Many law firms are now asking Solutions Squared how to leverage social networking for the legal profession.
Although there are a number of social sites the most well known are Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin.
There are a number of online articles that cover the basics of using social networking in your law firm. Two of the most helpful are perhaps the following:
Overview of Social Networking Basics
Social Networking at Browne Jacobson
Although not strictly social networking sites in the purest sense blogs, or online diaries, are often covered in the this catagory.
Delia Venables has a range of links to legal blogs, some showing how it should be done and some very much how not to. Click here to see the list of legal blogs.
The starting question is whether your current clients and, more importantly, the ones you are trying to connect with, are the type who will be interacting on social networking and whether they expect their lawyer to do so. It is worthwhile doing some client research - either online using a tool like surveymonkey or by sending out questionnaires to see what your clients think of your current website and whether they would like to see more information coming from you by email or in blog form.
Whether law firms need to be worried about this area of technology now is debatable. Research shows that young adults still see websites as authoritative for information, but the younger generation are more likely to start a search from a social networking site. This is likely to be the trend as Facebook now has more users than Google, so people will start to initiate their search for information through Facebook first and then resort to a separate search engine secondly. Having a presence on Facebook will therefore begin to be more relevant as these users eventually become consumers of the services that law firms offer.
Ark have a publication that is a worthwhile read as a starting point albeit pricey and somewhat out of date now having first been published in 2009. Click here to purchase the book Social Networking for the Legal Profession.