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Sharing content via social media not enough : Lawyers need to blog

October 17, 2012

Blog lawyersMore and more law firms are beginning to take their marketing efforts to social media platforms. One of the main advantages of social media for law firms and lawyers is the opportunity to enhnace their reputation by sharing their expertise with a greater audience.

Sites such as Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook allow and encourage you to post media and links that aren’t your own. Although this may promote engagement and help gain fans and followers, sharing alone does not showcase a lawyer’s expertise or enhance their reputation as a trusted and reliable authority.

Many marketers are opting for curation because discovering, compiling, and sharing the best and most compelling digital content with your fans is the easier route when compared to creating content. But because of the growing numbers it’s becoming increasingly difficult to stand out in social media feeds when just sharing.

Matt Wurst (@mwurst), Director of Digital Communities at 360i asks a thought provoking question for law firms, “Would you rather curate others’ content, or have others curate your content?”

…[W]hile curation is a valuable strategy for certain brands, not all brands can or should be curators. Yet every brand can and should be creators of content.

Lawyers especially should be creators of content. Sharing your own insight and commentary is far more effective when looking to grow relationships and enhance your reputation. It’s what attracts people to lawyers online and builds a powerful Internet identity for you as a lawyer.

Wurst shares six ways your law firm can lead the conversation instead of merely facilitating it. Here they are with some annotation by me.

1. Get Back to Your Roots

Create your own compelling blog content. Look at what you like about the content you are sharing. Pay attention to the copy, images and design. Work with professionals to strategize, design, and develop your publishing platform – a blog. Get coached on what it means to blog, it’s different than writing articles.

2. Trust Your Insights

By doing your fair share of social listening you can find out what your competitors and target audience, including the thought leaders are talking about and where. Social media platforms and tools such as an RSS Reader, Twitter and LinkedIn are an easy way to do background research on the types of content you should be creating. You’ll also be listening to relevant discussions so as to ‘enter into’ the conversation with your blog.

3. Disrupt by Juxtaposition

With all of the curated content filling up your RSS, Twitter, and LinkedIn feeds it is vital to create something that stands out from everything next to it. Use images, block quotes, bulleted/numbered outlines to set your posts apart and make them easy to read.

4. Have a Great Pick-Up Line

In order to gain fans, followers, and potential clients you must be engaging. One of the advantages of social media marketing is the ability to engage, so give them something worth engaging with. Start the conversation by asking a question about something you know interests your target market.

5. Be Discoverable

Create the right content for the right platform. When blogging, write about things your readers will want to share on LinkedIn, Twitter, and other sites. On Twitter, create Tweets worth retweeting. Make sure your blog has all the widgets needed to share your content on social media sites.

6. Be a Good Storyteller

This should be easy for lawyers. Simply write from experience and the conversations you are listening to online. Keep track of the questions your clients ask. Adressing those issues is what others are looking for online. Appeal to the emotions of your audience by sharing stories and answering questions in a conversational style.

Certainly share others content via social media. Doing so you’ll build social media equity resulting in others sharing your content.

But if you are looking to establish trust, build a strong word of mouth reputation, and establish yourself as a leader in your field, there’s no substitute for publishing your own content on a blog.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Mike Licht.