August 10, 2012
I’ll be the first to admit that I didn’t really “get” LinkedIn until I did some digging for this blog post. In fact, my original title for this post could have been something like “Why LinkedIn isn’t such a useful tool for lawyers.” However, I soon discovered that LinkedIn is a social media platform that lawyers can truly benefit from, especially small firm and solo practitioners.
1. LinkedIn is the No. 1 social media platform for businesses.
According to a recent study conducted by the HubSpot blog, LinkedIn was almost three times more successful at generating client and customer leads than both Twitter and Facebook. One theory behind this is that many people who visit LinkedIn do so with business or legal needs in mind.
2. LinkedIn is user-friendly for those who are new to social networking.
The first thing you will do after joining LinkedIn is create a profile. Once this is complete, LinkedIn will suggest groups you can join and people you can connect with using the data you have provided about yourself. With a little participation every day, you can build your professional LinkedIn network in no time.
3. LinkedIn offers the same features as Facebook and Twitter in a more professional setting.
Within the past year or so, LinkedIn has introduced status updates and Company Pages, making it a fierce competitor with Facebook and Twitter. An added bonus is that LinkedIn caters to professionals, i.e. you don’t have to plod through pictures or status updates about what people had for dinner.
4. LinkedIn is a great way to connect with colleagues.
This is perhaps the biggest reason LinkedIn is a must for small firms and solo practitioners. LinkedIn provides the small firm lawyer with the big firm pool of resources. Newer lawyers, especially, depend on input from colleagues on almost a daily basis. LinkedIn allows you to pose inquiries to other lawyers via private message or through group forums.
5. LinkedIn keeps you up to date with happenings in your practice area.
As I mentioned, a great way to reach out to other lawyers is by creating or joining groups. Groups on LinkedIn offer a discussion forum where news, issues and questions can be posed to other lawyers with similar interests. It is also possible to post and look for jobs on group pages.
As you can see, my first impression was wrong. LinkedIn has a lot to offer small firm lawyers and solo practitioners. Like with most other social media platforms, it just takes a little time to explore LinkedIn and start building your own professional network. You’ll be glad you did.