Which Social Media Networks are Right for Your Law Firm?
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Which Social Networks Should My Law Firm Join?
Social Networking seems to be growing exponentially. Nearly every week, we get an invitation for a new network. At first it was just LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Google+, Pinterest, and many others have since sprouted up. How do you know if your firm needs a YouTube page? Should you be on Flickr? In this post we will do our best to help you decide which networks are right for your law firm.
First, we need to establish that your firm should be using social media at all. Is there really a reason to invest so much time and effort into something that does not provide clear results? Yes. Here are three of the most important reasons why:
- If someone is using social media to find a lawyer, your firm has to be there or else it won’t be found.
- If all of your competitors and colleagues are using social media, but you aren’t, your firm may appear less cutting edge and up to date.
- Social media, when used correctly, is a conversation. It is a way to make connections and learn.
Once you have decided to establish social media accounts for your firm, you must decide which networks make the most sense for you. First, I will deal with the no-brainers.
Networks Your Firm Must Join
When you first log on to Twitter, it appears to be a jumbled chaotic mess full of spammers and self-proclaimed experts. However, after a little exploring, it becomes apparent that Twitter is the largest conversation that has ever existed. Part of that conversation is about the practice of law, and, as it has often been said, that conversation will happen whether you participate or not. The decision to not only use Twitter, but to participate in that conversation, drives learning, networking, and the practice of law. Twitter is also the place many people go to complain (or rave) about businesses and services. Monitoring Twitter regularly allows you to see what people are saying about you. We have previously published a post that can help you figure out who to follow on Twitter if you are just getting started. (Follow DotCO Law Marketing on Twitter)
LinkedIn is a place for professionals to meet. It is a bit like Facebook, but more business oriented. Every lawyer should be on LinkedIn individually and every firm should also have a page. LinkedIn helps lawyers cultivate and maintain professional relationships made offline while allowing for introductions and networking online. Built-in groups features help you plan events and have discussions. Job search features can help you find new employees. (Find us on LinkedIn)
By now, you probably know what Facebook is and how it works. The important question is whether your firm belongs there. It does. Believe it or not, there are people who will look for a lawyer on Facebook. Just being there might get you a client at some point. Law firms should not expect to get the same reaction from their pages that major corporations get. There is no reason why your law firm should ever have thousands or “likes” or fans. Facebook does allow you to easily share links, contact information, and other relevant news without keeping a window open all day. Your firm’s Facebook page will not need constant monitoring, as almost no one will visit it. If you are investing time on social media, it is worth a few hours to create a Facebook page, but do not let it drain your time or resources after that. (Visit DotCO Law Marketing on Facebook)
Networks to Join for a Specific Purpose
Google+ seems to have stalled a bit since its inception. No one is quite sure what to use it for right now. Its main advantage over Facebook in its infancy was better privacy controls. However, Facebook has since adopted similar mechanisms. The biggest reason to be on Google+ is that it gives your firm the appearance of being tech-savvy. People do not accidentally find themselves on Google+, and anyone finding your firm’s page there will realize this. A firm with a Google+ page gives the appearance of staying current in technology, which may also help you convince potential clients that you are on the forefront of legal practice. Google+ does not seem the be the place where the future of legal discourse will evolve, but is probably the best social network for people interested in the advancement of technology.
If your firm has a good reason to be on YouTube, you probably already have an account. Posting videos about commonly asked legal questions is a great way to get attention while helping potential clients. Your firm might also make videos introducing all of its employees, partners, and associates, or give a tour of your office. YouTube’s utility is somewhat limited, but a great video can be seen by thousands of people.
Networks Your Firm Can Safely Ignore
There is almost no reason why your firm would need a Flickr account. While we have previously discussed the importance of keeping a good camera around, it doesn’t make too much sense for a law firm to keep many pictures online. A gallery on your website or Facebook showing off your employees and office is fine, but you should not expect to accomplish any useful legal networking on a site like Flickr.
While Spotify has been rapidly growing as a network for music fans, it offers no real benefit to law firms. That being said, it doesn’t hurt to grab a personal account and see what your friends are listening to.
To paraphrase Disney’s Lion King:
Mufasa: Everything the light touches will be yours
Simba: What about that shadowy place?
Mufasa: That is Myspace. Lawyers must never go there, Simba.
Too Early to Know
It seems that every day, we come across multiple articles on Pinterest. Some of them are even about how lawyers can use this service. It doesn’t hurt to make a page for your firm, just to hold the name. It could turn out that Pinterest gets huge, and that lawyers flock to it, but we wouldn’t suggest spending too much time on it right now.
Does Your Law Firm Use Other Social Networks?
Have we missed any important social networks that your firm uses? Please comment and tell us what other networks make sense for your firm.