Technology has many benefits, and if you’re like most people in the legal industry, you probably can no longer imagine doing your job without it. Email, the Internet and an endless number of social networks make connecting with people for business purposes easier than ever before. Many professionals feel like they need to get active on all the popular networks and stay up-to-date on each new trend, but this is not always necessary, especially for those at small law firms.

If social media has you overwhelmed, don’t worry!

We’ll break down the trends that you DON’T need to worry about, and the ones you should.

Social Media Trends You Should Ignore:

  • Snapchat. Snapchat, a photo-messaging app that allows users to send pictures with small captions that can be viewed for only a few seconds before they disappear, is one of the most popular smartphone apps of 2014, and many businesses are beginning to utilize it for marketing purposes. From Taco Bell to General Electric, companies are jumping into the app’s fun photo-sharing interface for promotional purposes. So, if it’s good enough for GE, why shouldn’t your small law firm use it? Snapchat’s users are mostly females, age 13-25 years old, not a demographic usually looking for legal help. The app may be fun and trendy, but its audience and content are not aligned with the legal industry’s target market, and this trend is unlikely to bring business to your firm.
  • Instagram. Instagram is another app that small law firms need not worry about. Its demographics are similar to Snapchat, as it’s visual appeal resonates well with millennial consumers. Like Snapchat, brands on Instagram often aim for a more informal way to showcase what they’re all about. While this tool can work incredibly well for consumer brands, especially those with a physical product to showcase, it doesn’t hold the same promise for professional service providers.
  • Google+. While Google+ initially seemed to hold a lot of promise for businesses, Google has aggressively shifted resources away from this network in 2014, and adoption of the platform has slowed as well. Google is notorious for shutting down products that don’t take off, and with the future of Google+ so uncertain, there are likely better places to invest your limited time.

Instead, Focus On These Social Networks:

  • LinkedIn. As the leading social network for professionals, LinkedIn is likely the best place for attorneys and other legal professionals to spend their time. Through professional groups and lively group discussions, small law firms can connect with like-minded individuals in targeted spheres, answer questions and position themselves as industry thought leaders. LinkedIn also recently introduced long-form posts, making it easier to share your blog content directly from your LinkedIn profile.
  • Twitter. Twitter isn’t just for 140 character jokes and celebrity rants anymore. Clients are taking to this social network to ask questions and interact with professionals and service providers in a quick, efficient manner. You can even use Twitter Search to find people who are tweeting terms like “need a lawyer” in your specific geographic area.

Focusing your small law firm’s online presence to LinkedIn and Twitter allow for better client service, and shows you’re a modern, forward-thinking professional organization. Is your office ready to take the next step toward getting tech-savvy? Read our White Paper, 6 Steps for Better Document Management, to learn how to take your small law firm into the cloud! Photo Credit: Rosaura Ochoa via Flickr Creative Commons