The Pitfalls and Promises of Social Media for Attorneys
Most people who don’t already have an attorney and are looking for legal advice will turn to a search engine. Firms that want to succeed in today’s competitive field need to build a strong online presence, so they can be there to answer the questions and concerns of these prospective clients.
Social media remains a critical step in building this online presence. The Pew Research Center reports that 88 percent of people between the ages of 18 and 29, as well as 78 percent of the people between 30 and 49, use at least some form of social media. People use social media not only to connect with their friends, but also to follow businesses and engage with organizations that interest them. This includes law firms.
Building a strong social media presence can have a lasting positive impact on your firm, but there are a few dangers you will need to carefully navigate.
The Promises Social Media Offers to Legal Teams
Speak with prospects personally
Social media offers you the opportunity to engage with prospective clients on a personal level. You can answer their questions and engage with them in discussions. This will provide you with valuable insight regarding their interests, their concerns, and their priorities.
Armed with this information, you will be able to more effectively tailor the rest of your marketing endeavors. The content you create and the messages you put out will better reflect what your prospects want to read and hear. This will improve your level of engagement.
Expand your reach
You will also be able to expand your reach through social media. When someone follows your page and engages with what they read, their posts can show up on the feeds of their connections. This can help get your brand in front of more prospective clients that you might not have otherwise had the opportunity to influence.
Since you speak with your clients on a more personal level, you also get to build more trust with them. You will be viewed as a helpful, trustworthy source of information. When the time arises that they need a lawyer, they will likely turn to the firm that has already helped them in the past.
Social media can also provide you with a great platform to highlight the good that your firm does or the recognition you receive. If your firm participates in a charity event, receives an award, or otherwise performs a public service, social media offers the perfect way to let people know. This can also build a positive reputation for you.
If you build a strong presence on social media, it can also boost your digital presence elsewhere. As more people read and engage with your page, you will likely experience a bump in the traffic to your site. This will improve your presence in searches, capturing more of the clients who use search engines to find lawyers and legal advice.
The Pitfalls Legal Teams Need to Watch For
Legally, lawyers have more considerations to take into account than the average business. They will need to find the careful balance between providing help and answering questions while avoiding language that falls outside the best-practice guidelines for their industry. You will want to work with your social media manager to ensure that they understand these guidelines. Ideally, they should have experience with the industry so they can help you craft posts and responses that engage the audience without falling outside these best practices.
Lawyers also often have an uphill battle when it comes to social media. Society generally feels very cynical regarding lawyers. Your firm will likely be called upon to exercise patience and restraint with confrontational people as you build your pages. Focusing on the rewards that can come with a strong presence and outlining concrete guidelines, however, can help you achieve your goals.
Social media management can be a challenge for people across industries, but lawyers have unique considerations. Understanding the pitfalls you face as well as the benefits you can receive will help you formulate a strong strategy and tackle the issues directly.
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