connected with a high-profile contact affiliated with a potential client? How about an associate who secured a speaking engagement or article opportunity through a LinkedIn connection? Whenever possible, tell those stories and celebrate the successes. Make those wins part of your regular communication with those involved in the program.
Turn your attorneys into promoters
With all of the pieces in place, now it’s time to get your attorneys to share content. This ongoing action can be one of the hardest to manage and control since you’re now asking a group of individuals to share content when prompted. The best way to ensure success is to make the content sharing process as easy as possible. When news or blog posts are made available, provide the team with a suggested status update and the proper link. This can be delivered via email or another communications platform. Attorneys should be encouraged to edit the proposed update prior to posting it to better fit their network and audiences, but changes aren’t required.
Hold people accountable
Without some form of accountability, it’s tough to see real change. This is one of the hardest obstacles to overcome in marketing, let alone social media. To help move things forward, set a series of goals for your attorneys on LinkedIn. Include everything from completely filling out a profile to sharing content on a defined frequency. To help drive the accountability process, assign someone to help manage the program and serve as the gatekeeper for questions. Having this individual in place will ensure the LinkedIn program does not stall.
There is still a lot more to share.
The recommendations above are just a few of the takeaways I’ve learned when it comes to building LinkedIn programs for law firms. What would you add to the list? The comments are yours.