To Facebook or not to Facebook, that’s is the question many lawyers ask over the last decade. While there seems to be a widespread acceptance that LinkedIn is appropriate for all businesses, many lawyers don’t see the value of Facebook presence.
Why are law firms uncomfortable with Facebook? It seems that many lawyers think of Facebook as a purely social network with its relaxed social elements so they are unsure how to exist within that environment. They believe that they might need to behave in a less than professional way in order to succeed in Facebook. But this simply isn’t true. Facebook can actually be a valuable marketing and professional networking tool for lawyers just as it works for any other businesses. Nowadays, Facebook is a proper business tool whether we like it or not.
Social media is the big bang of the modern day. In a short two decades, Facebook has taken off like a firecracker. It was one of the first social networks to arise after the birth of the internet and people cling to it like nothing they’ve seen before. Word of mouth travels like wildfire, and nowadays the word of mouth switched to social networks so once your business is on Facebook and you use it right, you’re likely to get more new customers.
People are going to Facebook to ask for recommendations of service providers. They do this in their own peer group asking their friends for recommendations. While it is true that you don’t need a Facebook page for someone to recommend you on Facebook, but it does help. From a technical perspective if someone starts writing the name of your firm into Facebook it will automatically try and find a page that matches. When this happens the person can select the appropriate page and then link it to their recommendation. This way the person seeking the recommendation can click the link and go straight to your page and therefore clients more likely to contact your firm.
Obviously, your law firm’s Facebook page should clearly be focusing on your law practice, not your personal life. But what Facebook also offers firms is the chance to tell a different story about themselves, or show a different side of themselves; something that isn’t possible or appropriate to tell and show through other channels, such as a website, a newsletter or a brochure. For instance, a firm can post photos and videos of a staff function, a charity event, or even tell the community that one of the associates got married. It can let a firm start up discussions of interest to its Facebook community. It can showcase upcoming events, either at the firm or in the community (perhaps including events that the firm sponsors). Anything that a firm is or does that could benefit from the interactivity and sense of community that Facebook engenders is a good candidate for inclusion on your firm’s Facebook page.
Every so often run a promotion post where you give away something (it could be anything really: movie tickets, shopping vouchers, or a box of chocolate). This is not only going to get you more people to your Facebook page but also may get you new customers.
While it’s important to use Facebook as an avenue to promote your own content and recent firm news, firms should remember that Facebook is about building relationships, so it’s just as important to listen to your community as it is to broadcast your information. Many firms spend 100% of their time on social media just broadcasting their own content but they ignore things like comment on other posts to promote conversation, share statuses from other Facebook pages and post industry-relevant resources that were not written by someone in the firm.
A Chatbot is another great way to engage with your Facebook audience. A Chatbot that lives on your Facebook page will answers questions from prospects and clients 24/7/365. This technology will make your business communications immediate and overwhelming and it’s quite attainable. A great thing about this technology is that Facebook will enable a response time badge on your page that shows every visitor that your business has a fast response time, which makes clients more likely to send a message to your firm.
What is also really important is to put together a social media policy for your firm to follow. This can range from a general outline of overarching guidelines to a list of specifics on who in the firm can post what and where.
Some firms leave all social media efforts (and content creation or marketing in general) on one person’s shoulders and this is a crucial mistake. Today, firms should rely on more than one person for practice development. Facebook usage can – and should – be a team effort. Even if your social media policy dictates that only one person can make actual posts, all lawyers and staff should be encouraged to create content and come up with ideas.
The important thing to remember isn’t that every firm needs a Facebook page — that’s not the case — but that firms need to find out what social media vehicles like Facebook offer in terms of new ways of marketing themselves, new means by which the character and brand of the firm can be communicated, and new opportunities to develop a multi-faceted profile in the online world.
Here at Active Associate we at the leading edge of applying chatbot and intelligent assistant technologies to solving problems experienced by many law firms. If your practice would like to talk to a team of professionals who can develop standalone single-purpose chatbot or comprehensive solution – we’re at your service!
Call Active Associate today on 0800 755 337 or chat with our chatbot @Actie for a no-obligation discussion about your needs.