Why Should Attorneys Use Social Media?

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.

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  • Although I don’t think social media is a one-size-fits-all marketing solution for attorneys or lawfirms, I do think it can be a beneficial way to differentiate yourself in the market. In addition to establishing yourself as an expert, I think one of the biggest benefits social media can offer attorneys is to humanize you and your firm. I think social media can make attorneys far more relatable and personaable, which makes people more likely to do business with you.

    • Exactly! The general public usually thinks of attorneys as “one step removed” and unapproachable SM helps bridge that perception.

  • Kristian_Mosti

    I believe there is no exception to the fact that lawyers can benefit from social media – one of the best things you could do is to use Twitter as a way of aggregating news relevant for your area of expertise – find those news sources or people that publish content relevant to you, then start following them.

    The benefit is to have an updated stream of summarized news (with links to read more) that is customised to meet your needs. It is exactly what you need to keep up and stay ahead of the game and it is most certainly much more efficient than reading through 15 blogs and 3 newspapers a day.

    • Hi Kristian,

      Thanks for stopping by. You’re exactly right that social media can actually save lawyers time. Most attorneys think SM will take up hours, and at the beginning it will take more time, but afterwards it can be done over coffee at lunch.

  • Social media (Facebook, Twitter) are also a great way to get bleeding edge information or answers to questions from other attorneys in your field quickly.

    • Thanks for the comments Randall and you’re exactly right. I go to social media first to verify information. It may not always be right but you can generally get an idea if it’s correct by a general consensus. Thanks for stopping by!