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Law firms and solo practitioners who maintain an online presence should know by now about the power of social media and its positive effect on driving traffic to their websites. An engaging content strategy on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter can go a long way in helping legal professionals cultivate a meaningful audience of clients and prospects alike, but what about Google+? Does it have an advantage over the other social networks?
Many think of Google+ as a fledgling network, but its +1 button may have a greater impact than the ubiquitous “Like” button with the thumbs-up icon that has made Facebook so popular. According to Social Media Today, law firms should be embedding the +1 button on their websites for a few reasons, and one such reason will ring familiar to attorneys: Annotations, a feature that the “Like” button does not offer.
Similar to what Lexis and Thomson West do with statutes and court cases, the Google +1 button allows personal annotations from Google+ members within a social circle. Basic annotations only show the number of people who recommend a Web page or a piece of content, but personal annotations show photos, names and comments. A family law firm, for example, can publish an engaging blog post about child custody that receives plenty of +1 positive annotations. That +1 activity will make the post stick out and gain relevancy in search results.
Another benefit of including a +1 button is that every click prompts the Googlebot to crawl to the page and perform a re-index function. This is an example of how content can become viral and be prominently featured on search results, and it is a great advantage over Facebook. Adding a +1 button takes little effort, and the rewards in terms of potential search ranking are priceless.
Social Media Mondays is a CaseDetails.com series covering different topics in the social media world on a weekly basis. Check back every Monday for more news on social media and useful information on how law firms can use social platforms to their advantage.