This is the next post in my series on social media for attorneys in 2015. My last article discussed why I consider Google+ to be dead in terms of usefulness to law firms. It’s important to identify which platforms provide value to your firm and to focus on those platforms. In this article I’ll give a few quick tips as to how attorneys can do better on Facebook.

I wrote at length in 2014 as to how attorneys can do better with Overlord Zuckerberg’s creation. I’m not going to re-hash those points in this article. Instead I’m going to look at some common mistakes I’ve seen from law firms over the last year or so and delve into why you should avoid those errors. If you choose to understand that your firm’s Facebook page is about connecting you directly to consumers, providing value, and interacting, then you can start getting a thumbs up:

Facebook Thumbs UpOf course, if you want to approach Facebook in the way that most attorneys approach it then you’ll wind up friendless like this chap:

Crying business person

To make sure you’re going about things the right way, you should start off by reading the following articles:

After having read those finely written pieces, the next step in doing better is to 1) understand that you need to show people what they want to see rather than what you want them to see and 2) Facebook, like all social media, is about conversation rather than broadcasting.

The first step to doing well online is to provide the type of content which people want to see. What is it people want to see? Information which is useful (as much as this sounds like a “duh” statement, many attorneys strike out on this one). Ask yourself what type of information is useful to your potential client base. First, you should be blogging on such subjects and sharing your posts through Facebook. Also, you should be sharing useful information from other sources. Consider the following examples:

  • A family law attorney, who comes across articles about things such as “positive parenting, should share such articles on Facebook
  • A business law lawyer, who reads a good article about “common mistakes made in small businesses” should share such an article
  • A bankruptcy attorney should share articles related to getting out of debt, financial planning, etc.

What’s the effect of this type of sharing? It’s likely to receive “likes” and re-shares. These re-shares introduce you to people who have never before heard of your firm and find the content you are sharing useful themselves. This, in turn, builds a brand and reaps benefits in the future. I regularly see attorneys who don’t think in terms of “what do my potential clients” want to see. If you’re not starting off from that viewpoint then you’re not going to get anywhere on Facebook.

A second mistake I see attorneys make is that they don’t understand the “social” part of social media. If you share content which interests your client base, as described above, then people are going to like, share, and comment. If a follower comments on your posts then offer a meaningful response which shows that you’re actually paying attention to what the follower said. If you walked up to someone at a networking function and said something to them then how likely would you be to talk to them in the future if their response was to say something showing they weren’t listening or, worse, if they completely ignored you? Well, when you don’t meaningfully interact with those, who have take the time to interact with you, then that’s exactly what you’re doing.

Are these simple mistakes to correct? Yep. Will most attorneys correct them and actually start getting more from Facebook? Nope. Those who do take the time, and put in the effort, will reap the benefits going forward.