Often time’s lawyers hear the word social media and immediately dismiss this platform as unnecessary or too risky for their firm to utilize. They see potential dangers, ethical dilemmas and conflict. In 2015, social media use is so widespread, that to shy away from it law firms would only be hurting themselves. Business Insider reported that as of February 2013, Facebook had 1.2 billion monthly active users. They also reported that social media is now the top Internet activity, even surpassing email. With those types of statistics, which have inevitably grown to date, how can you consciously not get involved, and think your business is benefiting?
The Pew Research Internet Project evaluated a social networking survey that explored people’s overall social networks, and how these networks were related to trust, tolerance, social support, community and political engagement.
Key findings about Facebook and other social media users:
- They are more trusting than others
- They have closer relationships with others than non-users
- They receive more support from their social ties
- They are much more politically engaged than non-users
- Social Media revives ‘dormant’ relationships
These findings speak for themselves. Social media delivers benefits such as staying in touch with others, establishing trust, reviving old relationships and gaining support from your network. These are all qualities necessary to a successful law firm.
In an article found in Law Practice Magazine by Simon Chester and Daniel Del Gobbo entitled “How Law Firms Should Approach Social Media”, they wrote, “All firms should develop a social media policy that encourages the use of these new and emerging tools in innovative ways”. Social media doesn’t have to be scary. It’s a tool that you can benefit from. It gives you the chance to relate to your clients and potential clients and show a little more of your personality. It also provides the opportunity to inform them about things you think they should know. As if you needed more benefits, with the targeting capabilities social media now has, you have the opportunity to advertise to your ideal client. Never before have your advertising dollars been put to better use than they can be with social media advertising. Use the tools wisely and the sky is the limit.
Don’t let your fear of social media hold your law firm back. Once you get over your fears, you will realize it’s a great business development tool founded and thriving on relationships.