How to Ensure Your Firm's Social Media Strategy Supports Your Business Development Goals

JD Supra Perspectives

It’s important to keep in mind that social media success today is so much more than the number of likes, comments or shares you have. It’s about engagement, lead generation, and retaining and delighting current clients with your posts and interactions.

By aligning your content and social media strategy to your business development goals, you will be able to focus in on the practices and industries that support growth efforts and the lawyers to spotlight within them. If you use data and competitive intelligence to help support these efforts (such as Google analytics, web site, social media and email statistics, among others), you will be a powerhouse in social media marketing because you will be informed and able to pivot to meet your audience’s needs.

Remember, everything you do in all law firm marketing efforts should be centered on bringing leads and delighting your clients, and that most certainly includes every piece of content you post. Client-centric content is what will enhance your business development goals. The underlying idea is that you are top of mind when your network needs someone like you, which is why you’ll create and post content regularly.

So let’s explore how to do this (these tips are for any size firm and level and often cost little or nothing).

Get into the BD lead generation mindset

Every legal marketing professional should think of themselves as a business development professional regardless of their job title. A marketing professional must be focused on lead generation and business development in their role to really understand what their firm’s goals are, especially when it comes to content.

...regularly meet with your business development colleagues to understand their priorities

So if you are a communications person, regularly meet with your business development colleagues to understand their priorities and how you can support their efforts.

In addition, review practice plans with your business development team so you really understand your firm’s practice and industry goals. Make sure you know who the top clients in each practice/industry are. Become well-versed in your firm’s strategic plan so that you understand the bigger picture. Focus on supporting the key rainmakers at your firm, the up-and-coming star associates, and junior partners.

With the practice and lawyer points noted above, be strategic in choosing on which areas you focus. This may change each year based on firm and practice goals. Therefore, it is so important to be closely aligned with business development efforts.

Determine your overall content goals

In order to get to where you want to go, it’s important to know where you are. Work with firm leaders and key partners to answer the following questions:

  • What are the firm’s business goals and can they be supported through content?
  • What does the firm want to accomplish using content?
  • What are your firm’s key differentiators?
  • What do you want to be known for?
    • Key industries/practices
    • Timely issues
    • Remember: You can’t be everything to everyone

Then to identify your target audiences, ask the following:

  • Which social networks will work best to reach your target audiences
  • How and when are your target audiences engaging on social media?

Use the answers to these questions to help you refine your social media strategy.

Set up your content/social media strategy

Select your platforms (for example, most firms want a presence on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram). Your firm should ONLY focus on those where you know your clients and target audiences are. It’s better to narrow down the focus and do those well. Also, always adjust content for the medium. What I mean by this is don’t post the same content on each platform – one size doesn’t fit all.

Use an editorial/content calendar to help you manage your posts and share the calendar with your business development colleagues and lawyers to ensure they are on board and to seek their input.

Next, as you move to the content itself, always aim to create timely, client-centric, educational content and explain and anticipate what developments mean to your readers. Make your content work harder and smarter for you by:

  • Reusing and repurposing it
  • Creating once, publishing it everywhere (adjusting for the social networks)
  • Taking the time to create visuals to accompany your posts – they increase not just your brand awareness on social but also clickthroughs
  • Sprinkling in timeless, evergreen content when you have content gaps (I call these the content gifts that keep giving)
  • Effectively use visuals, hashtags, calls to action, and folding in more interactive content such as videos and podcasts

The most important step that many firms miss is to train employees on how to use social media to tap into their valuable networks (especially when it comes to LinkedIn). One wise thing to do is to develop a training program/cheat sheet and offer deskside training to your lawyers. You need access to their professional networks to achieve maximum engagement.

Always write in your clients’ voice, for your clients

When creating content, write often (and quickly) about updates impacting your clients. Your content must always be client-centric and written in your clients’ language. Here are some quick tips for how to jumpstart your content marketing efforts.

