500 Million Facebook Users and Counting – What it Means for Law Firms

Facebook, the wildly popular social networking site that began as a way for college students to interact with one another, has reached a significant milestone. As of July 21st, Facebook now has 500 million users, a number that increases on a daily basis as more and more people use the social networking site to reconnect with old friends, foster new relationships, and discuss topics that they find most interesting and relevant in their lives. What does this mean for law firms, you ask? Plenty. But it doesn’t necessarily mean obtaining new clients – at least, not immediately. Due keep in mind, though, that 500 million Facebook users is a very large audience in which to market your law firm, and it shouldn’t be ignored.

For any law firm looking to utilize social media platforms in its marketing campaign, the most important thing to remember is that you’re not going to create a profile only to send friend requests to a bunch of people you don’t actually know, and influence those new “friends” to retain your services. That’s simply just not how it works. What your end goal should be, however, is getting your message out there, conveying your law firm as an authority on the type of law that it practices, and gaining trust amongst “friends” and others who stumble across your profile.

For Facebook, creating and maintaining a firm “fan” page is a good way to get your message across, as well as display a variety of information about your firm and its attorneys. This process, at least the creation portion of it, sounds fairly easy, and actually is for the most part. However, like all business matters, if you want a strong return on the time you’ve invested in your page, you have to put in a significant amount of effort. You can’t simply create a page, leave it alone, and expect it to attract fans and potential friends. You wouldn’t treat your website that way, so why should you treat your social networking like that?

Ultimately, any strong Internet marketing campaign is going to include time and effort devoted to social media marketing. To do so requires effectively utilizing your resources to establish your online identity as authoritative, reaching out to fans and friends in a manner that is genuine, not sales-pitchy, and relying on those fans and friends to spread your message to others. Remember, social networking sites are not run by businesses. They’re run by everyday users who through word of mouth discuss topics that are most relevant or interesting in their lives. Be interesting, be yourself, and word of mouth may end up securing your law firm a few clients along the way.

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