By Gina F. Rubel
Special to the Legal
There has been a lot of banter about Pinterest lately. It’s said to be a hot and fast-growing social networking platform. A post by Sarah Kessler on Mashable, the leading blog for all things social media, says Pinterest is changing the face of website design. In fact, Mashable has an entire channel dedicated to Pinterest.
The Huffington Post reports that TechCrunch attained exclusive data from comScore showing Pinterest just hit 11.7 million unique monthly U.S. visitors, crossing the 10 million mark faster than any other standalone site in history.
For the not-so-social-media-savvy, Pinterest is a virtual pinboard. Think of the refrigerator magnets that hold up photos, business cards, recipes, images of things you want to purchase, coupons and the like. Pinterest lets you digitally organize and share all those images and links onto organized pinboards. Pins can also be shared to Facebook and Twitter, increasing their reach. So while many are using Pinterest to seek ideas for their kitchen makeovers or to find that travel destination to add to the bucket list, there are intuitive ways to use Pinterest to own some virtual real estate without getting overwhelmed with yet another social media outlet.
You start by “being invited” to join. That means finding someone you know to invite you or requesting an invitation. In my case, I tried to request an invitation, but there’s a waitlist. Then, I posted on Twitter that I wanted to join Pinterest and my friend Sean McGinnis, an attorney who provides digital marketing strategy to professionals, immediately invited me. I was in.
A few weeks later, Furia Rubel (my company) launched a branded Pinterest page to highlight our areas of expertise, client brands, client events and other relevant information that supports our corporate brand and service offerings. We’ve added the strategic use of Pinterest to our marketing and social media strategy. Our website analytics will certainly tell us if traffic has increased to our website as a result – for now, it’s wait-and-see.
Of course, legal marketers are asking, “Is Pinterest activity important for law firm social media and legal marketing strategy?” My answer is, as always, it depends.
Things to ponder:
If your firm serves the general public, then Pinterest may be a smart addition to your social media engagement. It’s becoming another micro search engine in and of itself, so if your practice areas fall within the following categories, you may want to create a branded Pinterest channel: divorce, personal injury, criminal defense, estates, etc.
If your firm works with corporations and other business entities or handles intellectual property matters, you may want to have a presence on Pinterest to monitor your clients’ brands and IP. Own your business name on Pinterest and perhaps “pin” your attorney headshots, photos from your website (as long as they’re not gavels and scales) and photos from company events – but understand that this use is more about protecting your clients than legal marketing.
In any event, it makes sense to “own the virtual real estate” with your firm’s name – and, when you can, post images from branded PowerPoint slides for thought leadership and search engine optimization (SEO). You can get creative and develop one-sentence branded tips and post them, too, but I don’t believe they’ll get a lot of traffic just yet.
I also came across a blog on small-firm innovation by energy regulatory attorney Carolyn Elefant, creator of MyShingle.com, titled “Why Lawyers Should Take an Interest in Pinterest.” Elefant provides some ideas for how Pinterest can help professionals with office and business management.
So, what do you think? Is Pinterest worth your legal marketing or practice management time?
Gina F. Rubel is the owner of Furia Rubel Communications, Inc., a strategic marketing and public relations agency with a niche in legal marketing. A former trial attorney, she is the author of Everyday Public Relations for Lawyers. Rubel and her agency have won many awards for legal communications, PR, media relations, website and graphic design, strategic planning, corporate philanthropy and leadership. She maintains a blog at www.ThePRLawyer.com, is a contributor to National Law Review, The Legal Intelligencer Blog, AVVO Lawyernomics and The Huffington Post. You can find her on LinkedIn or follow her on Twitter. For more information, go to www.FuriaRubel.com.