Legal Consumers Utilizing Social Media Is on the Rise

Since social media sprang on the scene not too long ago, law firms have found it challenging to embrace it wholeheartedly. There was skepticism that social media was not the place for law firms to have a presence, but rather for teenagers to post pictures from summer camp. As law firms have realized the value, this is no longer true. From a marketing and public relations standpoint, now is the time for law firms to jump in and take full advantage of all the benefits social media has to offer.

A recent 2014 U.S. Consumer Legal Needs Survey by FindLaw revealed an increase in social media use as a research tool for legal consumers. While use of social media as an online research tool to find lawyers is still somewhat small at only three percent, it’s an increase from zero percent in 2011. But as the tech-savvy millennial generation comes into adulthood, they will bring along their own legal issues as well as their sizeable online habits. Lawyers should be paying careful attention to this shift as this market presents tremendous opportunity.

Whether you already have a social media presence or you are just embarking on one, keep the following in mind:

    • Legal consumers base their decisions on trust. Consider how your law firm can express itself in a memorable and relatable manner. This may be through posting relatable photos of the attorneys or real-time updates about what you are working on.
    • Take a topical approach. As a law firm, you might be asking what kind of material you should post. Perhaps you have a firm blog from which material can be repurposed and posted on other social media. If you don’t have a blog, think about the trends you are seeing in your practice or industry and how they affect your audience.
    • It’s called social media for a reason. If you are going to have a presence on social media, you should be prepared to respond to comments or answer questions that your audience asks. Open-ended questions, polls and surveys are all great ways to engage your audience.

Don’t let social media daunt you, but keep in mind that you have to feed into it once you commit to it. The most important aspect is that you share valuable and relevant material on a consistent basis. There is no point in having a presence on Facebook if you are never going to interact on it.

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