Law Firm Facebook Pages Are Lame

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Somewhere out there a social media consultant must be blogging about how important it is to have a Facebook page for your law firm, because “Follow my firm’s Facebook page!” updates seem to pop up in my feed every day or two. That consultant is a moron.

I’m sure there are law firms out there somewhere that are earning all kinds of media or pulling in tons of potential clients from its Facebook page, but that doesn’t mean everyone should do it.

Full Disclosure: My (Former) Law Firm Facebook Page

Before we go further, a confession. I had a Facebook page for my law firm until I finished writing this paragraph. I don’t know why I set it up, and I never told anyone about it. I think someone told me it might have some SEO value.

I actually did try to keep it active for a while, but nobody cared. Neither did I, apparently; I forgot about it until I was writing this article. The page had 23 likes from people who were either real-life friends or complete strangers from other countries. My law firm Facebook page didn’t benefit me in any way, so I just deleted it.

Nobody Really “Likes” Law Firms

The Facebook “like” is a tortured metaphor, but at a minimum, a like means that someone is at least mildly interested in something—your firm, in this case. And that’s the problem: it just isn’t true. People aren’t interested in a law firm. At best, they are interested in a particular lawyer, but normal people are about as interested in a law firm as they are interested in a proctology clinic, and for similar reasons.

Only two categories of people are likely to like your law firm’s Facebook page: (1) friends and family who already support you in everything you do (i.e., your mom); and (2) complete strangers, who are probably spammers or extremely bored teenagers. Neither benefits you in any meaningful way, because you are already connected to your friends and family on Facebook. Spammers and extremely bored teenagers are unlikely to become clients unless the bored teenagers decide to e-harass the spammers—but then you are a witness through your law firm Facebook page, so you can’t represent either one.

There is a third category: clients. Clients liking your Facebook page doesn’t benefit you, either. If you need Facebook to stay in touch with your clients and former clients, you’re doing it wrong.

When it comes to marketing, the only thing lawyers really have to market with is themselves. You can “brand” yourself (if you absolutely must call it that) by being a good lawyer, and by getting out and doing things with people (networking). A law firm Facebook page won’t help with that.

A Dead Page is Worse than No Page

Just as it a blog that hasn’t been updated in months is worse than no blog at all, a Facebook page with no updates is worse than a waste of space. It shows visitors that you jumped on the latest marketing trend, then forgot about it when you moved on to the next thing. It makes you look like a clueless marketing lemming. And if your marketing is haphazard, what must your lawyering be like? (I know, you are too busy lawyering to spend time on marketing. Good. Stop worrying about marketing and skip to the end of this post.)

A dead Facebook page does nothing. (I was going to start the next sentence “The point of a law firm Facebook pages is—” but then I realized that law firm Facebook pages have no point.) Social media gurus seem to think that a Facebook page can help you connect with your law firm’s network. Except that your law firm doesn’t have a network. People who want to read your articles will read them—if at all—when you post them to your own Facebook timeline, not when you post them to your law firm Facebook page.

Facebook Pages Are Actually Pretty Lame in General

How many Facebook pages do you actually visit in any given day? How many Facebook page updates do you notice in your news feed in any given day? How many do you actually click on? As far as I can tell, the highest and best use of a Facebook page is to say “I am interested in this thing.” For example, I clicked the Like button on the official Chunk fan page, because Chunk was clearly the best Goonie. I have never visited the page until just now. The owner of the page (Chunk himself, actually) last updated it in October 2010, so he apparently got bored with it, too.

The only time Facebook pages get interesting is when they are for political candidates, political causes, or entertaining musicians. Or fake political candidates or causes.

Law firms don’t even rate a mention on the scale.

Delete Your Law Firm Facebook Page

Just do it! If you’re worried about losing “followers,” post an update to your page asking everyone to like your status if they don’t want you to delete your law firm Facebook page. If you get 10 or fewer likes (do not count likes from family members, close friends, or strangers from other countries), delete your Facebook page.

Featured image: “severe businesswoman with thumb down” from Shutterstock.

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  • http://www.eriebusinesslaw.com/ Adam Williams

    “If you need Facebook to stay in touch with your clients and former clients, you’re doing it wrong.”

    I disagree. Facebook is how I stay in touch with friends and family. Why is it wrong to keep in touch with clients, too?

