While the top law firms in the United States and the UK have found a direct correlation between the extent of social media and client success, there are innumerable law firms in India that are reluctant to use social media and their respective digital presence to engage with existing clients and attract new ones. Its perhaps because of the stringer BCI laws that tells law firms they cannot advertise their services. However, while advertising isn’t allowed, you can still use social media to reach out to clients and customers, and we will tell how. Social media and advertising, after all, are different, though it may be easy to mix the two.
Social Media Reputation for Lawyer in India
Indian lawyers are slowly going online – and while we still haven’t explored the true potential, we are slowly getting there.
In fact, as we shall see below, several young lawyers from India are giving their senior counterparts a major run for their money as they are more adept with technology and have welcomed social media when it comes to creating interesting content online and interacting with existing and potential clients.
Top Indian Lawyers Using Social Media Today – Social Media Reputation for Lawyer in India
More Indian lawyers are now using social media than before – let’s take a look at a few examples.
Gautam Bhatia, an expert in Indian constitutional law, and a 2011 law graduate, has over 13.1k followers on Twitter. You would find him engaging in debates, replying to followers on recent cases, and posting recent court documents and analysis on his blog indconlawphil.wordpress.com.
Apar Gupta, who describes himself as a litigator and public policy professional, is another example. He has over 11.8k followrs on Twitter, and is known for speaking on the right to privacy. While a proponent of digitization, it was him along with others that made the Apex court concede it as a fundamental right. He believes that the recent Aadhar link-up is an ‘administrative fetish’, and doesn’t shy away from letting his views known on Twitter.
Shivam Singh, who defines himself as a Sports Law and Dispute Resolution Counsel, uses both Twitter and LinkedIn to his advantage. Expect timely updates on sports news on Twitter and some great sports tips on his LinkedIn page.
Karuna Nundy, a powerhouse constitutional, commercial and media lawyer in the Supreme Court, is known to fight for Bhopal’s gas tragedy survivors and framing India’s anti-rape bill. But that’s not all she does – she has a power packed online presence too – with over 50k followers on Twitter. From expressing her views, sharing bits about her professional life to reporting on recent news – she does it all.
So, how is the social media scenario in India changing for lawyers? And how do you make the most of it? Here is a look at what you can do as a lawyer.
Why do you need a good presence in the virtual world?
- To build trust:
Having a good presence in social media creates an air of superiority and reliability. In the world of law, especially in India, trust is indispensable if one wants to be successful. Lawyers can create trust and reliance among the others by generating and sharing valuable content on different social media channels.
Just creating a page won’t do. Since intellectual capacity is what they rely on to make a living, coming up with interesting topics are necessary and they must be shared through owned, earned and paid media channels to reach out to more and more people.
- It helps generate more business:
There has to be a connection between social media strategy and business development strategy if you want to make more business through social media. In surveys and studies, it has been observed that there is an important connection between how a lawyer uses social media and improves his profitability.
The average conversion rate observed has been around 10 percent. However, an important thing to keep in mind is that the quality of content and the ease of understanding and sharing it will be an important factor in driving more and more customers towards a lawyer.
Top Strategies To Ensure Social Media Success for Indian Lawyers
So, how do you need to go about creating your social media presence? Here is how to improve social media reputation for lawyer in India the easy way.
Most Indian lawyers seem to focus on Twitter and their website to build followers but that shouldn’t be the only source you need to be looking at.
How to use LinkedIn Publisher?
Many lawyers have complained that they have been on LinkedIn for a long time but have not received and useful results. This arises mainly because of two problems:
- Misunderstanding the tools that LinkedIn provides
- Misunderstanding the purpose of LinkedIn
LinkedIn is not about having more contacts but building fruitful relationships with your connections. You can’t just accept invitations and forget about them, you have to devote some of your time and attention to your contacts, endorsing them and posting their work to get the same devotion from them.
Opt for the LinkedIn Publisher:
You can use the LinkedIn Publisher for creating and charing content on LinkedIn. Since the content can be searched by keyword, you can use this tool to showcase your knowledge and expertise.
Pulse in the newsfeed of LinkedIn and posts articles on the basis of how popular they are. It is the number of views that helps you decide the popularity of an article. The right article will get posted on Pulse and thereby make you visible to a whole new world of people and your profile gets viewed by a huge number of people.
Since LinkedIn allows your posts to be a part of your profile, anyone who checks you out on LinkedIn also gets to see your work.
How to use the LinkedIn Publisher?
- The ‘Update’ section of your profile will have an option called ‘create a post’. Click on that.
- Once the publishing platform opens up, write a well-researched and well-articulated article. You can also put up a previous work out here. Stick to the 500 word limit as that is an ideal one.
