facebook v. LinkedIn in the legal marketThis weekend, I was reading a great post by Kevin O’Keefe over at Lexblog about the growth and innovation at LinkedIn (see here).   He points out that LinkedIn “is up to 187 million members and adding new members at the rate of 2 per second.”  Those are impressive numbers.  This growth made me think about the LinkedIn user experience for lawyers versus the Facebook user experience.

On one hand, LinkedIn is doing things right.  Lately it just feels more engaging.  I am sharing and commenting more.  I am discovering useful content.  I am connecting with relevant people at a faster rate.  The user experience works well (although obviously not perfect).  They have also added a number of great features lately, which have increased engagement.  Examples include:

  1. The addition of endorsements – a simple quick way to endorse someone.  (see here for a nice summary for lawyers by Nancy Myrland)
  2. Revamped company (think law firm) pages –  (see here for a summary).  To me, the key feature here is that company pages now appear on LinkedIn mobile and iPad apps.
  3. The ability to follow LinkedIn designated thought leaders and influencers.  (see here for summary).  This feature is limited now, but I suspect that legal industry and marketing movers and shakers will eventually be added to the list of thought leaders you can follow.

On the other hand, the user experience for lawyers on Facebook just seems to be getting worse.  Facebook has made some detrimental (in my opinion) changes lately, including:

  1. In an attempt to raise advertising revenues, Facebook has reduced the visibility of posts in the timelines of page followers.  As some users have reported, this resulted in a dramatic decrease in interaction. Even people who liked, shared and comment routinely are no longer seeing content, unless the page agrees to promote ($$$) the post.
  2. Pushing promoted and sponsored stories into your timeline.  For one thing, it is now harder for good content to get noticed amid this new noise.  For another, good content can be confused with paid content – which could decrease engagement.  I know I skip over items I perceive as paid.
  3. Changing their landing strategy so first-time visitors to law firm pages automatically head to the wall, instead of the helpful (and “Like Us”) welcome screens.

So, if you are a lawyer using LinkedIn, keep it up.  The engagement and ability to forge meaningful relationships is only going to increase.  If you don’t use it regularly, or haven’t signed up, you should seriously spend some time getting up to speed.  If you are using Facebook, you may want to examine your efforts, and whether they would be better spent on LinkedIn.

Ryan Bowers

Founder of RFPattorney.com and author of the RFPattorney Blog. Over 8 years of experience practicing law, including past experience at an international law firm, a national law firm, and a small firm. Currently GC and VP Operations for large mechanical construction company. Midwesterner, home renovator, golden retriever wrangler, new dad, Wolverine, & avid hockey fan.

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  • nancymyrland

    Hi Ryan…thanks so much for linking to my post…greatly appreciated.  I agree with you that LinkedIn is only getting better.  As irritated as many were when Twitter turned off the API to cross-post to LinkedIn, it has turned out to be an improvement as people are spending more quality time on LinkedIn.  Again, thanks…have a good week. 

  • https://www.rfpattorney.com/ RFPattorney

    Nancy – you are welcome.  Thanks for the comment – I agree that the removal of twitter from LinkedIn was a very good thing and has increased engagement.  Have a nice week as well.