Introduction to Social Media for Lawyers

Social media or networking has been defined as: “Interaction with external websites or services based on participant contributions to the content. Types of social media include blogs, micro blogs, social and professional networks, video or photo sharing, and social bookmarking. Examples of social media sites are YouTube, Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, WordPress, MySpace, RSS, Second Life, LinkedIn, Delicious, etc.”[1]

The Conference of Court Public Information Officers defines social media as: “highly interactive, multimedia, websites and programs that allow individuals to form into communities and share information, knowledge and experiences more quickly and effectively than ever before.”[2]

The top 10 social media channels that impact Lawyers include:

YouTube

YouTube is a video sharing site where you can post your own original videos, watch videos, and share videos online. Lawyers have been using YouTube increasingly to overview their law firm and services for purposes of internet marketing. Once a video is created and uploaded, it can be found by searching on key words on various search engines. A search on “Personal Injury Lawyer” will yield over 13,000 videos.

Social Bookmarking

Social bookmarking is a way to store, search, and share your favorite web sites or content so others can view. One popular use of social bookmarking is to share top stories and post the story for others to comment or vote on. Another common social bookmarking practice is to submit links to your blog or website to increase traffic and visibility. Some of the most popular social bookmarking sites include Delicious, Digg, StumbleUpon, Reddit, Yahoo! Bookmarks, Diigo, and Google Bookmarks.

PhotoSharing

Social photo sharing is a way to store, edit, and share your photos online. If photos are stored publicly, they will often be crawled by major search engines. If photos are tagged with individual names, they become easier to search for online. Online photos may put a client or case at risk. Popular photo sharing sites include Photobucket, Yahoo! Photo, and Flickr.

Facebook

Facebook is a website which allows the user to create an account by inputting an email address and password. Once the account is created, the user is able to invite “friends” to be a part of their network. Facebook has a “News Feed” which allows the user to post specific information chosen by the user. This information can include anything from what the user is doing at any given moment to posting a picture or beginning a discussion in which other users can read and comment. Facebook also allows private messages to be sent to other users or friends similar to an email message. The appeal of users to Facebook is the ability to communicate in either a public or private forum with other users in written format almost instantaneously. This can be done by either a personal computer, laptop, netbook, ipad, or mobile phone. Facebooking can be done from anywhere there is an internet connection.

Twitter

Twitter is a website where a user can create an account similar to Facebook and send “tweets” which are limited to 140 characters of content created by the user. Twitter allows the user to “follow” other persons with Twitter accounts who then receive the tweets instantaneously. This allows people to have followers and also to follow other persons having twitter accounts.

MySpace

MySpace is a website that allows the user to create an account and post specific information about the user, which may be for any purpose the user chooses including personal or professional. Pictures, music and other types of media can be uploaded to the website and also accessed by other persons who have a MySpace page.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a website that is predominantly used for individuals to network themselves in a professional capacity. The user is able to create an account which then contains specific information about the user including education, work history, special designations, accomplishments, etc. Users are able to endorse other users and write comments as part of the endorsements.

Avvo

Avvo is a website that rates doctors and lawyers and includes information such as whether a lawyer has ever received discipline by the respective Bar Association in which the lawyer is licensed to practice. Lawyers are able to claim their profiles and include information such as their education, work history, and memberships with professional organizations. After a profile is claimed by the attorney, the user can endorse other attorney’s work, which further has an impact on the rating of the attorney.

Blog

A Blog (short for “weblog”) is a website that contains an online personal journal with reflections, comments, and often hyperlinks provided by the writer.[3] Attorneys may create blogs on hosted sites such as Blogger, HubPages, or Squidoo or they may add a blog to their own website domain. Different types of Blog technologies include WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal.

RSS

RSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication” and it is a group of web site feed formats that can be added to web sites for the purpose of sharing information. Many Lawyers add RSS feeds to their own web sites to allow visitors or other professionals to subscribe to the new content that gets added. In some cases, an RSS feed has replaced a company newsletter. You can also add RSS feeds from major news sources such as Google, Yahoo!, or CNN to your own web site.

[1] Guidelines and Best Practices for Social Media Use In Washington State; Office of the Governor in Coordination With Multiple State Agencies and Contributors (November 2010).

[2] Conference of Court Public Info. Officers, New Media Comm., New Media and the Courts: The Current Status & a Look at the Future (Aug. 26, 2010) at http://www.ccpio.org.

