We recently interviewed some great candidates for a summer internship at Moore Legal Technology and as part of this, we invited the candidates to write a blog post regarding online marketing and the challenges faced by law firms today. We thought it would be useful, given the amount of work they put in, to share their posts here and give each of them some well-deserved recognition and appreciation for their posts.
"Social Media Strategy for Criminal Defence lawyers"
Uptake of Social Media:
With the advent of the alternative business structure marketplace, law firms are being been forced to adopt a more aggressive marketing model. Research conducted on behalf of The Law Society of Scotland into the profession’s use of social media has shown reluctance to adapt and establish an online presence. Based on interviews with over 500 lawyers, the study concluded that where social media was being utilised, the most popular social networking tool was LinkedIn with a 42% uptake; this was then split into 24% using the service on a daily or weekly basis and a further 18% using it less than weekly. It was noted that as few as 14% of solicitors posted comments on Facebook on a daily or weekly basis while only 7% tweeted at least once a week. Up to 85% of those interviewed had never used Twitter. The research shows that the groups most unlikely to use social media were solicitors at partner and senior partner level.
Application to the Criminal Law:
As most criminal law firms operate with few partners or as sole practitioners it is likely, based on the above findings, that social media does not appear on their radar as a marketing and growth mechanism. However, due to the nature of client’s needs, the social media strategy for criminal defence lawyers is not necessarily a laborious one.
Social Media Strategy:
1. Create or modify current website.
Setting up a simple website or modifying a current website is the first stage of the strategy Criminal law firms tend to compete geographically, this is likely linked to the fact that clients often search for defence agents within the area in which they live or have been convicted rather than search for a an agent to represent them on a specific charge. That said, it is important that the website is clear and concise stating the geographical area in which the firms covers, the practice areas it covers and clear contact information.
2. Create and social media accounts and link website.
The next stage in this process is to create social media sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, each with links to the firm’s website. By updating social media networks it creates the link that insures that your website receives relevant traffic through social signals, which help to boost your rankings in search engines.
3. Populate Social Media Sites to increase traffic to website.
By increasing the content and connections through these sites it brings more traffic to the website which should lead to an increased client base and further professional connections.
Finally, it should be noted that engagement with social media works best when it forms part of an overall strategy and while there are many advantages brought by social media in order to avoid the problems associated with their use employees should be subject to a policy that defines acceptable limits and practices.