On the 7th Day of Social Media, Your SIG Leaders Gave To You:
7 LinkedIn Lessons!!
It's the 7th Day of Social Media, and I'm excited because today we're going to focus on one of my favorite topics, LinkedIn!
It has become the most commonly-used social networking site for lawyers because it is the place many lawyers, law firms and legal professionals have accepted as the serious site for business networking.
Used strategically, all of the main social networking sites provide great value in helping to accomplish marketing and business development goals, but I would consider LinkedIn as the starting point for lawyers to put their networking stake in the ground. In a moment, I'll go into a few reasons why lawyers need to be there.
To begin, and in keeping with the theme of our 7th Day of Social Media, let's start with...
7 Statistics About LinkedIn:
Please keep in mind these numbers change fast, so user data could have changed since I gathered this information. It was hard to only choose 7, but here goes:
- LinkedIn was launched in 2003.
- It has over 260 million users.
- It operates in 14 languages.
- LinkedIn's growth was ~ 40% between Q2, 2012, and Q2, 2013.
- 40% of users check LinkedIn daily.
- Approximately 9 out of 10 business executives use LinkedIn "often" or "very often."
- 73% of business executives say that LinkedIn is their favorite social network, ahead of Facebook, Twitter & Google+.
Even though LinkedIn was launched in 2003, this past year has brought quite a bit of change aimed at helping it become more of a networking and information destination. Knowing 40% of its users check-in daily is a telling statistic about the comfort level many are finding with this tool. It is important to remember that neither checking in or spending a lot of time there guarantees a productive experience.
Every situation is different. Each marketing and business development plan will have different goals that should help guide how all of these tools, whether digital or actual, should be used. Knowing there is greater dissection and strategy involved in determining its best and highest use for each user, as promised, I now offer...
7 LinkedIn Lessons:
- If you build it, they won't necessarily come. You can't just join it. You have to use it. It's easy to cut and paste your bio into the Profile template on LinkedIn (don't!), then walk away, hoping it will bear fruit. You have to put something more into it if you expect to get something out of it. I might sound like a broken record, but this, like all other marketing, is not a sprint. It is a marathon. Stay the course.
- Turn contacts into connections. Gathering contacts is meaningless unless we find ways to connect with these people. A few months ago, LinkedIn launched its new Contacts feature, which gives us built-in reasons to connect with those we deem interesting or important to our practice. It has given us a light version of CRM within its site. Start your business day there.
- Engage in targeted marketing. If you have clients, prospects, media, referral sources, friends, alumni, colleagues, or others that you need or want to connect with, find them on LinkedIn, then connect with them. Begin the process of developing the relationships your marketing and business development plans call for. Connect with those you have met at conferences and networking events, reminding them how you met. Remember, there is life after the invitation in accepted.
- Don't just use LinkedIn as a broadcasting tool. If you expect to be memorable, you need to provide value to others. Only promoting your individual blog posts, or the firm's work, will not only become boring to others, but it will send the perception you aren't there to connect at all. Talk to others. Share relevant content written by others. Click like when you approve of something your clients say. Tag others in your comments when they deserve credit, or when they inspired a comment.
- Add your Professional Portfolio to your profile. This is a great new tool in 2013 that allows you to add your content to the Summary, Experience and Education sections of your profile. Almost anything that has a URL, or that is able to be uploaded, can be added to these sections to showcase your knowledge. Consider this a soft-sell of your expertise.
- Find groups that make sense. There are approximately 2 million groups on LinkedIn. If you are new to group, find 3 to start with, and get involved, not just by sharing your content, but by answering questions, providing suggestions to others, sharing content others post, or giving the group a heads up when something important is happening in their area of interest, just to name a few. Think about groups that are valuable to your target audiences by looking at their pfofiles to see what groups they belong to. Gage your effectiveness by watching LinkedIn's brand new Group Participation Level barometer on the right side of the group's page. It encourages participation.
- Today, I want you to please take an oath to always send custom invitations. LinkedIn hasn't always made this easy, and continues to not allow us to customize invitations to connect from our mobile devices, but you should always change the standard language LinkedIn gives you when connecting with others, and you should add a personal note when accepting invitations. I get more responses, and engage in more ongoing conversation, from my custom messages than I do anywhere else in my Newsfeed. Sending their standard language doesn't invite a warm, fuzzy feeling when received.
I could go on, but I've hit 7 again, so it's time for me to stop myself before I think of another list of 7!
We look forward to sharing the next 5 Days with you, so check back Monday to see what your SIG leaders will bring you for The 8th Day of Social Media!
If you missed us last year, you may also want to check our 2012 12 Days of Social Media. You can find them right here!
The 12 days of Social Media are a sliver of what you get when you're an LMA Social Media SIG member. We host regular Social Media webinars with experts inside and outside of the legal profession. As a member of the Social Media SIG, these posts and invitations will be sent to you automatically via the Groups ediscussion Forum.
To get full benefits, and advance notice of our events, please join:
- The Social Media SIG
- The LinkedIn LMA Social Media SIG private group
- The LMA Social Media private group on Facebook, and
- If you're not already a member of LMA, please join us here.
Happy Holidays from your Social Media SIG Leaders!
- Lindsay Griffiths, International Lawyers Network
- Laura Toledo, Bowman and Brooke
- Gail Lamarche, Henderson Franklin
- Lance Godard, JD Supra
- Nancy Myrland, Myrland Marketing & Social Media
Missed any of our 2013 12 Days? Here are the posts you'll want to see!