[3] Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/blog?show=0&t=1305502048.

Pointers Regarding Social Media Marketing Blogging For Income

Blogging for money is certainly not new, and is not as simple as some individuals would like you to believe. You must begin small, learn how to use Google Adsense, and then see what the results are in the event you make your blog all set.

Blogging for profit will not be something you could do just once in a while. If you only post once per week or a few times per month, you are not going to generate much traffic, hence you aren’t going to make much money from your pastime. Rather, you must be prepared to try to make time each day to do your blogging and you also have to make certain you know very well what you are doing before you start. Google AdSense has made some individuals a lot of money, but not from a single weblog. However, if you need extra cash here and there, you could generate money over the long run by understanding how it works.

Google AdSense is going to place suitable ads on your blog. This means they are going to match advertisements that mirror what you discuss every day. If you want to start blogging for profit writing about cars, the advertisements on your blog site are going to be in connection with cars as well as other vehicles, insurance coverage, gadgets, and auto related services. Make sure that you have chosen a subject matter which is going to generate a lot of ads or you cannot make much income writing a blog about your interest. You may have to select something else. Put your concept into Google’s search engine and find out if you get advertisements when you hit ‘search.’ What you see there will reflect what comes up on your blog site.

Without ads, blogging for money is just going to be a bust. You make revenue because individuals click on those ads. At times the clicks earn you revenue, but you can make more if people click through the advertisements and in reality make a purchase or sign up for something. As you can see, without a lot of suitable ads, your income opportunity from blogging for profit will likely be very limited. Perhaps selecting a very wide open subject matter will help. Don’t go with something with a very narrow scope and very small audience.

Social media marketing blogging for income does not necessarily mean publishing a few blog posts and then sitting back and waiting around to see what you get paid. You must make certain you make a post at least once a day. That keeps individuals coming back again and likewise gives more odds for the search engines to pick up your weblog. You could do research on making use of search phrases that the search engines like to up your chances of a listing on a top search engine even better. Don’t forget to apply great grammar, spelling, and to keep your blogposts intriguing but not too long. The average Internet reader does not stay long, so get to the point without rambling on too long.

Juggling Social Media For Multiple Clients – Finding Shortcuts

These days a potential client coming to your door wants to know two things: 1) Can you put my website at the top of search for my relevant keywords, and 2) How soon can you make it happen? While we all would like to have the crystal ball that tells us when to expect the fruits of our SEO labors to bloom, answering either of these questions can’t occur without some heavy explanation into how search engine optimization works. As you win the confidence of clients and take on the tasks, you might find utliizing social media is a good way to expedite some goals, but what happens when you take on too much work?

Recently we scored phenomenal success with a client by creating a Facebook page that attracted nearly 2,500 fans in less than a month! That the client practically sells itself – a southern travel destination – helped enormously, but the fixes we made to the site allow us to update with pertinent information without having to log into every single network profile we set up. As you take charge of more accounts, knowing the shortcuts to take when promoting websites can be a boon to your own business.

RSS is Your Friend

The beauty of syndicating content is that once you place it in a primary spot, usually a blog, you can set up a feed practically anywhere else. If you have a client for which heavy article marketing is conducive, you can set up a weblog with RSS capability (WordPress and Blogger, for two), and use the content to feed an accompanying Twitter account and Facebook page. Squidoo, a growing social network for business users, also accepts multiple feeds into their pages.

Maintaining a blog for a client, too, permits the use of widget to bring in supplemental content that can be helpful for blended search. Feed the blog with RSS or XML links from video sites like YouTube, plant the client’s social bookmarking links from Delicious or pictures from Flickr.

Essentially, one task for an SEO client could look like this:

Article posted to off-site hosted blog > fed to Facebook page, Twitter, Squidoo lens, and RSS widget embedded on main site.

Depending on the business involved, more specialized networks may permit feeds. A good SEO trick for a book author would be to sign up for Amazon.com’s AmazonConnect program and feed a blog into that client’s page.

The only caveat to this approach: it is advise to check up periodically on the social pages and profiles you create. You can’t always rely on e-mail to notify you when a visitor makes a comment or when somebody tries to spam your space. Plan your course, monitor your progress, and you will find you can become quite adept at juggling multiple SEO clients through social media.