Facebook Page—It's for Lawyers
The next time you're standing in line at the movies, sitting in a restaurant, or waiting in a courthouse hallway, look around at the people on their smartphones, laptops, or tablets. How many are checking their Facebook accounts?
Since nearly 1.6 billion people use Facebook each month and 65 percent of them use it daily for at least 20 minutes, it's safe to assume many of those around you are on Facebook reading and responding to others.
Facebook is a social network. All are welcome, including lawyers. It can, however, cause problems for lawyers. Your personal and professional life should be separate. A link to a news article of interest to your clients or potential clients shouldn't appear next to a picture of your daughter's birthday party.
Facebook has a way to avoid such conflict. Set up a Facebook page for your law firm and keep your personal posts on your home page.
What is a Facebook Page?
A Facebook page is a distinct site for businesses, brands, and law firms. You create a page from your personal account and customize it by posting articles, videos, and photos, and adding links to items of interest. People who like your page and their friends can get updates in their News Feed.
Create a page with your professional profile picture, a picture of the firm members in the cover photo, and your logo.
How to find followers:
- Invite friends and e-mail contacts to like your page
- Include the name of your page on your marketing materials such as business cards or e-mails
- Add a link on your website
- Announce your new page with your Twitter account.
What do I post on my page?
Keep followers engaged with interesting content. Include links to posts written by others in your area of the law, your blog, or news items in your field. Know that Facebook pages are public. Anyone who can see the page can also see your comments or posts.
Marketing experts recommend half of your posts should connect readers to interesting and informative online content; thirty percent should respond to others' posts, and twenty percent can be divided between self-promotion and your personal interests.
Photos and videos are important. Use them when you can—they foster the greatest response. Include pictures of the people from your law firm or events in the community—they help humanize your firm. And most of all, be active on your Facebook page with interesting content. If you think you can't keep up with it, don't start.
Remember ethics rules. Don't give legal advice or answer complicated legal questions—stick with news and posts in your area of practice. If you have a question about a post, contact the Ethics Helpline at (877) 558-4760 to receive an informal advisory opinion from a staff attorney.
Finally, have fun with it. Remember, it's a networking platform where you can connect with clients, other lawyers, referral sources, and leaders in your area of practice. Don't forget to add the link of your Facebook page to your SBM member directory enhanced profile. Create it and they will come.
Roberta 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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