A good post appears today on the American Express Open Forum site profiling LexBlog founder Kevin O’Keefe, who was a practicing trial lawyer in Wisconsin before he caught the Internet bug with his first start-up, Prairielaw.com. 

Kevin founded LexBlog in 2003, and it is now the world’s largest blog network for lawyers and all things law – like this blog.

Quoting from the post, here are Kevin’s six tips for social media success:

1.  Chiefs over Indians. O’Keefe advised companies to avoid assigning junior people to be the company online voice. “The top management needs to be involved. How else do you build relationships? How else do you demonstrate thought leadership?” he asks.

2.  Blog strategically. Don’t just shovel up content. Provide information and ideas that will engage clients and prospects.  Respond or anticipate to their questions or concerns. Also pay close attention to influencers, top clients, media and, top bloggers. Find ways to engage them with your social media activity.

3.  Be yourself. O’Keefe warns lawyers, “ don’t hide behind your law firm brand.” People are looking for authenticity. “You’ll shine like a star when people see you acting like an everyday person.”

4.  Listen first. O’Keefe—as do most experts—see far greater power in listening to relevant voices on social media than broadcasting messages. “You wouldn’t shout out content through a bullhorn at a cocktail event. Don’t do it online, either.”

5.  Be curious. Lawyers are trained not to ask questions in court that they don’t know the answers to. This doesn’t work online where it is smartest to ask questions and enjoy a forgiving environment for making a few mistakes now and then.

6.  Ask for the work. Lawyers online sometimes seem shy when asking people for the business they hope to get.  O’Keefe advises professionals to “ask for the type of work they want to do from the type of clients they want to work with.”

Good stuff from a very smart lawyer.

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