Social media has changed the game of marketing. It makes a firm more accessible to its clients and potential clients. And it allows a firm practicing in a niche specialty to inform and engage the legal and general community about particular areas of law. And where an attorney and firm's time is limited by hours in the day and existing caseloads, social media features give your firm a virtual presence even when an actual presence is not possible.
And though law firms are advised to think critically about possibly privacy concerns before jumping into the social media pool, fear of water shouldn't keep a firm from swimming. The potential benefits a law firm can reap from being active in social media are still being discovered. Here are five ways your firm can make the most of social media.
In short, social media has made a splash in a big way. And by thoughtfully and strategically using it to connect to your audience, your firm can have a robust web presence while avoiding related safety and privacy concerns.
1. Optimize Your Website. As an initial step, take a look at your website through the client or potential client's perspective. Is it easy to use? Can content be shared on Facebook and Twitter? For any dynamic content, can viewers subscribe to an RSS feed so they can be updated when new information is posted? Easy usability is key in making your website user-friendly.
2. Write a blog. Even for a small firm, consider creating an article-publishing schedule amongst your attorneys. In their blog posts they can explain laws relevant to the firm's practice and update the public on changes in state or federal law. By putting a spin on the material and making it easy-to-understand a firm stands to benefit by building a name as a reliable source for relevant, useful, and timely information.
3. Create a Twitter account and get LinkedIn. LinkedIn was one of the first professional social networking tools on the social media scene. It is a great way to identify a firm's attorneys and to connect to colleagues and potential clients in the field. Additionally, Twitter--the microblogging phenomenon--allows users to publish 140-character posts. Firms can use this to disseminate legal news links, inform the public about any upcoming seminars or events, and even create goodwill by pointing to other articles or resources that could be valuable to readers.
4. Host an online webinar. A video seminar that is broadcast on the web has been dubbed a 'webinar' in Web 2.0 lingo. And even if your firm doesn't organize one on a regular basis, the occasional webinar could help your firm connect with the public and generate interest about an emerging feature of law. By hosting a live audience all across the globe, a firm can not only establish itself as an expert, but also reach out to potential clients.
5. Send an E-Newsletter. A regular newsletter can help a law firm reach its audience by going to them. And the dynamic document can be embedded with hyperlinks and graphics to make it engaging, interesting, and useful to subscribers.
- 20 things law firms need to have in their social media guidelines (Virtual Marketing Officer)
- Networking for Law Firms 102 (Network Solutions)
- Lawyer's Guide for Engaging in Social Media (Social Media Law Student)
- Will law firms turn to social media in hard times? (Virtual Marketing Officer)
- Social Media and Consumer Empowerment (LawyerMarketing.com)