Here is a breakdown of the online buzz regarding Facebook for Law Firms from the Law and Social Networking Group on LinkedIn.
Mr. Dewitt (Trip) Cave of Ropes & Gray LLP asked “where does the business development cycle begin? are you checking those who “like” the page and seeing if they are a client, potential client or employee?”. He also gave good insight on using the “like” feature along with LinkedIn to learn more about the people you meet via Facebook. In my original post I had asked about how to engage people via Facebook and Mr. Cave mentioned that comments should be allowed and perhaps an outgoing attorney could get in on the conversation. (A personal thank you to Mr. Cave for all the great posts on my blog too!)
My thoughts: I think it’s important to allow comments on Facebook pages as it creates the two-way dialog necessary to engaging via social media. Otherwise there’s really no point. To protect against spam, someone will absolutely need to monitor and moderate it. And there should be a professional assigned to answer incoming questions/comments.
Joanna Brynes of The University of Glasgow considered Facebook but was concerned about monitoring it. She asked “Do you find it useful and have you found clients prepared to comment on your wall?”
One of my favorite people, Nils Montan of Dannemann, Siemsen, Bigler & Ipanema Moreira, replied to Joanna and mentioned he remains a little dubious about the use of Facebook Fan Pages for law firms. He suggested that lawyers with local practices with local followers might benefit but overall, he had never heard a potential new client say “hey, I saw you on Facebook”. Nils has had success using LinkedIn which supports statistics found here and here.
My thoughts: The debate continues on whether law firm Facebook fan pages are actually useful in creating meaningful relationships in the social media realm. I don’t feel 100% one way or the other yet. However, as long as it’s done professionally and communicates your firms style, persona etc., it can’t hurt. More and more people use Facebook and the decision makers of tomorrow use it for absolutely everything. It can be a useful tool to disseminate information from your law firms blog, twitter, charity events, and anything else you feel like sharing.
Photo Cred: Spencer E Holtaway