Social media has provided a platform for people all over the world to voice their opinions, educate themselves, and provide feedback on various services and products. Not only are consumers able to compare products, their effectiveness, and makeup prior to purchasing them, they are able to enlist the feedback of other consumers who have experienced similar situations and look to whether the product or service is right for them. Additionally, business owners have been able to gain more exposure by offering their services online in an effort to draw in new clients who may have not found them without the assistance of the internet.
Social media includes websites and phone applications such as Facebook, Instagram,
Twitter, and Snapchat, but also those business-oriented sites like LinkedIn and Yelp. These sites allow users to connect in situations they previously may not have and also to review experiences in different settings. Thus, it is no surprise that roughly 85% of law firms have an online presence via their website, with the most popular areas of law being commercial, corporate, litigation, and employment. Not all law firms use social media as a way to advertise and retain more business directly, the majority do so for career development, to stay current on local and industry-specific news, and for case investigation.
For the firms that do advertise, some struggle with the decision to advertise, how much and where using different social media platforms like those discussed above due to the potential for miscommunication, ineffective advertising, and improper solicitation. However, more than a quarter of law firms claim that they have retained a client who was referred from online resources. It is important to identify your market crowd and what social media platforms they frequent most often, and then determine how you will utilize those platforms. If the entire firm has access to the platform on behalf of the firm, it can be useful to set out guidelines for the firm’s members to follow, thus leaving no unanswered questions about what is appropriate to post and what is appropriate to respond to. Firms vary in their level of activity, from daily blog posts to monthly updates with less frequent news, at least being accessible online gives you access to clients you may not previously have reached.
(image courtesy of Guilles Lambert)