Of the 58 million people who sought a lawyer in 2012, 76 percent used online resources. That’s 44 million people who will only find you if you have a strong online presence.
It’s no secret that social media is transforming the way the world does business. We’ve heard this over and over again for the past five years. So if you aren’t on the social media bandwagon, you’re being left in the dust.
That’s why cj’s Community Engagement team is doing our part to keep you ahead of the curve. We recently took part in a webinar “How Today’s Consumers Search for Attorneys” hosted by Rocco Impreveduto of LexisNexis and Larry Bodine of Lawyers.com. The webinar was based on a study that looked at the process consumers follow when choosing a lawyer—a process that heavily involves social media. Their presentation was chock-full of handy insights that we think you’ll want in on:
Why Facebook is SO Important
Let’s start with a basic understanding of why Facebook is such an important tool. Facebook accounts for one of every five page views on the Internet, worldwide*. Its 845 million monthly active users each spend an average of 15.5 hours per month on the website*. And Facebook’s switch to the timeline format has increased engagement by a whopping 46 percent*! Almost everyone you know (and their dog) has a Facebook account.
But are you too busy winning cases and helping injured people to keep up with your social media accounts? That’s what we’re here for. As our webinar hosts said, “If you don’t have time to do your own social media, hire somebody who does—especially someone who specializes in legal matter.” How about that?
How Facebook Can Help People Find a Lawyer
According to our webinar hosts, when consumers start looking for an attorney to hire, 22 percent of them are using social media to find an attorney. This is where social media (like Facebook) can help you out.
Their research also shows that 73 percent of consumers consult family and friends during their search for an attorney. Family and friend relationships are accessible on social media, which means you need to establish a strong presence by interacting with past clients and other people in your community. These are the people who will help spread the word about your business, work ethic, and culture of caring for others.
McDivitt Law Firm: “Drive Smart Colorado” campaign—tagging local companies, charities, and organizations facilitated interactions beyond their own page’s audience[/caption]
As you can see, social media has a significant role in consumers’ searches for lawyers—and Facebook is the big dog! Take advantage of the opportunity a social presence holds for your law firm.
Put Your Blog to Work for You
The webinar hosts also discussed how blogs are becoming more and more important when searching for an attorney. In fact, they called blogs “the cornerstone of legal marketing,” and revealed that 29 percent of consumers used legal blogs to find their attorneys in 2012.
So in order to build an audience for your blog, the webinar suggested that posts occur at least once per week. As a cj client, you receive at least one post per week from our bloggers. But we need you to blog with us! There are millions of blogs out there—we need you to show that you are an expert in your field. You can do that by posting about common questions you receive from clients or sharing information about your most common cases. At cj, we have the tools to help you get your blogs out there so people will read them and potentially call on you for representation.
Constructing Your Image
So what happens once potential clients finds you online? They want to know that your law firm is one they would be happy and confident in working with. The webinar stated that 16 percent of consumers use social media to validate an attorney, which means your Facebook posts, tweets, blog posts, and Google+ content need to be full of engaging and meaningful content. Those mediums can help prove that you are active in the community and an expert in your field. The image that you construct on your social media pages can be influential and offer credibility in consumers’ eyes.
That image ultimately leads to a decision. According to the webinar, 11 percent of consumers seeking an attorney use social media for the final step in the selection process: choosing a lawyer.
Your Next Step
Take action! Review your online presence and determine where you may want to improve. Don’t know where to start? Give us a call—that’s what we’re here for. There are 58 million people looking for your help and their new favorite place to do it is online*. It’s your job to make sure you’re there to be found.
*The research for this post is from a LexisNexis webinar and white paper.