    • cephas

      Face book is too social to be used to keep in touch with clients

      • http://lawyerist.com/author/samglover/ Sam Glover

        Also, too public.

    • http://hartlinelaw.com George

      The lawyerly answer to the social media question is “it depends”. Facebook works for my small firm. We have 305 likes and, it’s true, most are family and friends. But then again, family and friends are potential clients. Word of mouth is the best marketing; when someone is looking for a lawyer, and a friend of their’s on Facebook has a law firm page liked, it’s inevitable that they will consider that firm for themselves. Obviously, you have to be very sensitive to the confidential nature of legal services. However, we post interesting legal-related articles and posts that our page “likers” really appreciate. And, we post photos and videos and updates on things our page likers want to know: the deadline for filing in the BP oil spill settlement, for example. If you do it right, it’s great. We have gotten probably 10 clients in the past few months from Facebook believe it or not-and many more from friends who referred friends thanks to the exposure on Facebook.

  • Jason

    Good post, but you forgot one element of the Facebook page: Having fun with it. We are a little 3 lawyer shop that posts pictures of our young associate and his first client ; his dog sitting in the chair), some fun photo of the staff giving us our espresso maker, birthdays, etc.

    We view it as having fun t work and letting our “likers” see what wee up to. We have court admin staff, a judge, a bunch of local lawyers and of course the obligatory family and friends follow us. A few clients do follow us, but the page is not for them, it’s for us.

    • http://www.eriebusinesslaw.com/ Adam Williams

      Jason, do you want to share a link to your facebook page? I get a lot of feedback on my page b/c people think it’s “fun.” I’d like to see what you’re doing.

  • http://massrealestatelawblog.com/ Richard Vetstein

    Completely disagree. My firm Facebook page has over 700 fans, many of whom are my present and former clients, business partners, Realtors and just folks interested in what I have to say about Mass. real estate law. http://facebook.com/vetsteinlawgroup

    While I have a blog, my facebook page is a place where I can post news article and other tidbits that don’t warrant extensive discussion on my blog. Sort of like a twitter feed. And it’s a place where I announce seminars, webinars and client appreciate events. It’s worked great for me, and I get business through the page.

    With only 23 fans and with admitted low effort in running the page effectively, I can understand why you are down on the Facebook page. Doesn’t mean that your experience is indicative of every other lawyer’s experience.

    I agree, if your page sucks, take it down. But there are a lot of things you can do to make it better. You can add JD Supra, Youtube videos, RSS feeds, sign up forms, events, photos (everyone loves pics). All sorts of things.

    ~Rich V.

    • http://prosocialtools.com Tim Piazza

      Good job on getting 750 fans, Rick. Your step is getting them to engage with you so that you’re reaching their 100,000 friends. :-) Now THAT is social marketing!

      • http://lawyerist.com/author/samglover/ Sam Glover

        Oh look, a social media consultant!

        • http://prosocialtools.com Tim Piazza

          Damn. I’ve been discovered.

          Actually, I’d rather be a social media manager than a social media consultant. I prefer doing the work rather than giving advice that isn’t followed and then be blamed for the poor results. :-)

    • http://lawyerist.com/author/samglover/ Sam Glover

      I said my Facebook page only had 23 fans. That’s not what I am basing this post on. I’m basing this post on the dozens—at least—of law firm Facebook pages I’m asked to like every month, the vast majority of which are lame.

      Also, just because 700+ fans doesn’t foreclose the possibility that your firm’s page, while popular, is still lame.

      • http://ashcraftfirm.com Greg Ashcraft

        It’s not that ALL law firm Facebook pages are lame the “vast majority… are lame.” Maybe the trick is trying to make a Facebook page for your firm that isn’t lame. I have only been working an my Facebook page for a week at this point. I have 163 fans and I have a meeting on Tuesday with a friend who saw a posted article (which clued him into a way that I could benefit his customers) and wants to meet with me to start referring clients to me. I don’t think that the majority of law firms don’t do it right. The answer is not abandoning a potential fount of new clients, the answer is finding out how to communicate on it properly. If your bored then your boring.

    • http://lawyerist.com/author/samglover/ Sam Glover

      In other words, you responded to my qualitative argument with a quantitative one.

  • Shaun

    I have always seen the firm FB page as simply further assurance for any potential client that feels the need to judge a firm in part by its internet presence. Some people google you and your firm trying to get a level of comfort about you before they even call. Since the FB page is free, why not have one if it helps some clients get comfortable calling you? As a tip, post updates and link them to twitter and linked in. that should help to reduce the time you spend managing your social media accounts, while still keeping the content fresh.

