OTLA Using Social Media Links & Resources
I recently had the privilege to speak at the Oregon Trial Lawyers Association (OTLA) 2011 Annual Convention in Bend, OR in a session titled “Using Social Media: Marketing and Messaging”. My dear friend Beth Bernard partnered me with David Sugerman, an attorney with a notable body of work practicing in Portland, Oregon.
We had great discussion that referenced many social media websites and features that can be highly beneficial to independent attorneys and large law firms alike. The following is a list of websites and resources referenced during the session that has been expanded to include additional items worth consideration for expanding and engaging an online audience.
- WordPress – The recommended blogging platform.
- It’s Free to Download and install on your website!
- Not just for blogs, you can run an entire website on the WordPress CMS platform.
- WordPress also has 1,400+ Free Themes for you to choose from. Although, if you have the budget, it is recommended hiring a developer and creating and unique design for your site.
- There are even 15,000+ Plugins allow you to completely customize it for your WordPress blog with different tools, features and interactive widgets.
- Facebook – The largest social network with over 750 million users.
- Facebook is primarily used for personal communication with family, friends and close colleges.
- Facebook is also used by people to share and things they are highly passionate about.
- Besides personal use, you can create a Facebook Page for your firm or personal practice to help communicate with your clients and legal colleagues.
- You can get a Facebook Badge for your site to show your visitors that you have an FB page that they can check out.
- You can advertise on FB to reach potential new clients.
- You can add FB Social Plugins to your website so that your visitors will have an easier time connecting with you and sharing your content with their friends.
- You can also create or join a FB Group with other people that share common interests.
- LinkedIn – The social network for business professionals.
- People commonly use LinkedIn to manage their professional connections, gain recommendations, and communicate with other people in the same or similar industries. It has become the business resume the 21st century.
- LinkedIn recommendations are a great way to gain testimonials from other professionals and clients that you have done business with.
- You can create and join LinkedIn Groups to connect with and share information with other professionals in your industry and place job listings.
- You have the option to create a Company Page on LinkedIn to show off your firm or personal practice and to help connect with clients and colleagues and employees.
- LinkedIn also provides Buttons and Widgets that you can add to your website to help people connect with you and share your content.
- There is even an extensive LinkedIn Jobs section where you can post jobs to reach qualified individuals.
- You can also advertise on LinkedIn to reach potential new clients.
- Twitter – The 2nd largest social network, primarily for brief messages.
- You can use Twitter to connect with people and share short bits of information and updates 140 character at a time.
- Twitter provides Buttons and Widgets that you can add to your website to help you grow your followers and promote your content.
- You also have the ability to create Twitter Lists to follow groups of people that share common interests.
- Check out the Twitter for Business resource. You can read about recommended Best Practices and how to Grow your Community.
- You can advertise on Twitter if you have a large enough budget.
- TweetDeck is a great *free* desktop tool that you can download and manage your Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts fight from your computer.
- Google+ – The new kid on the block.
- Google+ (Plus) is only a few months old, but has made some big strides in gaining users.
- Easy to access, if you already have a Gmail account, you can use the same user name and password to create a Google+ account.
- Once of the best things about Google+ is the ability to create Circles, which are lists of people that you can use to control who and what you share with people.
- Google Analytics – The recommended web analytics.
- Google Analytics is a failry comprehensive analytics program that will allow you to understand you website’s activity and help you to measure your return on internet advertising budget.
- It’s Free to use on your website!
- The Google Analytics online help resource is fairly comprehensive and should provide insight if you have questions or if any issues should arise.
- There is even a Google Analytics WordPress Plugin that makes instillation of the analytics code into the blog easier for WordPress users.
- Google even provides the Analytics Blog to keep users updated with new and upcoming features.