Law students using social media – but poorly

40% of law students report creating LinkedIn profiles but few of them follow-up with people they meet according to Ari Kaplan’s article in the National Law Journal.

Kaplan has spoken to hundreds of law students in the last eight months and found that many of them are lost as to how network professionally and that shows up in the fact that they rarely follow-up with people they meet at events.

Social networking to the rescue:  built into LinkedIn and other social networking tools is a way to unobtrusively follow-up with people.  When I exchange business cards at an event I ask the person if they have a LinkedIn profile which does a couple things – allows me to talk about social networking which is one of my marketing strengths and gives us both a topic to discuss.  If the person has a LinkedIn account, I let them know that I’ll follow-up with them on LinkedIn because I used it as a contact management tool.

Make sure you personalize your LinkedIn invitation.  Reference where you met the person and something you discussed, it can be LinkedIn, for example.  You can be more proactive and setup Google news search on people but that can be difficult if the person has a common name.  You don’t want to congratulate someone for a promotion that happened someone else with the same name.  LinkedIn sends activity summaries weekly and its good to check it to see if people have changed jobs or announced promotions and you can easily follow-up with them from within LinkedIn.

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