    I enjoyed the article though, lol. I just have very different expectations re what the firm FB page will do for me.

  • http://lawyerist.com/author/gyitsakalakis/ Gyi Tsakalakis

    Facebook pages used for “marketing” (as I perceive you’re using the term) and “advertising” can be, and in fact most are, totally lame. Especially those of law firms.

    Like everything else that we share, publish, curate, blah, blah, blah online, whether or not your facebook page does anything but annoy people, depends on what you share on it and how you use it.

    Most law firm websites, blogs, twitter handles, etc, suck. Is that a reason that all lawyers should abandon these tools. I don’t think so. Perhaps the ones that suck should.

    Is your strongest “marketing” tool you, your reputation, and the quality of the services you provide? Of course.

    But if you don’t think that the web, search engines, social networks, and even facebook pages, play any role in how lawyers are perceived, well, in my humble opinion, you’re just wrong.

    But if you’re saying that the way most law firms use facebook pages today, is hurting more than it’s helping, well, in my humble opinion, you’re right.

    • http://lawyerist.com/author/samglover/ Sam Glover

      I absolutely think Facebook pages play a role in how lawyers are perceived. I also think that, for the vast majority of law firm Facebook pages, the role those pages play is to create the impression that the law firm is lame.

  • http://www.freedmanlpm.com Jennifer Ellis

    You article made me smile, but as one of the consultants who believes Facebook pages can (note the can) be useful, I simply will say, maybe you are doing it wrong? I agree, generally Facebook pages are lame. But with a bit of creativity they can be turned into useful, productive networking and marketing tools. Facebook pages are still new enough that people are just learning how to use them. Creating a basic page, begging people to like it and expecting it to be successful is never going to work. It takes time, effort, experimentation, and patience to see results that turn into client leads. But those lead do come. I am seeing them in some of the pages that I run that have been around for 6 months or so.

  • http://questionoflaw.net Lisa Solomon

    Although I’m very active online (my own website, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and the Solosez listserv), I’ve never had, and never plan to have, a Facebook page for my firm.

    Just all of the goals that the previous posters have suggested can be accomplished by using a Facebook page can be accomplished – often more effectively – in other ways (e.g., print or e-mailed firm newsletter, personal Facebook profile, etc.).

  • JP

    I actually just started a Facebook page for my little solo law firm. So this article is making me think twice about my decision to start the page. However, in the 4 days the page has been up, i have received 30 “likes”, 5 inquiries from potential clients, 1 of whom actually signed up as a client. I have been practicing for 8 months now, the way I see myself using the Facebook page is more of a reminder or a confirmation to my friends and family,who I I havent spoken to in a while. So far it’s been effective, but it is too soon to tell if that level of effectiveness can be sustained. https://www.facebook.com/jpyounan Have a look and “like” my page if you all don’t mind. :)

    • http://www.raymondchandlerlaw.com Raymond Chandler

      I think you hit the nail on the head with your thoughts about friends and family. I have a facebook page for myself and for our firm. The firm site gets very little action and probably falls in the category that Sam was talking about, very “lame”. However, my personal law practice page does exactly what you are talking about. It reminds my friends and family what I do. Most importantly, it reminds all those “friends” from high school and college that are now for some reason all getting divorces and dwi’s, what I do. I’ve never received a contact from a new client or someone I didn’t know from Facebook, but every time I post an article or news bit on my wall I seem to get a message from an old friend about their current legal problems.

  • Alex

    I completely agree EXCEPT for the part about deleting it. I would lock it down and not accept anyone into the page. Then make it private. Essentially claim the space and lock it down. If you delete it …then someone else might claim the name.

  • http://www.AschemanSmith.com Landon Ascheman

    I think many have already expressed their disagreement with this idea. I have to jump on the band wagon. There are many uses for having a business (law firm) profile page. Yes, if you are using it for bland advertising, or in place of a website, you are doing it wrong. However, the benefits outweigh the consequences in nearly every case (imho).

  • Clifford Gibbons

    Disagree wholeheartedly with the story. I believe having a Facebook page it has been beneficial to my small law firm.

