Social Media in Late 2016
The online world shifted in 2016.
First, consumers are using their smartphones and tablets more than their desktops. Internet time spent on mobile devices is now 68% (Comscore). How does your website look on your phone? If there is a problem, it should be fixed and your IT person can help.
Second, Facebook is the place to be. Per SocialMediaExplorer, 66% of adults' log in every day. Engagement is easy on Facebook—are you getting likes and followers? If not, you need to beef up your page.
Third, the majority of American consumers will hire a lawyer active on social media. Per Thomson Reuters, 54% search for lawyers active on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.
A study by Smart Insights showed the current number of active users:
- Facebook: 1.59 billion, making it the biggest and fastest growing social media
- Instagram: 400 million; owned by Facebook
- Twitter: 320 million; that number has stayed flat since last year
- Snapchat: 200 million, and growing rapidly
- LinkedIn: 100 million
How did Facebook become number one?
The two largest groups, baby boomers (75 million) and millennials (75 million) converged on Facebook. In 2009, baby boomers began using Facebook to keep up with their children and grandchildren. By 2016, the millennial generation overtook the boomers as the largest generation in history and, having been raised online, are all over Facebook.
Facebook in 2016 has more engagement with people than any other social media. It has the highest percentage of daily sessions, it's where most Americans get their news, and is the place where 34% of consumers find help with service providers like lawyers or doctors.
Facebook is more than a place to send traffic to your website. It has always been a place where people interact. You can do this by liking and sharing posts and responding to comments. The idea is for your posts to let people into your world so they can know, trust, and like you. You can do this by sharing videos of attorneys volunteering at events, posting photos of firm events, and telling stories that humanize your firm.
For example, Sinas Dramis uploaded scenes from its "Lids for Kids" bike helmet giveaway and safety event. The posting was shared by members of the firm and others who sent it on to their followers.
Your postings should not be self-promotional, but informative about your area of law. Visuals work well on Facebook. Take photos with your phone, selfies in front of a court house, a picture from a baseball game, or a planned activity at the Detroit Zoo—all are ideal for Facebook and sure to be shared. Videos also do well and should be uploaded directly to Facebook—don't link to YouTube.
Social media is a necessary part of your marketing efforts. Right now, your potential clients are on their phones or tablets, checking in, sharing, and engaging with others. Generate goodwill by giving them something to share on their network. Your visitors will come to know and trust you and your practice will grow.
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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