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The Importance of Social Media for Law Professionals – 2 Ways Social Media can Enhance a Law Practic

Law professionals should be engaging in social media as a client development strategy.  Social media can help to develop the expert status and personal relationships that it takes to earn referrals and impress potential clients. 

Lawyers are often resistant to using social media outlets for marketing on the internet.  They fear that anything that is placed on the internet can come back to haunt them, and while that is true, a fear of something doesn’t necessarily mean that is should be completely avoided.  Lawyers should use social media to develop their client base for two reasons and, at the same time, be careful to post appropriate content: 

1.       Social media opens your knowledge and expertise up to large groups of potential clients. 

Any lawyer practicing in a specific area has an expertise that they should be showcasing to their potential clients in order to further the public reputation.  In general, potential clients are often small groups of individuals and companies that have something in common, perhaps a specific industry or career.  These similarities create a common need for legal advice or representation within the group.  If a lawyer has the expertise that can assist them, they need to target these individuals and companies and demonstrate their knowledge.  Social media outlets, such as Twitter and Blogs, allow a lawyer the opportunity to share their practical experiences with those that might need their services in the future. 

2.       Clients are more likely to refer you if they like you and feel connected.

This goes beyond successfully resolving issues and sending basic law firm newsletters.  It comes down to sharing a part of your personality with clients.  Social media lets clients learn more about you then they would in a typical business relationship, which develops trust and can lead to referrals.  Mix in personal thoughts and opinions if appropriate when developing content for your social media accounts.  Also, if posting about a new law change for example, explain how it will affect clients instead of just delivering the basic information about the law change itself.  These simple steps will help you create a relationship on a more personal level with current clients and earn their referrals in the future.      

                So the bottom line is, use social media to showcase your expertise but do it in a way that adds a personal touch to your public appearance.  More clients will like you, trust you and refer you to their contacts.  Use frequently addressed issue within your current practice areas as content for blogs and social media.  Be careful to keep posts informative and not give legal advice.  Placing a simple disclaimer such as “The information in this post is not intended to be used as legal advice”, can go a long way toward resolving any confusion with your readers and keeping you protected.  Additionally, while posting information is a good ideaArticle Submission, do not engage in question and answer via the internet.  Encourage readers to contact you directly with questions so that correspondence with them is confidential and cannot be taken out of context by other readers. 

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Scott Edson is the owner of HB Consulting.  HB Consulting is a Web Design, Email and Social Media Marketing company located in suburban Chicago.  HB focuses on small and emerging companies to develop a web presence that will attract, engage, and retain customers and clients.

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