When it comes to social media for law firms, more often than not, it is incorrectly approached. Either the wrong channels are being used or the content is lacking and limited to “FREE consultation”. The reality is being an active social media user has a lot to offer for your law firm.

Listening and engaging with those looking for answers, in addition to putting valuable knowledge out into the social media stratosphere does a couple of great things for your law firm. First, it helps to establish your online credibility. A credible online presence is so important as business continues to be generated more and more online than in person. Second, as mentioned, because of this credibility you not only retain existing clientele but you gain new clientele as well. So where to begin?

The first thing you need to determine is where your clientele base is. It will do you no good to be putting out amazing content if you have no one to interact with. If you are unsure what social media channels your law firm should be on begin with these five: Facebook, Twitter, Google+. LinkedIn, and Quora. From here you can track the feasibility and success of these different channels through tracking software such as the free Hootsuite.

With all of these social media channels it is important to keep these three “rules” in mind:

  1. Put the necessary time in to develop worthy content
  2. Reach out to people and start conversations.
  3. Show your appreciation and answer every question you can.

Now let’s begin with Facebook.

Facebook is great because almost everyone is on Facebook. With that said, YOU are probably on Facebook too. If you are, it is important that you keep your personal Facebook, just that, personal. In fact, it is a good idea to keep it stringently private. On the other hand, your business Facebook page should be well utilized and visible. Make sure your business page includes basic information such as contact information, location information, etc. In addition, including your firm’s work and community involvement helps to build a complete profile. Once your business page is established start by posting worthy content. Engage with those who comment and find groups that you can join and add value to.

Next, Twitter. Twitter seems to be a tricky channel for law firms to grasp. The limited number of characters per post creates a challenge that many businesses dodge with a million “FREE Consultation” tweets. While free consultations are great, there is immense more value that you can add to the twitter world. It is important to understand that the content of a tweet is meant to be brief. Don’t worry about including every last tidbit of information. Instead, focus on making the content relative. A great way to determine what would be relative content is to take a look at what people are tweeting about or the trending hashtags. Be creative and figure out how you can add value to both.

Third, Google+. Often people think that Google+ is a dead network but the reality is much different. If correctly utilized Google+ can positively affect your SEO, i.e. get you ranked higher. While there are endless ways to utilize Google+ for your business, the basic strategy to implement is to always be connecting with others. If you do this, and have a thorough profile, then the reward will be great.

Next, LinkedIn. Similar to Facebook, LinkedIn allows you to create a profile from which you can share information and add value to conversations with others. Keep in mind that LinkedIn is a community of professionals. Ensure that the quality of your profile and content is up to par with others. From here you can either join or create groups where you have the opportunity to share what you know with those who need to know it.

Finally, Quora.

To put it simply, Quora is a place where the only thing users do is ask and answer questions. Similar to how Yahoo answers work, the better the answer, the higher the ranking and in turn, the more profile views received. Simply search topics that you are knowledgeable on, such as “personal injury” and then begin providing thoughtful and thorough responses. An extra benefit of this channel is that you can easily link back to your website in every answer.

When it comes to social media, it is easy to be overwhelmed by the multitude of channels and the various strategies. However, if you simply stick to these five channels and always remember to post, engage, and measure your results then you are already well on your way to social media success.