I was chatting with my intern about the importance of the business of law. Not only must we know how to solve the legal issues our clients bring, but we must know how to operate as a business. Know the value of social media and enjoy the expanded access to clients and connections that it offers.
My Facebook page is a quick way to share interesting articles with the public, business contacts, and friends. It is a place to demonstrate the focus of the firm, what we find important, and a little about our personalities. Especially in estate planning and non-litigious areas of law, clients hire people they like.
Twitter is useful in connecting with other professionals worldwide. I use it for my activist self to share positions that aren’t necessarily relevant to estate planning, but are important to me. My target audience is not my clients, though I have plenty of content that would be of interest, but instead a wide array of people.
I try to maintain a semi-private space for myself where, as I tell new business contacts, I can spam my friends with photos of my kid. Therefore I don’t add many acquaintances as Facebook friends. Instead, I connect to my network using LinkedIn, which is an absolute must for professionals and entrepreneurs. My website biography page is minimal by design since most people aren’t interested in all my honors and awards, so my full resume is available on LinkedIn instead. I use LinkedIn to learn more details about business-to-business contacts.
Don’t shirk social media as a marketing platform. Whether you like it or not, we as a society are there and they are important. Go where the people are. Before my intern left, I gave him a homework assignment of opening a LinkedIn account, filling out his profile, and connecting with me. Report back in the comments once your profile is done.