Facebook for Attorneys – Use with Caution

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.

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