  • http://www.SchraierLaw.com Seth D. Schraier

    For every single marketing guru who talks about the need for a Facebook page, Google + page, Twitter, etc., I seem to find an equal amount of lawyers who claim the opposite: that you shouldn’t use this social media tool or that.

    But here’s the thing, Sam….

    How exactly are you hurt by having a free social media presence? When I talk to budding young lawyers looking to open their own firm, I tell them that I have a social media presence on almost every site out there. And I tell them that I do so because, ultimately, “it can’t hurt.”

    I tell them that I connect my Firm Facebook page to my twitter. And maybe once a week I’ll “tweet” some article that’s somewhat relevant to my firm. I’m not spending hours upon hours a week trying to build my social media presence, nor wasting any money hiring a social media consultant or what have you.

    It can’t hurt.

    • http://lawyerist.com/author/samglover/ Sam Glover

      Just auto-posting your tweets can’t help, either. You aren’t making your law firm Facebook page non-lame; you’re just keeping it updated.

  • http://www.mccarthyandking.com Bob McCarthy

    Sam –

    A very interesting and provocative post …

    I suspect you echo the feelings of many lawyers – as well as many owners of professional services.

    I agree that people don’t normally “like” law firms, but they might like the expertise you offer. They might want to read your latest take on living wills, bankruptcy or intellectual property – or whatever it is you do.

    And if they “like” your expert content, that automatically means they will be sharing your content (and their endorsement) with everyone else in their personal network. It’s this viral potential that is the real power of Facebook.

    With a few exceptions, I don’t expect a law firm Facebook Page will become a major source of new business or even a significant part of the marketing mix – but what harm can it do? I see it simply as one more way to reach your audience – another marketing channel that, by the way, doesn’t cost anything.

    I understand your point about a dead page being worse than no page at all, but there are services that will automatically update your Facebook whenever you send out an email newsletter or add a post to your blog. (I use Constant Contact. When I am ready to send an email, I simply check a box and my Facebook Page is updated automatically.)

  • http://stcloud.injuryboard.com/ Mike Bryant

    I will agree with Richard Vetstein and add, sure all the other firms should get rid of their pages. Shut down all the blogs also.

  • http://prosocialtools.com Tim Piazza

    80% of the law firms on Facebook are doing things wrong and their pages are not gaining any traction. But the other 20% are doing things right. They are doing different things… creating a unique personality, connecting with their community, sharing more than automated blog posts.

    • Max Mednik

      I agree, Tim.

      The one interesting thing about the page concept (versus just posting yourself) is that people can Like and promote the page’s content to their networks, which promotes your firm’s or company’s brand (and not just your content).

      I think it takes a large amount of time and a lot of careful though to find a good balance and rhythm that keeps people’s attention and really adds value. At Ridacto, we’re still experimenting and figuring out how to find our voice and what content most interests our readers and followers. We don’t want to waste anyone’s time, and we know that some people just prefer the Facebook channel, so we’re trying to be where people are reading.

      Thanks for sharing and starting the conversation, Sam!

  • http://www.transcriptionpro.net/ Carey Suante

    It’s imperative to acknowledge that people may not necessarily “like” you but they do “need” your advice and assistance as a law firm.

    The question is not whether to have a FB page or not, but how to keep your page and your brand “likeable” and interesting and accessible to FB crowd.

  • Tyler Durden

    Using Facebook to “brand” yourself is like setting up a kiosk at the mall or booth at a convention — you have a the presence of one sheep in a herd.

    Social media can be used to enhance your presence, interaction, good will and clients – but it takes more effort to achieve this than masses will put forth. Those who understand the opportunity will reap the benefits.

    Facebook pages are free and abundant (no limit to you or the crappy lawyer 3 floors down). Domain names (web addresses) are finite and can be used to brand your practice in a more exclusive realm than simply launching a “presence” on Facebook.

    Genius article with balls.

  • http://www.shatterbox.biz/ Jay Pinkert

    What legal marketing Facebook partisans tend to ellide is that the eye-popping stats about brand page engagement on that platform are attributable to consumer product pages. “Likes” and visits are driven by what the brands give away — coupons, contest prizes, virtual currency/points, personal validation through exposure of one’s content to a large audience, etc. Participation is transactional/conditional, and loyalty is purchased.

    If you look closely at how most law firms with large fan bases built their following, I’m confident you’ll find some sort of cause-related contest in its history (e.g. charity contribution). I’m not aware of a case where a law firm has built a large, engaged following based on content alone.

