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Law Firms & Social media

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP is a law practice with 23 offices, approximately 1,800 attorneys and more than 40 areas of practice. The Facebook Business Page the company created a mere two months ago has already attracted 874 ‘likes’ (and counting), which goes to show that the popular belief that law firms cannot benefit from a Facebook presence may not be true – at least not in all cases.

The legal company has placed the focus on the personal as a way of building trust – the Facebook Page cover features a collage made up of the individual faces behind the firm.

Its Facebook account managers post pictures from various team building activities, links to interviews with/articles about its partners published in reputable media outlets, and news stories related to company achievements.

Even if it doesn’t directly contribute to winning new clients, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP’s approach to Facebook can certainly be instrumental in increasing the firm’s online reach and building its reputation as trusted law practice.

While consumer brands have embraced Facebook as a key tool in building deeper customer engagement, the biggest social network largely remains terra incognita in the legal world. The sector has certainly harnessed the professional networking capabilities of the world’s largest business social networking website LinkedIn.

There is a logical explanation for this choice – LinkedIn more closely reflects traditional business networking, whereas Facebook as a network is seen as too personal – a place one is more likely to interact with friends, rather than search for law services.

Three Key Benefits of Facebook for Law Firms

Law firms who remain unconvinced of the business benefits of using Facebook cite the lack of tangible results as a key argument against adopting Facebook. However, some of the benefits (see below) are not to be ignored:

1. Increased brand awareness.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP has effectively harnessed the personal nature of Facebook and its social media activity is an example of Facebook marketing best practices.

By introducing its attorneys and associates on its Facebook Business Page and posting team-related content, the firm has the potential to increase its reach, earn a good reputation and generate trust prior to directly engaging with prospective clients.

2. Higher search engine rankings.

A little known, yet considerable, advantage to setting up a Facebook Business Page is that with Google’s constant search algorithm updates, Facebook is turning into one of the most important factors affecting how a website ranks on Google.

As Brightfire wrote recently, Facebook and Google+ activity has the strongest impact on search engine rankings, which means that setting up a Business Page, linking it to your website and occasionally posting updates will increase your online visibility.

3. Thought leadership.

With nearly a billion users, Facebook is the perfect platform for sharing owned and earned media content – from articles published in authoritative media outlets, related to the law firm, to proprietary blog posts. This helps establish a firm’s partners, attorneys, and associates as thought leaders in their area of expertise.

Given the potential SEO benefits, online exposure, and thought leadership opportunities, law firms should think twice before they give Facebook the cold shoulder. Using it as one of the arrows in their online marketing quiver will increase their chances of hitting the target.