Why Law Firms Don’t Use Social Media

September 10, 2012 — Leave a comment

why law firms don't get involved with social mediaI was looking for blog inspiration this morning and one of the first places I looked was the Searches tab in Get Clicky (Get Clicky is a great alternative to Google Analytics – it’s definitely worth checking out) to see how people found my site.  One of the most popular searches that popped up was “Why Law Firms Don’t Use Social Media”.  Because this is a common concern, I’d like to discuss it further in this blog post. I look forward to your comments and additions in the comment section below.

Time

Taking part in social media takes up valuable time and most attorneys I speak with would rather be billing than posting on Twitter or Facebook.  This is a warranted concern that needs to be addressed when implementing your social media strategy.  The good news is that there are many tools available like Hootsuite and Twitter that allow attorneys to streamline their social posts.  It’s also important to know that as you get to know the social realm, you’ll spend less and less time posting on a daily basis.  The learning phase is very front loaded.   There are various tasks relating to social media that members of your marketing and/or business development may be able to help with as well.

Current Strategy is Working

Why get involved with social media if you already have tons of work? This is a great problem to have by the way, and I’d like to know your secret.  I spoke with an attorney awhile back worked for a successful firm that had lots of incoming work that came via referral.  He was very active in offline marketing and had a great system going.  He attended offline events and conferences and had a rolodex full of cards.  This type of attorney does extremely well in social media as his social activities will complement his offline activities. For example, after attending an event, why not add all your business cards to LinkedIn? It’s one more way of keeping your name in front of everyone you met.  The more active he is offline, the more his social activities benefit.  Really, who doesn’t want more work?

Nothing Interesting to Say

Why would anyone care about what I ate for breakfast? Who I’m dating? Where I’m working out? Many attorneys have personal Facebook profiles and get annoyed at the mundane comments they see on a daily basis.  This is a very common reason why attorneys don’t get involved with social media.  What’s important here is that you won’t be posting this type of information (unless you want too).  Remember the 80/20 rule. 80% of your content will be light and educational, while 20% can be slightly more self promotional.  Depending on your practice, there are many options when it comes to what you post: rule changes, how to’s, news articles, events, charities, questions and answers, milestones, etc.  It’s all about educating your personal networks about what you do so if the need arises for your services, they remember you.  Word of mouth is always number one when it comes to business development so keep your friends informed.  Don’t post too often either.  It’s easy to unsubscribe or unfollow.

There’s a lot of fluff and taglines when it comes to social media.  Instead of writing it off all together, do your research and see if it’s right for you.  Check out what your colleagues and competitors are doing.  Research a couple of your current clients online, you may be surprised!

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Samantha Collier

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Samantha Collier supports lawyers, law firms and legal industry consultants in their social media marketing efforts. Her blog, Social Media for Law Firms, won the 2011 Canadian Law Blog Awards in the Best Practice Management Category and she was recently recognized as part of "The 24: Canada's Top Legal Social Media Influencers" from The Counsel Network.