It’s no secret that law firms should be present on social media platforms. Users spend countless hours using Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and other social media on a daily basis. If you aren’t around to capture some of that attention, your prospective clients aren’t finding you.
These online communities give you a chance to humanize yourself and your law firm. Marketing your firm on social media shouldn’t be about hype and disingenuous sales pitches or scare tactics, but rather should serve as an opportunity for you to give insight to the “human” part of you that your clients might not otherwise be privileged to be a part of.
An effective social media campaign should have a humanizing effect. After all, you are a local attorney practicing in a particular area. There are other attorneys in your community who do what you do. Why should potential clients choose you? Social media should be used in conjunction with your other planned marketing efforts to show what makes you and your firm unique, and should do so on an honest and sincere level. Communications between estate planning attorneys and their clients are extremely sensitive. Clients may find it difficult to reveal the intricacies of their family dynamic and their financial situation to a stranger. Using social media to show who you are as a professional and as a person, you can distinguish yourself to potential future clients.
When “Keeping It Real” Goes Wrong
I always suggest maintaining a certain level of transparency when using social media. At the same time, as attorneys, it’s extremely important to keep in mind that anything you post on your social media could potentially violate your oath to uphold attorney-client confidentiality.
While potential clients and followers on your social media may benefit from sharing information about a specific interaction with a client, sharing too much information may inadvertently cross the line. While your intention could be harmless and you may simply be moved to share a story from a client that may benefit others, in that moment it is imperative that you take a step back and remember your duty as an attorney. Sharing the message can give you credibility and may help others, so it’s worth taking the time to share the message in a way that doesn’t imply the source of the message or original instance.
Strike the Right Balance
If you maintain a social media presence that is stiff, impersonal, and all about the bottom line, you’re likely to not find much benefit in it. “Shameless self-promotion” as a social media policy is not only an ineffective strategy, but will most likely turn away followers and subsequently, potential new clients.
Your potential clients are inundated with advertising from every direction. Social media should be somewhat of an oasis from this overwhelming environment. From a law firm marketing perspective there is something to be said for direct and sincere communication. Your ideal clients want to work with attorneys they like. Your social media should present you exactly as you are: an affable, accessible, and engaging legal professional.
The key is to strike the right balance. Be yourself, share your thoughts, and network your practice, just like you would do in person. It’s just as simple as that.
Practice Building Consultant
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
9444 Balboa Avenue, Suite 300
San Diego, California 92123
Phone: (858) 453-2128