August 5th, 2015 Update – Social media is something which changes rapidly and has changed extensively since the article below was written. For reasons I discussed in this blog post, lawyers should consider Google+ dead in terms of being useful to their law practice.
This is the second post in a discussion on the future and usefulness of Google’s social network. Yesterday I shared my opinions on whether Google+ may be shutting down after recent changes to the service. In this article I’m going to focus on how lawyers can integrate the service into their law firm’s social media strategy going forward.
Google+ has been my favorite social network since the service was launched in 2011. I find that discussion on the network tends to be very positive, intelligent, useful, and enjoyable. In other words, conversing with others on G+ looks something like this:
As we all know, discussion on Facebook, by contrast, tends to like something like this:
Add to this that our company has seen several benefits from Google+ and the reasons why I like the network are obvious.
Google+ has been great for our company from a business perspective as well. We’ve gained clients through networking and engaging in quality discussion has resulted in meaningful back links to our site. Attorneys who go about social networking correctly (I have to stress the “correctly” since social media is an area where many attorneys get it wrong) can see huge benefits from spending time on Google’s social service. So let’s talk about how you should integrate Google+ into your firm’s strategy.
Google+ contains multiple groups of people whom attorneys should be interacting with
Any attorney working for themselves wishes to increase business. If you’re reading this blog then I’m assuming you don’t have an ideological aversion to prosperity and that you want your practice to be profitable. You can greatly benefit your practice by networking with other attorneys and people interested in your practice area. This will result in meaningful back links to your site and indirect referrals to your firm.
Networking with other attorneys through social media will result in meaningful back links to your site. Just think about it for a moment. Say you regularly converse with other attorneys in your practice area and you share, with that group, your blog post on a particular topic. When one of those attorneys later writes a blog post on a related topic then they may very well link to your post as a reference or as a supplement to their discussion. This happens far more often than many attorneys realize and is a great example of how you can leverage social media to become an authority in your topic. Google+, I find, is the best forum for this type of interaction and a great place to connect with other attorneys in your practice area is the Lawyers on G+ community managed by Preston Clark of The Law Insider.
Another group of people you should be networking with are those interested in your area of law. This will result in sharing of your name and writings to people who regularly blog on given topics and some of those bloggers, in turn, will link to your website. Here are a few examples of networking with those interested in your area:
- If you handle a high number of marijuana related offenses then you should interact with individuals who write about/are interested in marijuana policy.
- If your practice deals with bankruptcy then networking through G+ with people in the financial field, as well as those who regularly blog about financial tips and planning, can go a long way.
The way that this type of interaction benefits your law practice can’t be overstated. Google+ is easily, in my experience, the best forum for building these types of relationships.
It’s important, however, that you realize that simply joining Google+ won’t provide you with these benefits. You still have to meaningfully network, which is something many attorneys struggle with. I’ve previously written on how attorneys can build relationships through social media and those ideas very much apply to using Google’s service.
What have your experiences been in regards to using social media, and Google+ in particular, in your practice, please chime in through the contact form below.