  • Don’t wait – create and distribute content while the topic is hot (good is often good enough)
  • Shorter is better and use attractive visuals to accompany the posts. Write timeless “why” and “how-to” “evergreen” pieces that you can republish over and over – every practice has them.
  • Always think show vs. tell.
  • Say no to defined terms, unnecessary capitalizations, double and triple spaces (gasp!) between sentences, legal terms, footnotes, antiquated listing systems, etc.
  • Write short/concise headlines that quickly get to the point – bonus points if you can use numbers, “Five Ways to…” or top takeaways.
  • Create and distribute content while the topic is hot – a good piece of content today is better than a fantastic piece three days from now.
  • Update an old client alert with strong readership rates (or create a Part Two) and voilà, you have a new piece of content!
  • Create “evergreen” and “how-to” client alerts and plan them out over the course of the year.
  • Each quarter study the analytics on your top-rated blog posts and client alerts. Look for commonalities on why they did well or not (was it the headline? Structure? Topic?) Then strategize to find ways to replicate the posts. Remember, create more of what resonates and less of what doesn’t.
  • Your content must focus on the reader, not the writer. Too often, lawyers write for themselves – what they think is interesting – or for their colleagues who are not their target audience. It’s important to remember that often your clients aren’t lawyers – so don’t write in legalese!

How promoting others bolsters your brand and network

Promoting the successes of others in your network can build stronger relationships and lead to new business. Dedicate some of your social posts to congratulate others – especially clients and prospects, and referral sources. Get into the mindset of “How can I help you?” Paying it forward and giving before you get will build a stronger brand for yourself. You will attract people to you if you are humble, helpful and complimentary.

Use analytics to create content that engages readers

You need to know how your content is performing so that you can create more of what works well and less of what doesn’t.

Provide your content producers with analytics after each alert/campaign...

For your content strategy to be successful, you must be committed to assessing its performance on a regular basis. This will enable you to refine your content. Provide your content producers with analytics after each alert/campaign; it will motivate them. Become best friends with your Google Analytics each month – it’s free!

Use content syndicators such as JDSupra – there are several other terrific ones on the market and if you have the budget to have more than one, go for it. A combination of them will enable your content to reach a wide audience.

Use LinkedIn to your advantage

It’s important to link in with the people you meet in person who you consider worthwhile to extend the relationship online. I could dedicate an entire article to this topic – oh wait, I have! See here and here! The Cliffs Notes on this is that LinkedIn is powerful. The platform gives you a reason to be in touch with contacts in your professional network through status updates and content.

Today, most people do not send an email when they move jobs, instead they use LinkedIn to notify their network. It’s up to you to do the due diligence to find where they landed. So what can you do with LinkedIn to build your network and bring in new business?

  • Every day, like and/or share others’ posts in your industry and at the firm
  • Congratulate the successes of those in your network through its notifications section – job moves, promotion, work anniversaries, professional milestones (an appointment to a board, an award, the publishing of a book, etc.)
  • Use LinkedIn before and after events to build relationships and research attendees
  • Log in during your commute or downtime to check out what people in your network are posting, who has switched jobs, who is celebrating a work anniversary, who is speaking at an event or has written a blog post or article. Use these professional milestones to reach out to individuals who you’ve been meaning to contact. I have seen these notifications reignite relationships and lead to new client engagements. They can serve as the "hook" you need to get your foot back in the door.

Develop a LinkedIn BD strategy

To take your LinkedIn efforts to the next level, think about the following:

