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 Human Right Lawyers
Social media is a powerful tool for any human rights lawyer. It can help you keep in touch with clients, develop your network, and build your online and professional reputation. By being more visible online potential new clients are able to research you, so social media can help improve your bottom line too. But it’s not quite as simple as just getting on a platform and waiting for business, you need to make a plan and see it through. Start by thinking about whom you need to know, and what they want to know, and always bear in mind that it’s about improving your reputation.
A great way to get started is to establish a law blog (or blawg) as a central hub and promote it through relevant platforms. Your blawg can be used to showcase your expertise and establish your reputation, and by linking back to it in other forms of social media you’ll help to send it up the search engine rankings. Also, by adding share buttons to your blawg you can allow others to easily share your content for you. Be sure to create a full LinkedIn profile (this really is a must), join the professional groups and forums, and seek and write recommendations to build your peer network. Keep your ear to the ground in Twitter to find out exactly what is concerning those in the human rights sphere and join in the conversation. Google+ and Facebook can similarly be used to communicate and keep up with the community. But be careful, don’t spread yourself too thin – concentrate on one or two platforms to begin with and really get involved.
Think about the expertise you offer, what concerns your clients and what the picture you want to paint of yourself. Remember, at this point it’s about education and reputation, not advice. Stay abreast of current developments by subscribing to the RSS feeds of some of the big content providers such as Westlaw or HUDOC. These feeds can be specifically tailored to your and your client’s niche interest, or to follow the development of cases through the legal strata. Use these as the basis for developing your own expert commentary. But providing the world with content doesn’t always require you to be leading the way, there are excellent blogs and prodigious tweeters out there, and by sharing their content you’ll also help build your professional network.
The last thing to keep in mind is that social media is never static, so don’t let your online presence be washed away. Not only will you stop generating new clients and contacts, but by not following through your reputation will not be helped, after all who wants to rely on someone who visibly cannot commit? However, this doesn’t mean that you need to be endlessly and distractedly blogging, tweeting and clicking away. Instead, by focussing your content on who you need to know and what they want to know, and by doing it at times which they are most active online, successful use of social media can be used as a very efficient way of improving your reputation and business.
Human rights lawyers have a lot to gain through proper social media strategy. Plan it, be patient and consistent, and reap the rewards, daunting as this can be for risk-averse lawyers. Remember though, despite the regimen, to add some personality - particularly on the more sociable platforms such as Twitter. Human rights law, after all, is about being human.