Given that Facebook has over 800 million users, it can be a very useful tool for the solo or small practice lawyer. However, there are also a lot of ways that your use of Facebook can be a turn-off to clients and colleagues. Keep these things in mind when using social media in your law practice:
· It may seem obvious, but keep a separate page for your business and personal profiles. You don’t want clients seeing photos from your girl’s night out last weekend.
· Understand the security settings and how to use them. Facebook has tools that allow you to customize, down to an individual level, who sees what on your profile. If you must be personal friends with clients or colleagues, control their individual security settings so they only see what you want them to see.
· Keep your business page relevant. No one will be drawn to a page that is inactive, but people will be turned off by a Law Firm that is always posting about football (unless you are a sports lawyer.) Post things that are of specific interest to your clients and your practice.
· Find a balance between too much and too little. There isn’t much point in having a Facebook page that’s never updated, but updating too frequently can be a turn-off. Understand who your fans are and how they use your page.
· Be reliable and a good neighbor. How you act online reflects how you act in person. You will gain more friends and positive attention by celebrating others who do similar work, rather than trying to beat down the “competition.” Maintain your integrity.
· Don’t overshare. First and foremost our duty is to our clients, and privacy must be maintained at all costs.
Other Social Media Considerations:
· Consider how many social media platforms you need to use, and why. You may not need a Twitter account for your firm, but do consider that many businesses now use Facebook pages instead of private websites.
· Don’t just have an account everywhere because it’s what everyone else does. Use services that are relevant to your business and that are useful to your clients and colleagues.
· If you do use multiple platforms, consider having a unique voice for each. Information on LinkedIn by nature should be different from information on Pinterest. Don’t just automatically use one program that pushes the same updates to all platforms. Don’t be boring.
· Consider time management in your social media strategy. Maintaining an effective presence might take a lot of time that you could be spending on billable hours. Integrate your social media strategy into your marketing practices and make sure your actions are in the best interests of your firm.
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