    For firms that regularly run promotions for free/discounted services, Facebook could be a good fit — but how many firms embrace that model?

    If lawyers genuinely enjoy interacting with people on Facebook — whether or not their presence is “lame” — good for them. Otherwise, it’s a black hole that sucks time, attention and — yes — money.

    • http://prosocialtools.com Tim Piazza

      Jay, what do you consider to be a large fan base? Out of a sample of 1,370 law firm pages on Facebook, 15% have between 100 and 200 fans and 17% have more than 200 fans.

      Something I noticed, though, is that once you get over 500 fans, there are several cases where it looks like someone pre-loaded their fan base when they launched the page. I suspect that at least one lawyer marketing organization likes to start their clients out with a nice chunk of fake fans.

      • http://www.shatterbox.biz/ Jay Pinkert

        Tim,

        Depends on the geography, size of the firm and practice areas, but as a general rule you’re doing well to get more than 100 fans organically, and by that I mean without some sort of promotional tie-in or third-party vendor intervention, which basically aligns with the numbers you cited.

  • Jennifer Gumbel

    We have a facebook page and I find it helpful. One of the main reasons is that it provides an easy way for us (who are not computer programmers or web gurus) to update our news link on our website (our designer set up a window allowing automatic updating from our facebook site). We usually end up posting links to outside blog posts we’ve authored or columns in our local paper’s “Ask the Expert” section that we’ve found extremely fruitful for marketing. The facebook page itself probably isn’t that helpful, but it allows us an easy way to keep our website current.

  • http://www.PAinjurycase.com Dave S.

    Doing your own posts on a FB page is best – customizing. However, I find there’s only so many hours in the week. Nothing works better than direct personal contact/networking – so that’s where I prioritize: 1. In Person, 2. Website, 3. everything else !

  • Sandy Ellis

    “If you need Facebook to stay in touch with your clients and former clients, you’re doing it wrong.” As a client, I beg to differ. I personally think that a law firm is “doing it wrong” if they DON’T have a FB page. With, according to Mr Glover’s post, half of the American population using Facebook, a client “expects” his/her law firm to have a FB page. Additionally, as the owner of a page with 92,000+ fans and as a very happy client of an awesome attorney, I would gladly share his firm’s page with them – that is, if his firm’s “page” was a “page” and not a “personal account” which cannot be shared with fans (hint, hint Goetz Fitzpatrick :-) Who knows? There may be a new client, or two, in the midst of those 92,000 fans?

    • http://www.shatterbox.biz/ Jay Pinkert

      What’s the name of your business page?

  • http://www.richardhornsby.com/ Richard Hornsby

    Agree, their lame. But they do help with ranking of your website for BING. Plus the backlink is useful for regular ranking as well.

    Now, what about Google+ Pages???

  • http://smartbusinessrevolution.com/ John Corcoran

    I created a Facebook page by accident. I was updating my bio on Facebook when I started my new solo firm and somehow I had to create a “page” in order to create a new “employer.” Shortly after that, a couple of friends started following my firm. It was kind of annoying because I wasn’t (and am not) planning on doing anything with it. I think you’re right that I should just delete it.

    However, I do use my personal facebook page to keep in touch with clients and former clients, old colleagues, old friends, etc.. I am just mindful to be careful not to post anything too embarrassing. But I find it’s a nice way to keep in touch with people and they subtly are reminded of your presence from time to time and then (hopefully) give you a call when they have a legal need.

    • http://lawyerist.com/author/samglover/ Sam Glover

      Your personal Facebook account is a whole different story with a whole different purpose. That purpose is e-stalking old flames and pretending to be thrilled about seeing baby pictures from high school classmates you never liked in the first place.

  • http://strellasocialmedia.com/ Rachel Strella

    You’re right that no page is better than a dormant page. I also agree that Facebook pages, in general, are kinda of lame. However, there are 850+ million people on Facebook – including your potential customers. Just because you don’t find Facebook attractive or find value in a page, doesn’t mean others won’t, especially if you are offering value-based information.

    You’re also correct that lawyers brand themselves by being good lawyers, but if they don’t market themselves, they aren’t fully excuting their talent. Word is mouth is the number #1 source of referrals and leads, word of mouth is social, social media is social, so therefore word of mouth = social media.