- Ensure that your article has a good headline.
- If possible, select a photograph to accompany the writing. A small camera icon on the tool bar will help you post pictures along with your article. And we all know… a picture is worth a thousand words.
- Once you are done writing, proofread, edit and post it and keep a track of the response you get. All your contacts in your network will get a notification whenever you put up a post. So ensure your work is of superior quality and makes for a good read. Nobody will like being disturbed with sub-standard articles.
Use LinkedIn correctly:
If used correctly, it’s another way to improve social media reputation for lawyer in India. LinkedIn can become an important part of your business development activities. You must first set out the goals that you wish to achieve through LinkedIn to know how to use it correctly. Generally, there are three goals that lawyers wish to achieve through LinkedIn.
- Targeting potential clients:
- Use the search bar and ‘advanced search’ options to find potential clients who might be interested in using your services. In most of the cases, you might have a first or second tier connection connecting you with your potential client.
- If you have a first tier connection in your contacts, give them a call and request them for an introduction. This would also be a good time to tell them why you are interested in getting in touch with the concerned client.
- Use the ‘personal note’ feature that LinkedIn offers if you are trying to connect with someone new. This would let them know why you are interested in connecting with them.
- Use LinkedIn’s InMail to send emails to prospective clients as surveys have shown that they have a 30% higher chance of being read.
- Attracting more opportunities:
- First join a LinkedIn Group that matches with your area of expertise. Participating actively in such groups will increase the traffic to your profile.
- Your profile must be ready since now you will have more people visiting your profile who are likely to present you better opportunities. One of the ways in which you can do so is put up SlideShare or videos of you making presentations which instantly adds more credibility to your work and profile.
- Start your own group, dealing with issues in your area of expertise for more interaction with prospective clients.
- Client Service:
You can use LinkedIn not only to attract more clients and opportunities but to improve existing client relations as well.
- Make sure you are connected with all your clients on LinkedIn. That is the basic step.
- Find out what it is that your client needs. If they need to know more about how a new law will affect the business and investment decisions, give them a call and advise them or connect them to someone who can help them out.
Twitter has over 284 million monthly users, and its what you need to look at as a lawyer. Here are a few tips to help.
- Use Twitter Analytics
With it, you can get helpful data and know what to tweet or retweet. Lawyers are encouraged to get as creative as possible with their tweets.
- Be Prepared:
Ensure you are well versed with the indian legal rules when it comes to tweeting. In this world, it is very easy to get caught in the bad books of the law, particularly when discussing your court wins, previous cases and actively promoting your business through these channels.
Blog it all out
That’s right. Several lawyers are so deep in books that they don’t find time to share all the knowledge that they are gathering all the time. While it is not possible to have such gatherings where you can meet an interested audience, blogging helps you reach out to more people right from the comfort of your study room.
Most Indian lawyers with an Indian presence have a blog – it’s the first thing they invest in. Some have gone in for their own domain names – like Apar Gupta – while others haven’t invested in one yet, often going by the .wordpress.com default free domain name. Either way, a blog is one of the first things you need to look for.
The Hashtagging Rules
The other thing to know to increase your reach, is to use the right hash tags. These hash tags basically create a clickable link to a stream of posts, arranged chronologically and thereby, make your posts available in additional streams.
How do you create hashtags?
Very simple! Hash tags are nothing but a ‘#’ sign followed by a string of characters with no spaces in between. However, they must make sense and have some meaning.
Using hashtags the right way
- Using them in real-time discussions:
Twitter has created a rage by allowing users to use hash tags to have discussions on important events in real-time. You can follow these discussions and respond to them. TweetChat is a free program which helps you in this. So if you have decided to tweet your post using a hashtag for a conversation related to your field of expertise, you have more chances of getting re-tweets if you use a hash tag stream which you don’t generally use in your daily conversations.
- Hashtags can help you make useful searches
When you carry out the searches using the hash tag stream, you are likely to come across people who have an interest in that specific topic or the necessary and associated knowledge and skills. You can carry out searches in the search page, but since that is unfiltered, your chances of striking gold gets highly diluted.
- Use them in conference participation:
Hash tags are perhaps best used when it comes to conference participation. If you can use a famous conference hash tag to your advantage, then you will overcome a major obstacle when it comes to reaching out to interested audience members who are likely to use tour services.
The Other Methods
Wonder what the other methods to improve social media reputation for lawyer in India are? You can also try out Facebook to increase followers, and generate shareable content. However, in the Indian context, we haven’t yet seen many lawyers with social media presence, though we do have a few legal firms with their own Facebook pages – like A.K Singh and Co. Law Offices.