This is the final post in my Social Media for Attorneys series. In this quick article I’ll quickly address one mistake that is common to lawyers – treating all social networks as if they are the same. I’m also playing teacher by giving you three homework assignments to get your new social media presence started.

We covered a variety of topics in this series. These included:

Prior to this series I also discussed whether or not law firms should use Twitter. While we talked about a number of social networks it is important to remember one thing – they all serve different purposes.

Professionals at networking eventUnderstanding one’s audience is a very basic marketing concept that goes well beyond law firms. In spite of that concept, it’s common for attorneys to share the exact same posts/content on all of the networks we discussed. Lawyers who do this are putting effort into every network and likely getting little to any return out of any of them. Professionals on your LinkedIn network don’t care about the same type of information that your Facebook followers find interesting. Using each network for the distinct purposes we discussed in this series will go a long way towards building your practice. That being said, let’s give you a push to get you in the right direction.

It’s homework time!!!!!!!! And you thought you were done with education when you got that J.D. and passed the bar exam. As part of your approach to social networking it’s now time do a few things. Here’s your assignment:

  1. Sign up for Google+ if you haven’t already and take the time to fill out your profile with detail. Make sure you link your website to your profile so Google can establish your site’s authorship. Then join either, or both, of the lawyer communities we mentioned in this series and be part of the conversation. Since you know how to blog effectively, after reading my Blogging Basics for Lawyers series, you will find these a great place to share your blog posts and build up authorship authority with Google. Remember though, don’t just link drop! Engage in conversation on other people’s post and part of the conversation on yours. Be interesting and interested.
  2. Buy Wayne Breibarth’s book, The Power Formula for LinkedIn Success, on whichever eBook service you use. He does a great job of laying out how to be successful on LinkedIn. While you’re at it, complete your LinkedIn profile and send an InMail (which requires a premium account) to a potential referral source in the way I discussed in my LinkedIn article. The message you send should be very short. Simply introduce yourself and say that you would be interested in meeting the referral source so that you can discuss how your businesses can be mutually beneficial to each other. The rest will go from there.
  3. Determine which type of supplemental information is good to share on Facebook, as we discussed previously, and sign up for whatever news alert service/website you need to be able to provide that information to your followers. Start posting to Facebook accordingly.

Social Media LogosGetting these steps started, and showing some follow through (which is where most attorneys struggle when it comes to social media) will get you well on your way. You’ve got the “building blocks” in place. It’s important that you use them, however. Many attorneys try social media and quickly give up saying it “doesn’t apply to lawyers” or because they don’t see the value in it. These attorneys, however, aren’t going about it correctly. This is a great way to grow your practice and is still largely underutilized by the legal profession. So in other words, this is a great opportunity for your practice. Now go be social.

12/1/14 Update – After this article was written, Google ceased tracking authorship information from Google+. Authorship, therefore, is not a ranking factor in search as of this update. I have written on why I continue to find Google+ important to a law firm’s strategy and provided tips on how lawyers can be successful on Google+.