Why Attorneys Should Embrace Social Media

Done right, it can lead to new business.

I’m not going to talk about social media like it’s new anymore. By now, you’ve at least heard about Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. As an individual, it’s more likely than not that you have an account on Facebook. Some of you might even have accounts on all of them. But if you’re like most attorneys, you still don’t think of social media as a way to build your firm’s business.

You might look at social media – Facebook in particular – as a place where people post pictures of family and cute puppies. You might think of Twitter as a political scrum that’s not worth jumping into. Both perspectives are backed by plenty of evidence, but both are shortsighted.

WP_from-novelty-to-necessity-social-mediaAs we demonstrate in our new white paper, “From Novelty to Necessity: Pragmatic Social Media for Law Firms,” you can actually build your businesses through a presence in social media.

Sound strange? Consider this: It wasn’t so long ago that law firms and other small businesses considered a website frivolous. These days, it’s a business essential. It’s one of the crucial places that legal consumers not only find you, but evaluate your abilities. It also gives them a chance to get to know you and your staff as people—people whom they’re looking to entrust with sensitive matters.

The same thing’s happening with social media. A 2016 Thomson Reuters survey indicated that 84 percent of people use social media and Facebook is a particularly important platform. It’s one of their main sources of information, not only of friends and family, but of businesses and even world events.

In a recent FindLaw.com poll, nearly 45 percent of respondents indicated they use social media to find out more about the people and places they buy from. That includes professional services, like law firms. And roughly 40 percent of the respondents said they would be more likely to use a lawyer with a social media presence. That means an active presence.

Tap in to your current skill set.

This might sound like a scary idea. But it shouldn’t be. As the new white paper demonstrates, you already have the skills you need to be successful on social media. You just need to apply those skills in a different kind of environment.

Like navigating a cocktail party or networking event, behave like an extrovert, but maintain a strong sense of decorum. Diving right in and posting willy-nilly, without thinking carefully before you post, can backfire on you.

In my next three blog entries, I’ll explore strategies that attorneys can use to avoid mistakes and make social media a business-building tool. And actually have some fun doing so.

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