By Geri L. Dreiling
An attorney I know who recently incorporated a blog into her website posted this question on her Facebook page: “Has anyone found a use for LinkedIn?”
It is a question that I frequently hear from my clients—and my answer often surprises them. When it comes to the return on the investment of time and effort associated with social media, it has been my experience that LinkedIn is the most effective. And if you have a blog or newsletter, membership in LinkedIn Groups is a good way to raise awareness.
LinkedIn Groups Legal PR Campaign
After launching a new website and blog in late December, I knew that it would take search engines a while to crawl and digest the information, no matter how well the content was search engine optimized.
Not being the type of person who likes to sit back and wait, I also launched a LinkedIn public relations campaign. I joined groups that were a good fit for legal public relations and attorney website content writing. I focused on a variety of topics such as legal marketing, public relations, law and media, alumni networks and business owners and entrepreneurs in my geographic area.
As I posted new articles on my blog, I also added them to the news section of the various LinkedIn Groups to which I belonged. I tracked my statistics in two straightforward ways:
- iGoogle’s free Analytics tool
- A spreadsheet listing the group submissions and number of times the LinkedIn group indicates that the article has been viewed
The spreadsheet is important because it allowed me to determine which groups were the most interested in the content and which groups could be dropped from the content submission list. The statistics also revealed some surprises. There were groups to which I submitted news articles that I did not think would be interested yet turned out to generate a number of views.
In approximately seven weeks, the LinkedIn campaign has:
- Generated almost half of the traffic to the Legal Media Matters website
- Resulted in reprint requests for Legal Media Matters articles
- Triggered new connections with lawyers around the world
- Produced business leads and inquiries about the legal public relations and content writing services provided by Legal Media Matters
By way of comparison, the Legal Media Matters Facebook page has generated approximately 5 percent of traffic to the website and blog and Twitter just over 3 percent.
Ultimately the capacity to reach a targeted audience of individuals using social media who are likely to be interested in the professional expertise or services my company offers seems to be the greatest with LinkedIn.
Attorneys and LinkedIn Groups
So, what does this mean for attorneys? In the article “Use Legal PR to Reach Your Referral Base,” I discussed the fact that, for attorneys, referrals continue to be a primary source of new clients.
The referral base could include attorneys who have the same type of legal practice but are located in different geographic areas; attorneys who are in your geographic area but practice a different type of law; professionals such as engineers, accountants and therapists with whom you regularly come in contact; or former classmates from college, law school or even high school.
Here are just a few examples of LinkedIn Groups an attorney might be interested in joining:
- An insurance defense attorney might join the Risk and Insurance Management Society.
- An employment attorney might join the Human Resources Professionals group
- A family law attorney might be interested in the Child-Centered Divorce group.
- A personal injury attorney might be interested in joining the Brain Injury Litigation Network or Personal Injury Attorney Network.
- As a means of connecting with attorneys from a variety of practice areas, lawyers might consider Law and Social Networking, ABA Friends, Happy Lawyers, Rain-Making Lawyers Law Firm Marketing or Legal Blogging, just to name a few.
Don’t have blog articles to post? Consider joining one discussion as a way to share your expertise, network and expand your referral base.
To make the most of LinkedIn, follow these steps:
- Join groups that complement your legal practice, your hobbies and your educational background.
- Participate on a regular basis by commenting on articles, joining in discussions or posting your own information.
- Measure your efforts by tracking statistics, whether it’s through your own website analytics, iGoogle or a simple Excel spreadsheet.
Now it’s your turn. Have you found LinkedIn Groups to be a worthwhile use of your time? And if you do decide to try them out, tell us about your experience.
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