How Law Firms Can Use Social Media in 2011

Here are my 10 predictions about law firms and their use of social media in 2011. (Disclaimer: It’s also a wish list!)

1–Lawyers will start using Facebook for business. (And many will say I’m nuts for suggesting this). Want to start one? Click here and the link takes you to Facebook’s page site.

2- More law firms will discover the benefits of using high definition digital video to promote their firm’s culture and they will link to YouTube.

3–Law firm management will pay much more attention to the use of social media to protect reputation and especially during a crisis.

4- Twitter use will increase among lawyers, who will use it for linking to their white papers, news releases, bylined articles, media coverage and court decisions relevant to their practice areas.

5–Lawyers will start using their LinkedIn profiles’ status bar to begin posting valuable information of interest to prospects and clients. Of course, if you also have a Twitter account, LinkedIn makes it easy to simultaneously Tweet your Linkedin status as shown in the hyperlink above. (Lawyers will also discover the power of LinkedIn’s many targeted groups to distribute this information and begin using LinkedIn’s search engine for gathering intelligence).

6–Microblog sites like Twitter, Posterous and Tumblr will slowly but surely grab the attention of lawyers because they allow for short posts that can written quickly and uploaded easily from tablet computers and mobile devices.

7–Educational podcasts, using sites like BlogTalkRadio, will allow more lawyers to reach larger audiences from their desks rather than traveling and spending $$ to get a large audience into a hotel conference room.

8–Law firms will discover the power of live video streaming and begin using sites like USTREAM and Justin.TV for reaching new prospects anywhere in the world.

9–Companies that build websites for law firms will see a steep decline in business unless they can also prove they understand how to use social media effectively and integrate it with a firm’s entire online presence.

10–Law firms will increasingly make social media part of their business development planning and execution. And hopefully, these firms will opt for an experienced person or team to manage social media instead of an intern or junior staffer.

What do you think? And, are you using any of these social media tools? Please leave any comments below.

P.S…Here’s my post from this time last year on law firm communications. Hint: there’s a connection between last year’s post and this one.

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N.Y. Lawyers Can Now Advertise More Freely After Supreme Court Declines Case

The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday declined to take up a case on lawyer advertising rules in New York State. That left intact a federal appeals court ruling, which had struck down many of the professional conduct rules on the subject and which many lawyers thought were too restrictive.

At issue was how far lawyers could go in advertising their ability to win cases, including the use of slogans and trade names to imply success.

Articles about the development yesterday are here and here.

A 2007 article on the subject from The New York Times can be found here and a New York Law Journal article (also from 2007) here.

Here’s an ad from the law firm that fought the restrictive rules:

What do lawyers and legal marketers think of this development?