Social Media Use Among Legal Consumers
You already know that your reputation has a huge impact on your business, but what are you doing to manage that reputation? Obviously your actions and case history are significant drivers of this, but don’t overlook the importance of social media as a contributor as well.
Are People Using Social Media to Find Attorneys?
A recent 2014 U.S. Consumer Legal Needs Survey by FindLaw revealed an increase in social media use as a research tool for legal consumers. At three percent, the volume is still quite low, but compared to zero percent in 2010 and 2011, the medium is obviously on the rise. With the 18- to 34-year-old segment being the second largest in our survey, it’s a safe bet that we’re only seeing the beginning of this trend. As the so-called millennials continue growing into adulthood, they’ll bring adult legal needs with them, along with new online habits. Traditional websites are still the cornerstone of your firm’s online presence, but social media is no longer something you can afford to overlook.
Social Media for Law Firms
So how do you use it? There are plenty of resources and horror stories to learn from online – most of them repeating the same valid bits of advice. For law firms and lawyers though, a few key concepts are particularly important to ensure your time on social media yields results and creates a positive impression of your firm.
- Add a Human Touch: Designed for small, casual, real-time updates, social media is the perfect way to showcase your firm’s personality online. Be friendly. Be approachable. And remember, most legal consumers base their decisions on emotional factors like trust and sympathy.
- Get Topical: If your firm already has a blog, make sure that all new blog posts are supported with corresponding social media posts. This not only aids your blog’s reputation, but it gives your firm a consistent answer to the question, “What should I post about?”
- Interact: Social media is supposed to be sociable, so go ahead and engage your followers with open-ended posts, polls, or conversation-starting questions. Don’t become a silent monolithic entity when your followers engage you – they’re giving you an opportunity to make a connection. Just remember that you’re not in a private forum, so use discretion when interacting online. Private issues and personal information have no place on your business’s social sites.
As demographics shift, so do ideas and opportunities for using technology. If your firm hasn’t considered integrating social media as part of a broader marketing plan, you’re missing out on a growing segment of legal consumers. There’s still time to be a part of the conversation, though. All it takes is something worth sharing and a sensible approach to the medium.