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7 ways for lawyers and law firms to use LinkedIn more effectively

Forget talking about developing a social media plan which plan will include how your law firm will use LinkedIn. Act and act now.

For law firms and lawyers an effective LinkedIn presence is as important as a telephone. Don’t buy that? Well, it’s more important than a Martindale-Hubbell listing was, something we all believed critical and for which we paid big dollars for decades. Big meaning over $200,000 in the case of large firms.

With it’s almost 200 million professionals, LinkedIn is the largest professional networking environment in the world.

For lawyers and law firms who don’t know where to start, here’s 7 steps to LinkedIn success from Internet marketing professional, Laura Hagerman (@LauraHagerman), that should help.

1- Optimize Lawyer and Other Professional’s Profiles

First and foremost, before creating your law firm’s company page, you need to have your employee’s personal pages complete. Your lawyers and other professionals are an extension of your law firm. As your company page will be linked to your employee pages, and vice versa, lawyer pages must portray a professional image.

2- Optimize your Business Page

Upload your law firm’s logo and header image, complete the about section, add your specialties and company info fields. When doing this, make sure you are using keywords that are important to your law firm that you think potential clients will search for. LinkedIn company pages have started to show up in Google searches.

3- Post Company Status Updates

Publish company status updates for your followers to see this. This gives LinkedIn users a motive for following your page as well as a chance to engage with your firm, ultimately extending its reach. You also have the option to target these posts by criteria such as company size, industry, seniority, geography etc. Posting updates also enables LinkedIn to properly target others on LinkedIn who may be interested in following your firm.

4- Add Services/Practice Areas

LinkedIn allows you to add up to 25 services to your firm’s profile. This is a great place to list your practice areas and include a description for each that highlights your expertise in each area. You can also add the employee contact for each particular practice area.

5- Connect With Target Companies

Personally follow the company pages of clients, prospective clients, referral sources, and the influencers of those three (publishers, associations, civic groups etc). Engage them, comment on and share their posts when relevant to your law firm or area of practice.

6- Join & Participate in Groups

Though some law firms and lawyer dismiss the effectiveness of LinkedIn Groups, participating in groups remains an effective way to show your expertise and build relationships. Although participation is done individually, and not by firm, when you engage with other members they will likely click through to your profile and become familiar with your law firm’s name. You can also use groups to share content, whether produced by others (more credible) or your own.

7- Show your Expertise in Answers

LinkedIn Answers provides an opportunity for lawyers to share their expertise and display thought leadership as well as link to content they’ve created such as blog posts. To do this, go to: More-Answers-Advanced Answers Search. This allows you to filter the open question results by keyword related to your industry, and submit answers to questions that are relevant to you where you can share your expertise.

LinkedIn is the leading professional networking site for lawyers and law firms. Use it effectively and you can build a reputation and grow relationships.

Use LinkedIn ineffectively, or not all, and you not only lose out on business development opportunities, but you’re also hurting your reputation by casting your firm and its lawyers in poor light.