Should lawyers and law firms have a presence on Facebook? If I swapped out Facebook with LinkedIn, I would eagerly answer, “yes!” However, I think Facebook is less obvious. Here’s why:
It’s consumer driven: Facebook is primarily for consumers to interact with other consumers or businesses with a consumer focus. If your legal practice also focuses on consumers, then this might be an appropriate venue. If your practice focuses on start-up or other innovative companies, having a Facebook page is probably important to your audience even if your practice is business to business.
Requires work: Linkedin is focused on professionals and the company pages don’t allow for much customization. However, Facebook has lots of add-ons and is a much more dynamic site. You competing against business that have very active pages and if you don’t, that could look worse than having no page at all. An example of a good Facebook page is here. Stem Legal has added custom pages and included effective integration with LinkedIn and JD Supra.
Ubiquitous: Facebook is becoming the Yellow Pages of the new millennium. Before long, all law firms will want to include a listing. Those that get significant traffic from Facebook will spend resources like personal injury attorneys in the Yellow Pages that take out full-page ads. Others that don’t use Facebook for business may still want a listing just to be found there.