When you sign on to LinkedIn, you are probably most concerned with news about your contacts and making sure that your individual page looks good. It’s a professional social media site, so it is most definitely important to keep your information up-to-date and aesthetically pleasing. However, I’d be willing to bet you don’t put nearly that much thought into your law firm’s LinkedIn company page.
If you read this blog regularly or keep up with the ABA’s annual technology surveys, you know that LinkedIn is THE choice for lawyers and law firms when it comes to social networking. This weekend, an excellent article in the Kansas City Business Journal, reviewed brilliantly by Kevin O’Keefe’s Real Lawyers Have Blogs, discusses some of the best ways to maximize your law firm’s LinkedIn company page, which for many, is a mere afterthought.
LinkedIn has over 200 million users and over 3 million company pages. Considering that 98% of attorneys surveyed by the ABA reported that they use LinkedIn. Law firms need to consider the possibility that the first impression many attorneys and other professionals will have of their firm is from their LinkedIn company page. Why is this important? Just think about how much of your firm’s business in the past year came not from online advertisement or foot traffic, but from referrals or recommendations made by other attorneys!
Suddenly, your law firm’s LinkedIn company page is beginning to take on the same level of importance as your firm website, isn’t it? Well, not to worry, there are plenty of resources out there to provide guidance. Citing the Kansas City Business Journal article, Kevin O’Keefe identified these six suggestions for optimizing the value of your firm’s LinkedIn company page:
- Add a cover image! The idea is to make your page look both professional and attractive. We are a visual society, and let’s be honest, we like pretty pictures. Since you can actually have different pictures under your Products & Services tabs as well, get creative. Variety is the spice of life!
- Fill in all possible fields with as much information as possible. Empty pages look neglected or poorly thought out. Make sure to be consistent, and strongly consider using similar language across all of your advertising platforms.
- Don’t ignore the Products & Services section – ADD A MENU! Photos, videos, hyperlinks to your firm’s website and blog will definitely be helpful. This is also a good place to add information about industry or practice groups that you are a member of. Remember, people are less likely to keep reading about your firm if they have to leave LinkedIn and go to your website than if they can find all the information right on your company’s LinkedIn page!
- Ask your clients to post recommendations on your Products & Services section, BUT BE WARY! Remember the admonition that the same rules apply! You can moderate this section, so pay close attention to what is reported here, and be sure to remove any comments that do not accurately reflect your practice or the results obtained for your client. A disclaimer regarding the fact that you do not guarantee the same or similar results is probably worth considering.
- Encourage your firm’s attorneys and staff to sign up for LinkedIn and link their profiles to the page. It has been reported that 9 of the top 10 companies on LinkedIn (by followers) have at least 60% of their employees active on LinkedIn. For additional advice on increasing the number of followers your page gets, check this out.
- Promote, Promote, Promote! Just like anything else, if nobody knows about your company’s LinkedIn page, it is useless. Put a link to the page on your company website, on your email signatures, on your other social networking sites, and on your blogs, if applicable. One of the best tools available is promoting to Targeted Audiences. For tips and suggestions on that particular feature, try this.
This is advertising, so make sure that you run everything on your company’s LinkedIn page through the same review process that you would any other ads. But also remember, this is not a static thing – UPDATE it every now and again! LinkedIn is the preferred social media site for attorneys and other professionals. If your firm draws its business from attorney referrals, or you rely heavily on the type of professionals that prefer LinkedIn to other social media sites (like doctors and accountants), then having a robust, attractive LinkedIn site is essential.