Why Should Attorneys Use Social Media?

January 17, 2013 — Leave a comment

why should attorneys use social mediaThis is the question I hear most often, “Why should attorneys use social media?”. And I love hearing this question, especially from non-believers because it gives me the chance to practice my debating skills and look at social media from a different perspective.  A recent article from the Social Media Examiner about consumer trends in social media was my inspiration for this article.  I think it nicely answers the question, “Why should attorneys use social media?”

Social Media Promotes Positive Sentiments

A recent survey by Nielsen and McKinsey stated that 76% of participants said they experienced positive feelings after engaging in social media networking.  The terms they used in the survey were: informed, energized, excited, connected and amused.  On the other end of this spectrum, 21% of participants felt overwhelmed, anxious and wasted time. 24% remained neutral.  The majority of participants felt positive with their social media experience which means that attorneys should definitely consider getting involved with this form of marketing and business development.  If you haven’t started using social media at all, start with LinkedIn.  It’s the preferred business social network and it’s got over 200 million members to date. The data from this survey is a definite plus in why should attorneys use social media.

Use Social Media to Become CNN in your Practice Area

Create and aggregate content to become the go-to person for everything related to your practice area.  According to Mashable, attorneys who use Twitter to share relevant information brand themselves as subject matter experts. One lawyer, Bob White, a partner-level attorney from Florida, shared the best tech articles he found each week on Twitter.  After a couple months of consistently using Twitter, he was able to bring a couple of tech companies as new clients.  My good friend Dr. Lisa Haile of DLA Piper uses Twitter to get information out there and to show her particular expertise in a way marketing dollars never could.  Make sure you follow her on Twitter at @drdna.

Use Social Media to Check Out your Competition

Attorneys should use social media to check out what the competition is doing.  It’s no longer a fad for law firms to use social media and most major U.S. and Canadian firms are using social media on some level.  Check out what similar firms are doing on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. Don’t forget to look at their websites as well.  Do they have a well optimized LinkedIn Company Page? (Most don’t). How often do they tweet? How often do they post on Facebook? What types of information do they share? Take notes and see what you like or don’t like.  Take this information to the decision-makers and show them what the competition is doing.  Nobody likes to fall behind.

What do you think? Why should attorneys use social media?

This is the question I love hearing (and answering) most.  Do you have any other reasons why attorneys should get on board? Please feel free to share them in the comments section below.

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.