Facebook for Lawyers: The suitable Forum?

A week would not go by where a lawyer doesn’t question me about whether she or he must be on Facebook. I always respond with a definitive “maybe.” Unlike LinkedIn, which I wrote about in March, in “LinkedIn for Attorneys: Beyond the fundamentals,” the choice regarding Facebook is different.

If LinkedIn is the business social media site, then Facebook is regarded by most because the personal social media site. On LinkedIn, i would discuss an upcoming continuing legal education presentation or mention a up to date blog posting that would be of interest. On Facebook, you may see my kids, my vacations, dinners out with friends, and frustrating nights watching the Philadelphia Phillies or Eagles. Yet, I’ve often argued that there’s value in marketing your own side.

I’m nicer on Facebook than in real life. Cute kids. Nice wife. Enjoyable hobbies. Not the sometimes aggressive, adversarial attorney at law. i think that incorporating business life with personal life on a person page could have a humanizing value that works toward client retention and growth. In fact, in case you display yourself as a drunken buffoon, this is another story.

The new website LikedLawyers actually shows you probably the most Liked lawyers and law firms on Facebook, including a state by state analysis. Probably the most liked lawyer has 56,000 likes and is what the page calls a “maritime law blog” about Cruise Law News. Fortunately for him and unfortunately for cruise lines, it’s been an immense topic of interest recently. A Facebook page can play the role of website or blog — especially for sole practitioners and smaller firms, but quite often is a web complement to other web marketing efforts.

The Law Firm Facebook Page

What are the advantages of having a Facebook page for my law practice?

If you watched of the location as a network of everyday people, then you definitely realize that that’s delivering a network of shoppers or customers. For avid Facebook users, the tool is so entwined in way of life that this can be a resource for all types of non-public legal needs — buying or selling a home, wills, divorce, criminal law — things that impact people daily. For consumer-driven firms, the page ought to be a mixture of legal information second, good citizenship first, akin to community and charitable involvement.

Many law firms have used contests and giveaways for people that decide to Just like the firm. Prizes range from free tickets to exercises to gift certificates and t-shirts. What you don’t want to do as an attorney is engage in any form of quid-pro-quo of recommendations or offerings of legal services in exchange for any aspect of Facebook participation. It is very important avoid solicitation. Establish the page to bypass potential client conflicts, dissemination of legal advice, or any unauthorized practice of law. In case you keep the page as a “soft sell” and paint an image instead of sell a service, the advantages must be positive and few issues should arise.

What If my Clients Are Small Businesses?

If you serve small businesses or corporations, there may be still value in having a web-based presence on Facebook to your law practice. It is usually more general in content and concentrate on non-practice specific information, but not less than it provides contact information, a link in your website and the opportunity of being found through online searches. Facebook’s enormous power on the net equates to high search engine optimisation results. Often, the firm’s Facebook page is without doubt one of the first six ends up in a search. You can’t beat those numbers.

What Is the disadvantage?

It is critical to make sure that settings prevent strangers from placing information or responses in your page that negatively reflects on you or your firm. You desire an organization page to be accessible to all, but you don’t want anyone a good way to post comments. You furthermore may are looking to guard against accidentally disclosing clients or client matters.

A Michigan case involving a category action lawsuit against McDonald’s got an attorney in hot water for posting negative comments a few settlement on his firm’s Facebook page. A judge not just had him make changes to the info displayed at the page, however the court inquired as to who Liked it. There is known as a gray area between publishing information and potentially trying your case on Facebook. The courts don’t like that.

Should i’ve a Law Firm Facebook Page?

Absolutely. The adaptation will fall in what you do with it. One could just have it as a minimal, overview presence that features recent changes to a domain or blog, event participation, or firm news. However, reckoning on your market, it could be a living, breathing page that changes and grows daily. The pricetag to set it up and maintain this is zero. If it is an aggressive marketing tool is optional.

Your Personal Facebook Account for Business

Should you permit clients and prospects to determine your individual life on Facebook?

There are infinite components in our makeup and personality that leads clients to attorneys. In lots of cases, this can be a personal Like, perhaps driven by similar interests — alumni, neighborhoods, charities, religions. Building your Facebook network of friends lets you reach out to those who may need a necessity sooner or later to your services. People often bare their souls on Facebook, and while it might be uncouth to quickly call someone talking about marital problems in case you are a divorce lawyer, it is going to not hurt so you might be visible to them.

Many lawyers hooked up different groups for “personal friends” and “business friends.” I’m on Facebook for the “personal,” and have a tendency to unfriend people who are touting business news. It’s fine to combine the 2, but when all I’m seeing is “business,” than I’m probably going to disregard it.

Follow the Changes

Facebook continues to be changing rapidly — in features provided, layout, and policies. The largest components when tying a private or company page into your marketing plan is monitoring the page, looking particularly at privacy and account settings. Control your message and information. Don’t slip up and supply an excessive amount of information to clients, competitors and strangers. Facebook is ready networking and socializing. It’s a fantastic strategy to stay top of mind with people through enjoyable tidbits versus a dry client alert on changes in tax laws.

Facebook has recently made great headway in reconfiguring the location and knowledge for mobile device users, probably the core end-user today. The changes in Facebook’s mobile applications mean a more in-depth experience, although what you notice on a desktop and on a phone vary considerably. Another recent major change involves the flexibility to promote — where you’re able to occur within the search results for individuals doing certain searches, often geographically driven. I’ve seen lawyer “posts” in lots of practice areas happen on my Facebook feed. The purpose is to be there without being intrusive. Time will tell as to the return on investment, however it is a comparatively new online tool targeting prospective clients through a private feed.

What If I’ve Never Been on Facebook?

My guess is if you’ve never been on Facebook, you most likely usually are not going to noticeably change your attitude or lifestyle overnight. If you’re an internet Marketing Today reader, you’re likely acquainted with the social media environment. i take advantage of Facebook greater than every other site because I don’t consider it work; it’s play. This makes our surroundings perfect for a virtual reminder of why people do business with you inside the first place. If you’re not involved in the location, find another attorney or staff member this is. It’s too big an area to not take part in some fashion. Whether there’s truly value in being most Liked on Facebook, I can’t say. However it provides access to an audience level you only won’t find elsewhere — for free.