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More Lawyers Use Social Media, but Don't Know How It Helps

Almost all lawyers use social media but few know how it helps their practice, according to a new survey.

Attorney at Work, reporting results of its third annual social media marketing survey, said that 96 percent of the respondents regularly use social media. But barely seven percent believe social media is directly responsible for bringing in new clients.

And while more lawyers are using sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, they don't really know whether social media marketing is more reality or hype.

The disconnect seems to be that most attorneys don't know how to use social media to get new business. Here are some ideas:

1. Post Interesting Content

Too often, attorneys create a Facebook page and then forget about it. They may check in occasionally and post a comment once in a while -- and it may not even be related to their business.

Don't be that lawyer, says legal marketing guru Jamie Adams. Instead, post about hot topic issues and current events in your practice area.

"And here's another tip for posting irresistible content -- include high-quality and relevant videos and photos in your posting cycle," he said. "Photos have been linked with higher engagement levels over the years, and videos are emerging as the new star of Facebook."

2. Consider a Social Media Manager

The survey found that 67 percent of lawyers do their own social media, about 23 percent get some help, and 10 percent have someone handle it for them.

While paying for a social media manager may be a new business cost for lawyers, the task does not require a full-time employee. And students or interns tend to be very adept at social media -- more than your average lawyer.

"Do you know how to cross-post content? Do you know what Hootsuite is?" asks FindLaw's Mark Wilson. "Thankfully, a social media manager does."

3. Consumers Hire Lawyers on Social Media

According to a survey by Thomson Reuters, a majority of consumers say they would be likely to hire an attorney who is active on social media.

"Consumers are increasingly using it to inform their decisions on hiring service providers such as attorneys," said Mark Jacobsen, senior director of Strategic Development and Thought Leadership at FindLaw. "Social media, in its many forms, has become an important part of the fabric of our daily lives, and attorneys need to make it an integral part of their marketing efforts."

Thomson Reuters is the world's leading source of news and information for professional markets. FindLaw, part of Thomson Reuters, is a leading provider of business development solutions for small law firms.

Want help with effective advertising? Let the experts at FindLaw's Lawyer Marketing give you a hand.

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