Truth be told, if someone asked me whether their law firm should have a Facebook page, my gut reaction would be "no." Why? Practically speaking, it's a lot of work for little payout, more so now that Facebook has entered the "Pay to Play" era. A Facebook page that pays dividends is going to require constant fresh content, moderation of user comments, and likely an advertising budget.
But if your firm already has a Facebook page, or if you really want one, here are three simple tips to make it worth your time:
1. Pay to Play, or Don't Pay at All
Welcome to the Pay to Play era of Facebook. In the past, you could simply put up a firm page, post some updates, and a good chunk of those who clicked the "Like" button would see the updates. Now? Estimates vary, but "organic" unpaid reach is nearly nothing -- some say as little as 1 or 2 percent.
Unless you're paying Facebook, it's no longer an effective advertising medium. It may have some use as a beefed-up communications medium that you can moderate (angry client ranting? DELETE), but now that pay to play is here, anything beyond that is like trying to yell to someone sitting in a crowded stadium while standing in a nearby parking lot.
2. Send the Right Messages
A recent article on FindLaw's LawyerMarketing.com blog points out two great types of content that you can use for Facebook posts: highlighting community involvement and posts that demonstrate your expertise.
The former, obviously, is shamelessly promoting how you are giving back to your community. Yeah, it feels cheesy, but you're not only promoting yourself -- you're promoting the cause that you support. As for expertise, posts discussing your practice area or linking to topical blog posts work well.
3. Be Active
Much like an abandoned blog serves no purpose, a hastily erected Facebook page that is never tended to is both useless and dangerous, especially if you have an angry rogue client running rampant on your wall.
Bottom line: If you have a law firm Facebook page, you need to moderate user comments, add your own quality posts, and maybe, just maybe, pay the toll to make sure that people hear you.
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Editor's Note, October 21, 2015: This post was first published in October 2014. It has since been updated.