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 disclosures: 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.