Facebook 101 For Lawyers And Law Firms

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Facebook has been available to the public for more than a decade now. Many lawyers think of Facebook as a purely social network, but that’s simply not the case. It can actually be a valuable marketing and professional networking tool for lawyers. After all, Facebook now has 1.71 billion users worldwide. Many of your colleagues and potential clients are undoubtedly using Facebook. The trick is knowing how to reach them and use Facebook in ways that will help you to forward your business goals.

So how do you go about making Facebook work for your law firm? First, you have to identify your target audience and your goals. Is your potential audience on Facebook? To determine that you need to decide if you’re trying to reach potential clients, connect with referral sources, network with colleagues, or a combination of the three?

Once you’ve identified your target audience(s), you’ll need determine if and how they use Facebook. Are you already connected with these people on Facebook? Are they your “friends” or have they “liked” your law firm’s Facebook page. Can you easily identify these individuals on your own and find ways to connect with them? How can you go about reaching them?

If you are already connected to some of the people you’d like to reach via your personal Facebook profile, there are ways that you can use Facebook to ensure that you stay on their radar, but you need to tread lightly since Facebook is such a social network. People are your “friends” because they want to know what’s going on with you, not your business. So most of your personal Facebook posts – perhaps 60% – should be about you and your life. But tread carefully and give some thought to the types of personal posts you share. Your personal posts should help people understand who you are, within reason.

Another 20% can be about current events or links to things you find humorous. Share a bit about your opinions and thoughts, but if using your personal Facebook profile for business purposes, staying away from controversial issues makes sense. Otherwise you run the risk of alienating the very people you’re trying to reach.

Finally, the remaining 20% should serve to remind your Facebook connections what you do on a day-to-day basis at work. So share the occasional article about your firm. Mention that you’re heading to court for a particularly dicey matrimonial matter. Post a link to an article about a recent case that was handed down that affects your real estate practice. Let your connections know you’ll be attending a criminal defense conference in a nearby city and ask if anyone else will be there, too. In other words, find natural ways to remind your connections that you’re an attorney who works hard and enjoys practicing law (but make sure to avoid sharing confidential information). That way you’ll be at the forefront of their minds when a legal matter arises for which they need representation.

Your law firm’s Facebook page is a different story. Clearly, as a business page it should focus on your law practice, not your personal life. Use that page to share articles or blog posts that you’ve written, articles that quote you or someone from your firm, and other information that showcases your expertise in particular practice areas. Provide information about your law office, your employees, and your areas of practice. Also include occasional links to articles or blog posts written by others that are relevant to your practice areas and/or provide information that would be useful to potential clients. Your law firm’s Facebook page is your law firm’s front door on Facebook. Use it accordingly. For lots of great tips on maximizing your law firm’s Facebook page, make sure to watch this video of one of our past webinars, “Mastering Facebook for Lawyers.”

Another way to reach potential clients is to use Facebook ads. The reason this can be such a valuable tool is because Facebook algorithms deliver your ads to a highly targeted audience. You’re able to specify the parameters of the audience based on their geographic location, interests,  age, gender, and more. The more specific you are the better the response will be. You can learn more about the ins and outs of paid promotion for law firms on Facebook here.

For even more great tips on how lawyers can successfully use Facebook to achieve their goals, check out this blog post or download this ebook which provides a roadmap for successfully navigating social media.

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