If you connect everything you have—website, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.—and use the various web tools available to you, someone is more likely to find you when conducting a search on your area of law. A Facebook page may not get you a client, but it might get a potential client to visit your website for more information or pick up the phone and call you. As a result, Facebook pages are a unique opportunity to help you increase your presence on the web. Facebook shows up early in Google and Bing searches and your page might well show up earlier in search results than your website.

Most firms use a Facebook profile instead of a page to serve as their presence on Facebook; generally not a good idea. First, Facebook’s terms of service make it very clear that an account is for an individual, not a business. Second, Facebook’s pages, especially since the recent changes, have a variety of tools that make the use of a page a better choice for marketing purposes.

A Facebook account has a wall, photos and videos. Facebook pages have the additional capability for tabs which act as linked documents, much like a regular website. A simple Facebook page can include detailed biographies, pictures and contact information for all attorneys in a firm along with other useful information for potential clients. In the very near future Facebook will enable advanced coding on pages, meaning designers will be limited only by their imaginations and the space. There will no doubt be some extraordinary Facebook pages after the changes are released.

Another neat trick on a Facebook page is the ability to create a special landing page. A landing page is the first item someone sees when they visit a Facebook page the first time and until they click like. For an example take a look at Dell’s Facebook page. Since Facebook walls tend to have a lot of constantly changing information, a landing page is a great way to control the first impression of your firm a potential client sees on Facebook.
Pages are easier to follow than accounts. With an account a user has to ask permission to become a Friend and you have to accept. For a page a user can choose to click like, or just visit your page and follow the information you provide.

You can advertise a page on Facebook; a great way to increase your followers at a low cost. If you haven’t tried a Facebook ad consider it. Ads aren’t expensive and can help point users to your page or website.

Pages also provide insights. You can see how many people are viewing your page, their age range and other useful information to help you identify who is interested in your firm.

Last, now you can actually communicate as your page. You can choose to surf Facebook as the page instead of as an individual; visit individual accounts and other pages on Facebook and comment when appropriate (and ethical.) This ability increases the profile of the page and provides the opportunity for you to communicate with Facebook users at large, increasing your firm’s presence.

Don’t give up the useful tools available to you by staying with a Facebook profile instead of a page. Convert your account to one you use for yourself, still an excellent networking tool, and take advantage of the opportunities provided by a page. Working with a page and an account together you can make your Facebook presence and marketing opportunities even stronger than before.

Jennifer Ellis is an attorney, law practice management consultant, and speaker.