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Lessons from LinkedIn’s split with Twitter: Use each social media platform to its advantage

At the end of June, Ryan Roslansky, Head of Content Products at LinkedIn, announced a social media separation. Twitter users will no longer be able to display their Tweets automatically on LinkenIn. Since 2009, users have been able to sync their Twitter and LinkedIn accounts so that anything shared on Twitter would simultaneously post to LinkedIn. Now, users will have to post updates individually to each network.

Of course, speculation abounds about the motives for the move on LinkedIn’s part. Shortly before LinkedIn’s announcement, Twitter revealed on its development blog that it would be reigning in third party developer use of its platform and taking more control over how third parties can use Twitter. LinkedIn may have bristled at the new restrictions, and some are calling the split a social media turf war.

LinkedIn also could have been driven in part by the idea of protecting their own site for what it is: a professional social networking platform. And they are right. LinkedIn allows users to segment connections and groups and target them with content that reflects their interests or needs specifically. This is a far cry from the constant barrage of information Twitter users are accustomed to receiving. What is appropriate on Twitter may seem like spam on LinkedIn.

Law firms must focus their online marketing efforts by distributing relevant content. Blogging, Tweeting, networking on LinkedIn and being active online in general can help drive traffic and referrals. But LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook are all different animals. When integrating social media into a law firm marketing strategy, attorneys should be aware of the strengths of each platform and use each differently to maximize results.

Facebook: Facebook is a good platform on which to share blog entries that link back to your website. Facebook can also be used to share news about the firm, photos of community events or seminars in which the firm is involved or recognition the firm has received. Facebook allows for better photo sharing than other platforms and can be used to creatively reinforce your firm’s brand while presenting useful information to prospects and clients.

LinkedIn: LinkedIn is a professional network and has proven itself to be uniquely effective for generating referrals and leads. Attorneys can use LinkedIn to engender interesting discussions about topics related to their practice area(s). And LinkedIn’s targeting function allows attorneys to share specific, relevant information with different groups or connections.

Twitter: Twitter’s immediacy makes it a platform best used for sharing breaking news. This could be news or press about your firm or links to other topical stories related to your field. Your firm does not have to be directly involved in the news you share. Twitter relies on frequency. Generally the more interesting news you share, the more followers you will gain.

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