Surveys show that 87% of LinkedIn users view the platform as a trusted source of information. For lawyers using social media to build their brand, no platform is better than LinkedIn to demonstrate knowledge and experience, build trust, and become an authority in their niche. Here are 10 steps lawyers can follow to become LinkedIn thought leaders and be trusted as an important source of information.
1. Optimize your profile so people can find you.
You’ve probably already created a LinkedIn profile, but just having an account won’t necessarily help you be discovered by the right audience. To ensure that you’re popping up in search results related to your skill sets, you’ll need to take steps to refine and optimize your LinkedIn profile. As with most things on the internet, optimizing for search is important. Research keywords and add them into your page description. Think about who you want to see your content, and then use SEO best practices to attract them. For more tips, visit our blog post: 10 Steps to the Perfect LinkedIn Profile.
2. Provide valuable content.
Give your audience information that actually helps or guides them. Consider their challenges and put forth content that addresses those challenges. Make your page a place that people actively go to seek expertise. To that end, don’t be afraid to give advice freely when you can. The more you share, the more people see that you have a lot of value to offer.
Tip: Don’t regurgitate the news, rather share your opinions and views on appropriate topics. If you have a unique view on current events, regulations, etc. – share it! Post from a position that shares why something is a problem, and what can be done about it. Doing so is yet another way to create an ongoing conversation.
3. Address your target audience.
Consider what your target market wants to know about, and then present that information in an easy-to-digest format. They are looking for insight and thought-leadership (not self promotion). The most relevant content is customized to your audience. Things like white papers, checklists, how-to guides, and industry updates are helpful to your audience and will encourage them to follow you. You can even use LinkedIn’s new polling feature to ask them directly about topics or legal matters they would be interested in learning more about. Take things a step further by integrating your lead management system so that you can collect information from people who you interact with on LinkedIn.
4. Know how often to post.
LinkedIn has found that 20 posts per month can help you reach 60% of your unique audience. Posting each weekday for an entire month brings you to 20 posts. Analyze the data from there and decide if you need to scale up and share more content.
5. Encourage dialogue.
When you publish content, seek to create a conversation. Ask people for their opinions and ideas, and reply to comments. Thank people for commenting. Just like in real life conversation, it’s more enjoyable when both participants are active. Furthermore, LinkedIn determines what content should be prioritized in your connections’ feeds. As is the case with most social media algorithms, reach is rewarded to content that receives more interactions and engagement.
6. Share your personality.
It’s important to present your true, authentic self on LinkedIn. Yes, people are looking for the information you provide, but they also want to see the expert behind the content. Your goal is to activate long-term interest, and a great way to do that is to be personable. Share personal anecdotes, lessons learned, or industry insights that are unique to you.
7. Be consistent.
For lawyers to become thought leaders on LinkedIn, it is important to stay on brand. Posting once in a while isn’t going to position you as a thought leader. You need to commit to sharing articles or other items through LinkedIn updates. This will also help you to refine your own voice. Along those lines, remember to stay on brand. Reflect the value you and your firm offer and remember those differentiators and tone each time you post.
8. Use images and video.
The click-through rate is much higher for posts using images than those without. So try to find graphics that further explain the story you’re trying to tell. You can go a step further by incorporating video posts in your repertoire. Lawyers can use video to introduce themselves and their firm, talk about how they help, answer FAQs in their industry, promote a webinar, etc. Video is highly personable, it gives people a better sense of who you are and can help build trust. See: The Right Type of Law Firm Videos for Each Social Media Platform.
9. Highlight your experience.
Use skills, endorsements, and recommendations to support your background and experience as a practicing lawyer. List related items in the skills section, and ask past colleagues to endorse you for certain skills or recommend your work. This tip seems like common sense, and LinkedIn is designed to showcase professional experience, yet many people skip adding this information.
10. Be active in LinkedIn Groups.
Keep a high profile in your professional network by finding and joining the right groups. Be particular about which groups you join, and then be even more particular about what you share. Search for groups that are local to your area, or pertain to your areas of expertise. Then, offer insights that are relevant and valuable, and once in a while share some branded content. Another great way for lawyers to become thought leaders on LinkedIn is to create and manage your own LinkedIn Group.
LinkedIn is the preferred social media platform to reach professionals and clients in a succinct and straightforward way. LinkedIn offers several ways for lawyers to offer thought leadership content and engage their niche audiences. Keep in mind that it’s important to provide relevant and valuable content, be consistent, and take advantage of LinkedIn’s unique features to set yourself apart as a thought leader.
If you need any help developing an effective LinkedIn strategy, contact us today.