In today’s vast array of social media platforms, it can be challenging to know where to begin when building your online presence. When it comes to law firms, it is imperative to take control of your reputation on these channels. The percentage of law firms using social media is growing – slowly but surely. According to the 2013 American Bar Association Legal Technology Survey Report, 59 percent of lawyers said that their firms maintain a presence on a social media channel such as LinkedIn or Facebook. That compares with 55 percent in 2012, 42 percent in 2011 and 17 percent in 2010. For those firms that have yet to jump on the social media train, here’s some help to get started.
When choosing the social media network(s) that suits your firm’s needs, it is important not to spread yourself too thin. Start with one or two platforms to begin. You want to fully focus on the sites that will bring you the most return on your invested time. For some smaller, niche firms, this could mean using blogging or LinkedIn. For larger firms with different areas of expertise, you may choose to use Facebook and Twitter to reach a broader audience.
The channels that will work best largely depend on your practice area. For Personal Injury attorneys, being found in search is a top priority. Consider creating an educational blog posts and videos that will be indexed by Google and allow you to be found online. If your practice is in business law or estate planning, it may be more relationship-driven, and your best strategy could include community-building channels like Facebook and Twitter where you can interact with potential clients and build a rapport.
LinkedIn is also a great channel for lawyers because it allows you to network with other professional who could refer business to you, and also demonstrate your expertise through participation in groups.
Once you’ve chosen a channel, creating compelling content to engage your friends or followers is key. Most law firms believe this to be the hardest part as most they tend to be less visual than a hair salon or real estate agency. Start with exploring your area of expertise. If you’re a family law firm, research statistics about marriages or divorce and educate your audience on domestic partnerships. If you’re in environmental law, share tips on how to be more eco-friendly. You want to let your audience in on what is specific to you as a business and most of all, create content that will make them comment, like, or share.
When it comes to the legal industry, there are literally thousands of professionals using social media, including your competitors. Don’t shy away from the competition. Follow them on Twitter, “Like” their Facebook pages and interact with them on LinkedIn. Watch what they’re doing online and learn from them.
For more social media tips, visit our Facebook page!