Social media for law firms for can be an effective, ethical, way for law firms to maintain relationships with existing clients and attract new clients. But law firms face ethical pitfalls that make it dangerous to simply hire a social media firm without experience complying with bar association rules that regulate attorney advertising and solicitation.
Social media for law firms is one of the areas of online legal marketing in which there are opportunities, but there are also risks of wasting time and money, plus the risk of running afoul of state bar association rules governing the professional conduct of attorneys.
Although there are both financial and ethical risks to social media for law firm marketing, there is also the possibility of a great reward if the social media campaign makes sense, is well-planned and is well-executed. It’s not the type of responsibility that can be left to the young lady in your office who spends all her time on Facebook.
I’m an attorney with experience in ethically using social media for law firm marketing. I’m also an experienced social media marketer who has used social media to attract new clients. If you’re ready to get started now, click on the Contact Me button now to discuss how your firm can benefit from social media marketing. If you want more detailed information about social media marketing for attorneys, there’s much more detail below, including a table comparing 3 legal social media marketing campaigns.
Social media–if used properly–can be a great, cost–effective way to attract new legal clients. And law firms who adopt social media now still enjoy a small “first-mover advantage” over law firms who aren’t using social media. I can show you when and how to use social media, ethically and effectively, to attract new clients.
The bottom line for social media for law firms is the same as any other legal marketing tool: what is my return on investment (ROI). In my opinion, if attorneys thought of their time spent on social media as billable hours, many social media efforts would be considered a waste of resources.
Social media for law firms – It’s more than just signing up for Facebook and Twitter
Just getting onto Facebook and Twitter is fine if you’re doing it for personal enjoyment or convenience, which is the reason most Facebook and Twitter users are there. And if you don’t ignore your Facebook Page and Twitter account for days or weeks at a time, social media can be a good way to maintain relationships with current or past clients. But if you think that merely being on Facebook and Twitter is a great way to get new clients, I disagree.
Ask yourself this question: “What normal person wants to be the Facebook friend of a lawyer or a fan of a law firm Facebook Page if there’s not already a personal connection?” Â When you send a Facebook friend request to someone you don’t know well, don’t you think it might conjure up an image in his or her mind such as this?
Nobody wants to be your Facebook friend just because you’re an attorney. In fact, some of your real friends and relatives may be your Facebook friends despite the fact that you’re an attorney.
If you want to attract new clients to your law firm using social media, you need to have a plan before you start. You need to decide what you want to accomplish, if and how you can do that using social media, and you need to put your social media campaign in the hands of someone who understands 3 important things:
- The things you can’t doÂ on social media if you want to stay out of trouble with your state bar.
- The things you shouldn’t doÂ on social media because it’s totally contrary to the image your firm has created through the professional activities of its attorneys and its other marketing efforts.
- The things you should doÂ on social media that will engage people, including potential clients, and actually make money for your law firm.
When the “first-mover” online marketing firms began using social media for law firm marketing in 2010, I took a look at a Wall Street Journal article and compared some other law firms’ social media campaigns to one of mine. What is written below comes from a blog post I wrote at the time.
An unprecedented look at social media campaigns by plaintiffs’ law firms was presented in the Wall Street Journal’s June 15, 2010 article, â€œUsing Social Networking as Legal Tool.” The two largest firms discussed in the article both employee 20 full-time employees in their online marketing campaigns. One, Sokolove Law, says it spends $1 million per month. The other, Parker Waichman, says it spends $1 million per year. I’ve created a table comparing the social media campaigns of these two firms with the BP Oil News social media campaign we are running.
If you’re interested in working with us as co-counsel in a mass tort case or as a social media/online marketing consultant, I invite you to contact me using my Contact Form.
Social media for law firms — A comparison of 3 social media campaigns
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