  • What do I want to accomplish with my LinkedIn profile?
  • How will I determine whether this has been a successful business development venture? Simply increasing your number of connections isn’t enough of a measurement metric. It’s better to determine success by measuring things like lead generation, new business meetings and increased traffic to your profile
  • How much time will I dedicate to using LinkedIn to cultivate business? What you will get out of it should be proportionate to what you’re putting in.
  • It’s great to have many connections on LinkedIn, but if the relationship never leaves the site, what’s the point?
  • The goal with LinkedIn is to turn those connections into referral sources or new clients. To do this, create a strong LinkedIn profile (use keywords that will help you appear in searches). Write for people to read it. Connect with every important professional you meet and personalize your invite. Remind the person where you met, mention something you remember from a conversation you had, or better yet, open the door to a future meeting.
  • Create a connections plan. Go through your Outlook contacts and make sure you are connected to VIP people on LinkedIn. Connect with the people who have viewed your profile (if you know them). Use LinkedIn’s tools – “People You May Know.” Search through your colleagues’ connections as well as those of your competitors for leads.
  • Be generous – like and share others’ posts and congratulate others on their successes, especially your VIP connections. Build online rapport and follow people you admire on Twitter, retweet their content, like and comment on their statuses and share their content on LinkedIn. Supporting others helps to build a strong community. Post a status update on LinkedIn when you travel to another city for work or for a conference so you can easily connect with others in the area.

So why do all of this? While many of your connections may not be ready to hire a lawyer at the time, they may be in the future. When they reach that point, you will be top of mind.

Maximize the ROI of every event

Don’t just attend an event and run back to the office. Instead immerse yourself in the conference experience and differentiate yourself as a subject-matter expert by making yourself part of the conversation on social media (engaging on Twitter using the conference's hashtag) or writing an article on the top takeaways that you learned from it. You could also interview your favorite speakers and write an article (easily transcribe the interview using your iPhone and another one of my favorite tools, the cheap online transcription tool Temi).

Don't forget to connect with those speakers (and key attendees you met) on LinkedIn afterwards to continue the relationship offline. I have many more tips on how to maximize every conference at which you attend and speak – you can read them here. Think of every conference or firm-hosted event as an opportunity to build your brand and bring in leads.

As Paul Ryplewski from JD Supra put it in a recent post, you can do so much to leverage your event content, such as:

  • produce a recap of soundbite insights from panelists
  • report on industry trends that were the focus of the conference
  • write a summary of the entire event
  • don't be shy to report on your own firm-branded and hosted event
  • record a panel discussion - or all sessions - and release as an informative video, or video series

For all firms and lawyers, the goal of social media marketing should be lead generation and business development. How you get there is by building targeted relationships, staying top of mind, providing helpful content and consistently adding value. Remember, only create and share content based on your strategic business development goals – everything else is irrelevant!


[Stefanie Marrone helps law firms effectively tell their stories and find their unique voices. Over the last 17 years, she has worked with some of the most prominent and innovative law firms in the world, developing and executing global revenue generating business development and communications strategies, including media relations, branding, and multichannel content marketing and social media campaigns. She is very passionate about using social media for lead generation and brand building. She has a diverse range of experience in both Big Law and mid-size/small-law firms. Connect with her on LinkedIn and follow her latest writing on JD Supra as well as her blog The Social Media Butterfly.]

Written by:


JD Supra Perspectives on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
- hide

JD Supra Privacy Policy

Updated: May 25, 2018:

JD Supra is a legal publishing service that connects experts and their content with broader audiences of professionals, journalists and associations.

This Privacy Policy describes how JD Supra, LLC ("JD Supra" or "we," "us," or "our") collects, uses and shares personal data collected from visitors to our website (located at (our "Website") who view only publicly-available content as well as subscribers to our services (such as our email digests or author tools)(our "Services"). By using our Website and registering for one of our Services, you are agreeing to the terms of this Privacy Policy.

Please note that if you subscribe to one of our Services, you can make choices about how we collect, use and share your information through our Privacy Center under the "My Account" dashboard (available if you are logged into your JD Supra account).

Collection of Information

Registration Information. When you register with JD Supra for our Website and Services, either as an author or as a subscriber, you will be asked to provide identifying information to create your JD Supra account ("Registration Data"), such as your:

  • Email
  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Company Name
  • Company Industry
  • Title
  • Country

Other Information: We also collect other information you may voluntarily provide. This may include content you provide for publication. We may also receive your communications with others through our Website and Services (such as contacting an author through our Website) or communications directly with us (such as through email, feedback or other forms or social media). If you are a subscribed user, we will also collect your user preferences, such as the types of articles you would like to read.

