Traditionally law firms haven’t had terribly much to do with their clients. They provided a service – sometimes excellent, sometimes not – but whatever the client’s feelings about the level of service they were limited in telling their experience to whoever they would come across in person. Social media can provide peer recommendation.
Social media – and the rise of the internet – has changed all of that for law firms looking to win private clients. Now clients can talk about their problems to a much larger audience, who are able to recommend which firm they can go to for particular advice. Firms that have left the client feeling disenfranchised can read about their own poor performance on Twitter along with many of their potential new clients – a possibly embarrassing public dressing down, and one that can be costly.
In short, social media matters so much to so many law firms, and while it may be daunting to begin with, a strong social media strategy can attract new clients and become a major asset to a firm’s marketing.
Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and Twitter all have huge followings that require a little imagination to make relevant to the business development of a law firm. Legal service providers will expand into this area, and, as the technology develops, will do so in ever more innovative ways that engage with clients and provide them with the service they want.
The Law Society also said in it's Social Media Practice Note: December 2011, "Social media are an increasingly popular and growing area. As such, it is important for the profession to keep up-to-date with developments in social media which present real opportunities if harnessed effectively".
The last word on the subject should perhaps go to the American BAR Association, who in March 2011 wrote, under the heading “It’s Too Late To Do Nothing”:
“You can’t outright reject these tools—nor should you rush to mindlessly embrace them. Rather, you need to take steps to understand how they can be used to support your lawyers, your clients, your firm and its strategic ambitions.”
So what is the future of social media marketing for law firms? Put simply, your firm can’t stay behind its desk anymore; it needs to build a strong online presence.
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