Finding ways to grow your new law firm can be stressful — but it can also be fun. Finding and hiring the most creative minds in your area is part of the struggle, but they can help you discover new methods of growing your client base and keeping it engaged. Then again, some strategies can help you keep your partners or employees engaged as well. Are social media accounts right for your law firm? It depends.
First, it’s important to know the difference between a social media account made primarily for your business — whether on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc. — and those made for individuals. More law firms are jumping on the social media bandwagon than ever before, but some acknowledge that they may have done it too soon (or at least without properly researching both the benefits and the pitfalls).
For bigger law firms, improper management of personal accounts can turn into a disaster.
One attorney recently shared his story about a construction company that was being sued. On his personal Facebook account he commented, “It’s pretty obvious this company is in some big trouble!”
From the outside looking in, that’s a fairly innocuous comment — unless your law firm is trying to take the case, which is exactly what happened in this situation. The construction company and the law firm were in talks, and in the course of its research, the construction company came across the post previously made by the lawyer. Needless to say, the law firm did not get the new client.
While this can be seen as an example of why law firms shouldn’t muddy the waters with social media, that’s not really what it is. Instead, it should be seen as an example of how to properly navigate those waters.
Law firms hoping to grow their client base or increase engagement through social media need to sit down with employees and train them on how to use both the company’s social media accounts and their own personal accounts. Individuals should be asked to keep their personal pages public so that potential clients might find them easily, but also to keep the majority of their personal posts private and friends-only. This will reduce the chances that a potential client will find a potentially disastrous post.
Law firms can also take steps to train employees how to post information and subjects that do more to benefit the firm than harm it. In 2019, thousands of people lose their jobs for making controversial statements on social media every day. It’s no joke.
It might be a difficult job to balance the social media high wire just right, but it’s a necessary job as well.