Information from third parties (such as, from your employer or LinkedIn): We may also receive information about you from third party sources. For example, your employer may provide your information to us, such as in connection with an article submitted by your employer for publication. If you choose to use LinkedIn to subscribe to our Website and Services, we also collect information related to your LinkedIn account and profile.

Your interactions with our Website and Services: As is true of most websites, we gather certain information automatically. This information includes IP addresses, browser type, Internet service provider (ISP), referring/exit pages, operating system, date/time stamp and clickstream data. We use this information to analyze trends, to administer the Website and our Services, to improve the content and performance of our Website and Services, and to track users' movements around the site. We may also link this automatically-collected data to personal information, for example, to inform authors about who has read their articles. Some of this data is collected through information sent by your web browser. We also use cookies and other tracking technologies to collect this information. To learn more about cookies and other tracking technologies that JD Supra may use on our Website and Services please see our "Cookies Guide" page.

How do we use this information?

We use the information and data we collect principally in order to provide our Website and Services. More specifically, we may use your personal information to:

  • Operate our Website and Services and publish content;
  • Distribute content to you in accordance with your preferences as well as to provide other notifications to you (for example, updates about our policies and terms);
  • Measure readership and usage of the Website and Services;
  • Communicate with you regarding your questions and requests;
  • Authenticate users and to provide for the safety and security of our Website and Services;
  • Conduct research and similar activities to improve our Website and Services; and
  • Comply with our legal and regulatory responsibilities and to enforce our rights.

How is your information shared?

  • Content and other public information (such as an author profile) is shared on our Website and Services, including via email digests and social media feeds, and is accessible to the general public.
  • If you choose to use our Website and Services to communicate directly with a company or individual, such communication may be shared accordingly.
  • Readership information is provided to publishing law firms and authors of content to give them insight into their readership and to help them to improve their content.
  • Our Website may offer you the opportunity to share information through our Website, such as through Facebook's "Like" or Twitter's "Tweet" button. We offer this functionality to help generate interest in our Website and content and to permit you to recommend content to your contacts. You should be aware that sharing through such functionality may result in information being collected by the applicable social media network and possibly being made publicly available (for example, through a search engine). Any such information collection would be subject to such third party social media network's privacy policy.
  • Your information may also be shared to parties who support our business, such as professional advisors as well as web-hosting providers, analytics providers and other information technology providers.
  • Any court, governmental authority, law enforcement agency or other third party where we believe disclosure is necessary to comply with a legal or regulatory obligation, or otherwise to protect our rights, the rights of any third party or individuals' personal safety, or to detect, prevent, or otherwise address fraud, security or safety issues.
  • To our affiliated entities and in connection with the sale, assignment or other transfer of our company or our business.

How We Protect Your Information

JD Supra takes reasonable and appropriate precautions to insure that user information is protected from loss, misuse and unauthorized access, disclosure, alteration and destruction. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. You should keep in mind that no Internet transmission is ever 100% secure or error-free. Where you use log-in credentials (usernames, passwords) on our Website, please remember that it is your responsibility to safeguard them. If you believe that your log-in credentials have been compromised, please contact us at

Children's Information

Our Website and Services are not directed at children under the age of 16 and we do not knowingly collect personal information from children under the age of 16 through our Website and/or Services. If you have reason to believe that a child under the age of 16 has provided personal information to us, please contact us, and we will endeavor to delete that information from our databases.

Links to Other Websites

Our Website and Services may contain links to other websites. The operators of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using our Website or Services and click a link to another site, you will leave our Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We are not responsible for the data collection and use practices of such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of our Website and Services and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Information for EU and Swiss Residents

JD Supra's principal place of business is in the United States. By subscribing to our website, you expressly consent to your information being processed in the United States.