  • http://www.ernietheattorney.net Ernie Svenson

    Facebook is a tool, and it’s not necessarily the social media tool that can most help lawyers. But if you’re using other social media tools, and you know how to efficiently distribute content out to other places (e.g. Blog, LinkedIn, [other URL thing]), then why not push out to a Facebook page too? It doesn’t take much effort, and if that channel of distribution is where a potential client is hanging out then you’ve gotten a big bang for not much effort (or money).

    If Facebook is lame, then figure out how to tweak it or use it so it’s not lame. No law firms have figured this out? I beg to differ. Here’s one that is using Facebook well: http://www.facebook.com/CloudigyLaw

    Granted, it’s going to be hard to find law firms that use Facebook well, just like it’s hard to find law firms doing anything that’s innovative well (or at all). Facebook is a tool, and you don’t have to use it the way that everyone else is using it. I applaud those lawyers who think of new ways to proceed. Facebook is not my favorite online site, and I rarely use it. But other people use the hell out of it. So why not pay a little attention to it?

  • Gus M

    One of the worst pieces of advice I’ve heard from a social media guru: when Facebook was allowing customized URLs, he suggested getting a generic one for your firm. E.g., facebook.com/criminallaw. He said it was just like the early days of the Internet when you could claims http://www.criminallaw.com.

    The idea sounds good . . . until you actually put some thought into it. In the days before Google, people may have just put in criminallaw.com into the address bar and to see where it takes you. But people don’t do that now.

    Similarly, no one goes to facebook.com/[insert name here]. People go to facebook.com, then use the search bar.

    • http://lawyerist.com/author/samglover/ Sam Glover

      For domains, it’s actually good advice (much though it pains me to agree with a guru of any kind). From an SEO perspective, anyway. Google gives substantial weight to keywords present in the domain name. That may carry over to Facebook, as well.

      • http://www.attorneysync.com Gyi Tsakalakis

        Spoken like a true guru.

  • Stef

    This article only states why you are in law and not in marketing. Stick to your day job!

  • http://www.Finch-Law.com Julie Finch

    I have some clients with very active Facebook presences. I just created a Facebook page for my law practice so that I could use that to “like” my client’s Facebook pages. I feel like I need to “like” the clients because part of what I do is help them with their branding and social media issues. I’m hoping that this will be better then using my personal page, but its too soon to tell.

  • http://www.newsmarkpublicrelations.com Mark Hopkinson

    What a thoughtful, counter intuitive post that has prompted an equally engaging exchange. I would argue that if you reopened your Facebook page using this exchange as the timeline that you could change its dynamic from “lame” to “engaging”.

    • http://lawyerist.com/author/samglover/ Sam Glover

      I doubt it.

  • http://www.divorcepage.com Blake

    Interesting article; I agree that it’s better to not have a page at all than to have one that isn’t kept up on a regular basis. We’ve found as a family law & divorce firm in Sacramento that’s it’s best to try to position ourselves as the ‘expert’ or ‘go-to-resource’ for anything related to family law/divorce. In addition to linking to our regular blog posts & articles on our website, we share others’ content as well (HuffPostDivorce articles, content from fellow family law attorneys ,mental health professionals, financial advisors, etc.). As divorce attorneys, it’s not so much marketing/advertising to individuals as it is being a reference source & the firm that people think of when a friend/family member/co-worker tells them they’re getting divorced.

    Please let us know what you think of our page: http://www.facebook.com/SacramentoDivorceAttorney

  • http://galanterlaw.com/ Yale Galanter

    While I see you have some great points in your article and I did enjoy reading it I have to disagree. I have seen some good results coming from my FB page where past clients have engaged with my content and, as some folks above said earlier, this added some level of credibility to any potential new clients looking at the page. Please feel free to look at my firm’s page and hit the Like button! http://www.facebook.com/GalanterLaw

  • http://www.divorceutah.com Eric K. Johnson

    Sam, if you’re not the voice of infallibility on the subject of Facebook law firm pages, at least you’re the voice of observation. Thanks for having the guts to say what so many of us have thought, yet never uttered for fear of looking like uncool Luddites.

    • http://lawyerist.com/author/samglover/ Sam Glover

      I wish I were infallible, but I just call it like I see it, right or wrong.

  • Steven Ross

    I agree. I use Linkedin for professional matters, and Facebook for personal matters. I also remember not to put anything on the Internet my mother would disapprove of.

