Snapchat—It's for Lawyers, too

Clear & Convincing Feature Article

Snapchat

Experts in marketing tell us that the main reason clients hire a lawyer is because the client trusts the lawyer. And clients trust people they can identify with. According to a recent survey by Findlaw, the majority of respondents were likely to hire a lawyer active on social media including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Snapchat.

Snapchat, a relative newcomer to the social media scene, is a photo, video, and messaging app. Users post content, called Snaps, which are sent directly to friends or are collected in Stories. What makes Snapchat unique is that Snaps and Stories are short-lived. Snaps can only be seen for 10 seconds, Stories for 24 hours after which, unless you save them to Memories, they disappear.

Snapchat, with over 150 million active users a day, is now used by more people than Twitter. In May, 2016, Snapchatters were watching 10 billion videos per day as compared to Facebook’s 8 billion views per day. According to Forbes, over 60% of Americans between the ages of 13 and 38 use the platform.

How Lawyers use Snapchat

Snapchat is raw storytelling that connects lawyer and reader on a deeper level than a distanced, polished post on Instagram or Facebook can do. And the analytics show that people are engaging with Snapchat—watching short videos, looking at pictures—while scrolling past Facebook posts.

The Stories on Snapchat can help bridge the lawyer-consumer gap. Watching a short video of the lawyer facing a huge stack of files on the desk on a Friday night or a peek at your new office makes the lawyer seem more approachable than a Twitter post. Consumers get a peek at the lawyer’s life building familiarity and trust.

The secret to good content is to be yourself. Snapchat is a place for telling a short story about yourself, your practice, the people in your firm, or your life outside the practice of law. Snapchat is the place for you to come alive. And because followers on Snapchat are intently watching your video stories, you can add value by providing some legal information making you a trusted source.

Finally, Snapchat is a great way for you to be creative with your storytelling. Think of how you use exhibits at trial or PowerPoint for a speech, there are ways to add entertainment to your story with emojis, text, and video edits.

Remember, being relaxed, creative, and short-lived does not mean you can forget the ethics rules. Even though your videos and pictures will disappear after 10 seconds (Snaps) or 24 hours (Stories), you want to be remain professional while being real.

It’s easy to get started on Snapchat. Download the app to your phone, add friends, and start telling your story. View the Ultimate Guide.

Snapchat is a great platform for the storytelling lawyers among us to improve their skills, create new connections, new business, and unleash their creativity. Using it is a way for you to cultivate fans, clients, and friends.

Roberta GubbinsRoberta Gubbins has served as the editor of the Ingham County Legal News. Since leaving the paper, she provides services as a ghostwriter editing articles, blogs, and e-blasts for lawyers and law firms. She is the editor of Briefs, the Ingham County Bar Association e-newsletter, and The Mentor, SBM Master Lawyers Section newsletter.

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