  • Our Legal Basis for Processing: Generally, we rely on our legitimate interests in order to process your personal information. For example, we rely on this legal ground if we use your personal information to manage your Registration Data and administer our relationship with you; to deliver our Website and Services; understand and improve our Website and Services; report reader analytics to our authors; to personalize your experience on our Website and Services; and where necessary to protect or defend our or another's rights or property, or to detect, prevent, or otherwise address fraud, security, safety or privacy issues. Please see Article 6(1)(f) of the E.U. General Data Protection Regulation ("GDPR") In addition, there may be other situations where other grounds for processing may exist, such as where processing is a result of legal requirements (GDPR Article 6(1)(c)) or for reasons of public interest (GDPR Article 6(1)(e)). Please see the "Your Rights" section of this Privacy Policy immediately below for more information about how you may request that we limit or refrain from processing your personal information.
  • Your Rights
    • Right of Access/Portability: You can ask to review details about the information we hold about you and how that information has been used and disclosed. Note that we may request to verify your identification before fulfilling your request. You can also request that your personal information is provided to you in a commonly used electronic format so that you can share it with other organizations.
    • Right to Correct Information: You may ask that we make corrections to any information we hold, if you believe such correction to be necessary.
    • Right to Restrict Our Processing or Erasure of Information: You also have the right in certain circumstances to ask us to restrict processing of your personal information or to erase your personal information. Where you have consented to our use of your personal information, you can withdraw your consent at any time.

You can make a request to exercise any of these rights by emailing us at or by writing to us at:

Privacy Officer
JD Supra, LLC
10 Liberty Ship Way, Suite 300
Sausalito, California 94965

You can also manage your profile and subscriptions through our Privacy Center under the "My Account" dashboard.

We will make all practical efforts to respect your wishes. There may be times, however, where we are not able to fulfill your request, for example, if applicable law prohibits our compliance. Please note that JD Supra does not use "automatic decision making" or "profiling" as those terms are defined in the GDPR.

  • Timeframe for retaining your personal information: We will retain your personal information in a form that identifies you only for as long as it serves the purpose(s) for which it was initially collected as stated in this Privacy Policy, or subsequently authorized. We may continue processing your personal information for longer periods, but only for the time and to the extent such processing reasonably serves the purposes of archiving in the public interest, journalism, literature and art, scientific or historical research and statistical analysis, and subject to the protection of this Privacy Policy. For example, if you are an author, your personal information may continue to be published in connection with your article indefinitely. When we have no ongoing legitimate business need to process your personal information, we will either delete or anonymize it, or, if this is not possible (for example, because your personal information has been stored in backup archives), then we will securely store your personal information and isolate it from any further processing until deletion is possible.
  • Onward Transfer to Third Parties: As noted in the "How We Share Your Data" Section above, JD Supra may share your information with third parties. When JD Supra discloses your personal information to third parties, we have ensured that such third parties have either certified under the EU-U.S. or Swiss Privacy Shield Framework and will process all personal data received from EU member states/Switzerland in reliance on the applicable Privacy Shield Framework or that they have been subjected to strict contractual provisions in their contract with us to guarantee an adequate level of data protection for your data.

California Privacy Rights

Pursuant to Section 1798.83 of the California Civil Code, our customers who are California residents have the right to request certain information regarding our disclosure of personal information to third parties for their direct marketing purposes.

You can make a request for this information by emailing us at or by writing to us at:

Privacy Officer
JD Supra, LLC
10 Liberty Ship Way, Suite 300
Sausalito, California 94965

Some browsers have incorporated a Do Not Track (DNT) feature. These features, when turned on, send a signal that you prefer that the website you are visiting not collect and use data regarding your online searching and browsing activities. As there is not yet a common understanding on how to interpret the DNT signal, we currently do not respond to DNT signals on our site.

Access/Correct/Update/Delete Personal Information

For non-EU/Swiss residents, if you would like to know what personal information we have about you, you can send an e-mail to We will be in contact with you (by mail or otherwise) to verify your identity and provide you the information you request. We will respond within 30 days to your request for access to your personal information. In some cases, we may not be able to remove your personal information, in which case we will let you know if we are unable to do so and why. If you would like to correct or update your personal information, you can manage your profile and subscriptions through our Privacy Center under the "My Account" dashboard. If you would like to delete your account or remove your information from our Website and Services, send an e-mail to

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Privacy Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our Privacy Policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use our Website and Services following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this Privacy Policy, the practices of this site, your dealings with our Website or Services, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at:

JD Supra Cookie Guide

As with many websites, JD Supra's website (located at (our "Website") and our services (such as our email article digests)(our "Services") use a standard technology called a "cookie" and other similar technologies (such as, pixels and web beacons), which are small data files that are transferred to your computer when you use our Website and Services. These technologies automatically identify your browser whenever you interact with our Website and Services.

