likemeThere is a common train of thought in the industry that solicitors and legal firms are not really at the forefront of embracing the Internet when it comes to marketing their services.

In fact, I wrote a previous blog post about how lawyers can embrace Youtube, and how I ran a survey to see how true this actually was. It’s definitely a factor, that lawyers and accident claims companies in particular do tend to view the Internet slightly differently to other businesses, don’t ask me why, but it’s how it seems to be.

However, they really do need to get a proper handle on the technology if they are going to push their businesses forward over the next couple of years.

Social media for accident claims lawyers is one such area that can be hugely improved, and you would be surprised how easy it actually is to engage with prospective or existing clients using tools such as Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

All of these social media tools are free to set-up and take very little maintenance in truth. With around 80% of the United States public now using search engines and social media to find recommendations for business services, it would be an act of great folly not to become active in this way. Whilst lawyers in the USA used to rely on word of mouth and personal recommendations, the goal posts have now changed. Here is a quick overview of each social media platform that solicitors can use and the benefits of usage.

Facebook

How many times have you seen friends on Facebook asking for a local business recommendation, and then their friends linking them into a Facebook page of a local business? It happens all the time, all day, and there are probably people in your town or city asking their friends this week for recommendation for a local accident claims or personal injury lawyer.

Don’t miss out on this potential business opportunity for new clients. Make sure that you maintain your page, and from time to time release a piece of news on the website that might be considered “fun” or “attractive” so that it is shared by your followers with their friends – a great way in which to increase the social media visibility of your solicitors firm. Here are some tips on how a solicitor can uses Facebook really well – it’s UK focussed but the strategies remain the same.

Google Plus

When a solicitor sets themselves up with Google Places for Business, it automatically creates them a Google Plus page. If you have ever done a local search in your area for a local business, for example “lawyers in Chicago” you will notice what I call the “Pack of 10” underneath the 3 top natural search engine listings in Google. These results are delivered via a number of factors, but one of the most important parts to these is how well and active a legal firm is with their Google Plus page. Can you afford to miss out? I can’t believe you would want to miss this opportunity – see the image below for an example of how the results appear (I’ve highlighted the Pack of 10 in a yellow shade).

chiagolw

Twitter

On Twitter it’s possible to monitor trending topics and get involved. So for example, let’s say you are an employment law lawyers and see on Twitter that a large firm has started to lay-off staff, it might create an opportunity for you to reach out to affected staff or the company involved to offer your legal services. The Legal Futures website wrote an excellent news piece about how solicitors were getting increasing amounts of referrals via Twitter – and this news article was written in 2012!

Promote Your Law Firms’s Social Media Presence

Once you have your social media accounts set-up and you’ve become active, shout about them! It’s no use having them if nobody knows about them. Here’s an example from a solicitor who has added their social media icons to the header of their website to increase the sign-ups, likes, shares, and connections.

Conclusion

If you are not using social media in your law firm today, then make sure you get on to it straight away. Social media is growing at a frightening rate, and it might not be too far a stretch for the imagination to see a day where all business recommendations and searches are conducted on social media platforms rather than word of mouth or standard Google searches. For no financial investment, and just a little bit of time, your solicitors firm could be the number one in your local area or city within a very short period of time.