Arguably the most important place for your law firm to be found is in the social media sphere, where past clients or people you know might be asked the all-important question by a friend: “Do you know a good lawyer?” In fact, in a recent study, 56% of consumers who looked for a lawyer in the past year used social media during their search. Other findings:

  • 21% of those searching for an attorney checked out the social media pages of lawyers or firms.
  • 20% used social media to create a “short list” of lawyers based on referrals and recommendations received through social media.
  • Almost 20% vetted the names of lawyers they were considering with their social media contacts.
  • Nearly one-quarter made their final selection of a lawyer based in part on what they learned through their social media contacts.

So where is it important for your law firm to be found on social media? No surprises here…

  1. Facebook
  2. Twitter
  3. Google+ (perhaps not quite yet, but will be in the future)
  4. LinkedIn
  5. Foursquare
  6. LawLink is more of a peer-to-peer network for sharing legal documents and expanding your network. However, getting a link from a relevant site is always a bonus for your online presence.

In a recent study by the American Bar Association, 59% of law firms maintain a presence in a social network.

Social media is for networking, growing your reach and building relationships. In fact, that’s the foundation for acquiring links and traffic to your website and bringing new business to your law firm.

How to Grow Your Law Firm’s Social Media Presence

  1. Work at it. As with anything good, you have to work at it. Social media isn’t a quick, simple way to generate leads. Put an hour or so into your social media accounts each week and challenge yourself with short-term metrics, such as following “x” amount of people this week or sharing “x” amount of stories. By doing so, you will create real goals for yourself and slowly but steadily grow your network.
  2. Be real. By being “real,” I mean this: have your own voice, reach out to your community and be unique. I’d say this one has traditionally been hard for law firms to embrace, but transparency is your key to success.
  3. Use tools like HootSuite. HootSuite has reinvigorated the way I do social media because it’s really easy to manage different social media channels, including Google+, Facebook and Twitter.
  4. Mention people when sharing their content. It’s easy to share an article, but before you do, find the author’s Twitter handle and add it to the tweet. This notifies the author that you are giving them kudos for the article. It’s an instant ego-stroke that 1) makes the author proud, 2) establishes a relationship and 3) makes the author more likely to link or mention you in the future.
  5. List yourself in social media directories. Twellow, TweetFind and WeFollow are directories for Twitter. For Google+, there’s GGLPLS.
  6. Follow relevant people. You can use the social media directories above and also FollowerWonk (for Twitter) to find them. FollowerWonk is a great tool owned by Moz that lets you search Twitter bios to find people similar to you. Search for location or topic and see if you can find people that have a lot in common with you.

The bottom line is this: all these things take time and effort, so make sure you have both to give it. For more tips like these, follow @deand and @obu_interactive on Twitter and say hi!

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