How We Use Cookies and Other Tracking Technologies

We use cookies and other tracking technologies to:

  1. Improve the user experience on our Website and Services;
  2. Store the authorization token that users receive when they login to the private areas of our Website. This token is specific to a user's login session and requires a valid username and password to obtain. It is required to access the user's profile information, subscriptions, and analytics;
  3. Track anonymous site usage; and
  4. Permit connectivity with social media networks to permit content sharing.

There are different types of cookies and other technologies used our Website, notably:

  • "Session cookies" - These cookies only last as long as your online session, and disappear from your computer or device when you close your browser (like Internet Explorer, Google Chrome or Safari).
  • "Persistent cookies" - These cookies stay on your computer or device after your browser has been closed and last for a time specified in the cookie. We use persistent cookies when we need to know who you are for more than one browsing session. For example, we use them to remember your preferences for the next time you visit.
  • "Web Beacons/Pixels" - Some of our web pages and emails may also contain small electronic images known as web beacons, clear GIFs or single-pixel GIFs. These images are placed on a web page or email and typically work in conjunction with cookies to collect data. We use these images to identify our users and user behavior, such as counting the number of users who have visited a web page or acted upon one of our email digests.

JD Supra Cookies. We place our own cookies on your computer to track certain information about you while you are using our Website and Services. For example, we place a session cookie on your computer each time you visit our Website. We use these cookies to allow you to log-in to your subscriber account. In addition, through these cookies we are able to collect information about how you use the Website, including what browser you may be using, your IP address, and the URL address you came from upon visiting our Website and the URL you next visit (even if those URLs are not on our Website). We also utilize email web beacons to monitor whether our emails are being delivered and read. We also use these tools to help deliver reader analytics to our authors to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

Analytics/Performance Cookies. JD Supra also uses the following analytic tools to help us analyze the performance of our Website and Services as well as how visitors use our Website and Services:

  • HubSpot - For more information about HubSpot cookies, please visit
  • New Relic - For more information on New Relic cookies, please visit
  • Google Analytics - For more information on Google Analytics cookies, visit To opt-out of being tracked by Google Analytics across all websites visit This will allow you to download and install a Google Analytics cookie-free web browser.

Facebook, Twitter and other Social Network Cookies. Our content pages allow you to share content appearing on our Website and Services to your social media accounts through the "Like," "Tweet," or similar buttons displayed on such pages. To accomplish this Service, we embed code that such third party social networks provide and that we do not control. These buttons know that you are logged in to your social network account and therefore such social networks could also know that you are viewing the JD Supra Website.

Controlling and Deleting Cookies

If you would like to change how a browser uses cookies, including blocking or deleting cookies from the JD Supra Website and Services you can do so by changing the settings in your web browser. To control cookies, most browsers allow you to either accept or reject all cookies, only accept certain types of cookies, or prompt you every time a site wishes to save a cookie. It's also easy to delete cookies that are already saved on your device by a browser.

The processes for controlling and deleting cookies vary depending on which browser you use. To find out how to do so with a particular browser, you can use your browser's "Help" function or alternatively, you can visit which explains, step-by-step, how to control and delete cookies in most browsers.

Updates to This Policy

We may update this cookie policy and our Privacy Policy from time-to-time, particularly as technology changes. You can always check this page for the latest version. We may also notify you of changes to our privacy policy by email.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about how we use cookies and other tracking technologies, please contact us at:

- hide

This website uses cookies to improve user experience, track anonymous site usage, store authorization tokens and permit sharing on social media networks. By continuing to browse this website you accept the use of cookies. Click here to read more about how we use cookies.