  • http://mcanguslaw.com/ Rob McAngus

    I am thinking of branching out and opening a solo practice and was “told” I need a FB page. I swear I just created one yesterday and got likes from my sister and 2 old neighbors. So needless to say, this post hit home.

    I’m struggling with the best way to market myself. I live near a city that is overrun with attorneys and am trying to find a reasonable rate for an office, a good location, a marketing strategy, and the courage to walk away from a steady income.

    Probably off topic, but I don’t know any lawyers so any feedback/advice is welcome!

    • http://lawyerist.com/author/samglover/ Sam Glover

      For an open-ended question like this, try our forum: http://lab.lawyerist.com

      • http://mcanguslaw.com/ Rob McAngus

        Will do. Sorry!

  • http://www.rollinsandchan.com Mark

    I disagree as well, if you are actively marketing, facebook is just another tool that you post to. For example if you are doing videos on legal topics in youtube – why not post the video in facebook for viewers. This way former clients, friends and family still know you are pushing along. I agree if you are doing no marketing at all well why bother with any of the social and medial outlets ie. facebook, youtube, google plus etc.

  • Mike

    Admittedly, I skimmed the article, but our three biggest clients, in terms of payments, were directly related to Facecrack. However, I’m friends with them, so it may have happened if I sought them out instead of them finding me. The Foo Fighters, Actress Jordana Spiro, and a commercial real estate firm that sold over a billion dollars worth of property last year. I’m also 40 with a long history of successful entrepreneurialism. So my situation is atypical. Reputation is so important.

    But I’ll bet anything that my page is far from lame…

    • http://lawyerist.com/author/samglover/ Sam Glover

      Facebook profile or Facebook page? It sounds line you are talking about your profile, not a page.

      Anyway, the fact that you may have gotten some clients is unrelated to the lameness of Facebook pages. Personal injury billboards and commercials are lame as a rule, even though they obviously work for getting clients.

      Also lame: name-dropping.

      • brint crockett

        This blog is so obsessed with lameness and crappiness that it’s kind of awesome.

        I think Mike’s point was that social networking on Facebook can be pretty legit. Just depends on what you bring to it, yeah? Kind of the point you were making in the first place?

        Nobody in the entertainment industry considers working with the Foo Fighters name dropping. Not sure if that makes his comment more of less lame. lol

  • brint crockett

    A lawyer client once asked me to post updates about local car accidents or to his Facebook and Twitter, probably because it was something he’d seen done before. I asked him if he’d follow his dentist if his dentist regularly posted about cavities and gingivitis.

    Building social signal for the purposes of inbound search marketing doesn’t mean you have to annoy the clients who care enough to “like” you, with unwanted and irrelevant outbound messages.

  • http://www.davidsugerman.com David Sugerman

    I am a dinosaur lawyer. With a firm Facebook page, a blog and a personal Twitter feed. I have an odd practice. I tend to do public-interest type cases for groups of people. These may include consumer fraud class actions against a local trade school or a mass tort case against a defense contractor for a group of injured veterans. The FB page helps us stay in touch with people who are interested in the case and with our clients and class members. The information is often a link to a blog post about a recent development, an update on something of interest I might be doing that day on one of our major cases, or a link to a news report that is germane to a consumer issue. I also use it as an information channel on civil justice issues for consumers like the horror of mandatory arbitration, the concern about pending anti-consumer legislation or the need for judicial funding.

    I find that it’s effective. I’m not sure of the exact number of people who follow–like is a lousy word–but it’s something over 200. I agree that most of the law firm FB pages are lousy. I saw one recently that was promoted that was crowing about how much money a lawyer settled Mrs. X’s case for a specific amount of money. That was really doing it wrong. At bottom, I’m not sure I disagree with Sam in general, but there are exceptions.

  • http://www.LawyerMarkJones.com/ Mark Jones

    Sam, I agree overall with your post. I must say though that Facebook is great for family lawyers – both for evidence and for advertising. For advertising, I have seen good results from retargetting ads on facebook using services like adroll.

  • Ken Shigley

    With a selective personal injury law practice I have to cast a broad net to get a select few cases. When social media started up, my web marketing guru in Silicon Valley told me to set up profiles, get a few connections and see what happened. Over time people I knew in high school in the sixties found me on Facebook. I have had great case referrals from the children of high school classmates. While you don’t want to waste too much time on social media, which can be a terrible time sink, you just don’t know what that “front of mind awareness” in a large network can produce.