10 Law Firm Social Media Myths Debunked

by JD Supra Perspectives

While it remains a valuable marketing tool, social media can be difficult to navigate. The new online way of interacting has changed the way lawyers communicate and connect with each other and with their target audiences. And in the legal community, there are a number of myths that keep attorneys from accepting the full value of social media. The purpose of this article is to identify and debunk these myths.

Myth 1: "No one trusts social media, so why should I even bother?"

There’s a pervasive idea in firms that social media doesn’t work because no one trusts it, but the truth is that social media can be an excellent tool for establishing and maintaining relationships globally. While it may not work for every firm, it could work for yours. 

Chris Postizzi, director of communications at WilmerHale, recently saw both sides of the argument play out. Postizzi shared that his team recently conducted social media research for one practice group that showed very little participation from firm clients, prospects or industry thought leaders on social media, so they decided not include it in the marketing mix.

On the other hand, one of the firm’s other practices asked for business development efforts and the research showed just the opposite. There were multiple clients, prospects, former classmates, thought leaders and other relevant contacts who were not only on social media, but also very active. This allowed select partners to engage with these contacts regularly, which has led to multiple speaking engagements and other business development-related activities.

...find out which platforms best fit you and your target audience

According to Postizzi, “The key is to conduct a high amount of research before engaging online. We regularly demonstrate to our lawyers the level of trust that exists on these platforms, but at the end of the day, it’s up to each one of them to build that trust with the people they interact with online. This is not a one-size-fits-all situation, and social media engagement is not for everyone.”

Research the different social media platforms to find out which platforms best fit you and your target audience. This may vary by practice and/or sector. Your research should answer:

  1. What are my law firm clients doing on social media?
  2. What are my peers and law school friends doing on social media?
  3. Is our target audience on social media? If so, on which platforms are they?
  4. Are law firm referrals being made on the social media platforms I want to use?

Once you have these answers, you can decide which platforms best fit your relationships needs.

Myth 2: Attorneys need to be on every social media channel.

Not every social media platform will align with your legal business development strategy.

Amy Juers, CEO of Edge Marketing, says, “It’s neither true that lawyers and law firms should be everywhere on social media nor is it wise. Attorneys and law firms need to think about their purpose for being on social media and then engage in an effort to develop relationships.” She shared that most of companies are using some kind of social media. Facebook is the biggest social media platform, and if you’re in a solo or small firm and/or consumer (B2C) firm, Facebook should be an integral part of your social media efforts. LinkedIn is ideal for B2B attorneys.

In addition, if you are considering engaging on Twitter, it is worth using for lawyers who want to stay engaged in policy conversation and global issues and get in front of the media.

Listen to what your clients, prospects and colleagues are saying, and evaluate how your competitors are communicating...

Ask, “What is the purpose for being on social media and which social media platforms are best for the firm?” 

Begin with one or two platforms. Do your research. Listen to what your clients, prospects and colleagues are saying, and evaluate how your competitors are communicating. Then continue to expand your network, participate in conversations and showcase yourself as a thought leader in your practice area. Most importantly, remember to connect on the platforms only where you know your specific audience is engaging on social media.

Myth 3: Social media is just another vehicle for sending out thought leadership — nothing more

Not only is social media a vehicle for thought leadership, but also for validation (focus on your targeted audience), retention (post actively and frequently) and lead generation (share links to gated content).

Myth 4: Social media is too time consuming, hard to manage and complicated.

You don’t have to spend a lot of time managing your social media platforms in order to reap the legal marketing and business development benefits of listening to what contacts are saying and staying up on the latest trends. According to Pew’s 2018 Social Media Update, about 68 percent of all U.S. adults are on Facebook, and roughly 74 percent visit the site daily. That’s not even mentioning that roughly 73 percent of all U.S. adults use multiple social media platforms, according to the survey. And, according to Omnicore, the average time a LinkedIn user spends on the site each month is 17 minutes.

The important thing to remember is that all social media platforms are based on the same core principals of informing, educating and entertaining audiences. Having good content on the right platform is a universal requirement if you want to make the best use of your time.

A few useful tools to manage your social media platforms are Hootsuite, CoSchedule and HubSpot. These tools allow you to easily schedule your posts and track performance results.

...are there listening because of LinkedIn’s reputation as a credible and trustworthy source.

Myth 5: GC aren't looking, attorneys aren't interested and it's impossible to convince them of value.

According to the 2017 State of Digital and Content Marketing Survey, 73 percent of in-house counsel use LinkedIn as a listening tool to stay informed of the latest news, developments and conversations occurring in topics that interest them.

Even if you do not see in-house counsel posting to social media, they are there listening because of LinkedIn’s reputation as a credible and trustworthy source.

Myth 6: Social media metrics are meaningless and/or hard to track and measure.

Think of social media as a platform to build your firm’s brand, attorneys and areas of practice. Third-party tools like Google Analytics make it easier to track your websites traffic, visitors, pageview and referrals. WordPress also has an analytics tool to help you track and measure data. Hootsuite and HubSpot have reports on metrics and trends that provide a holistic analysis on what is happening to your content and website’s performance, email campaigns, lead nurturing, and contacts in sales funnels to help you measure data.

If someone is engaging with you on social media, you can assume they are interested in you or your firm, or they are a competitor.

Myth 7: Social media doesn't work, drive new business or positively affect the bottom line.

LinkedIn boasts more than 530 million user profiles, and Facebook is the most widely used social media platform with 79 percent of U.S. internet users. These users are driving website traffic. In fact, 80 percent of social media B2B leads come from LinkedIn.

The keys are establishing a credible presence, creating great content to effectively reach your target audience, and then engaging with that audience.

Myth 8: Social media is just a place to push out content.

As a legal marketer, you can demonstrate a real ROI if you can prove you are getting business from your work. Monitor and listen to see what your clients are doing and saying.

“Social media is an excellent way to monitor and listen to conversations that are relevant to your partners, and potentially their clients,” said Postizzi. “We may monitor what is being shared on social media about a pro bono matter we are working on, a specific change in the law, or a host of other areas when appropriate. And we, of course, are also active on social media when it comes to public relations.”

"Social media is an excellent way to monitor and listen to conversations that are relevant to your partners, and potentially their clients..."

Willig, Williams & Davidson, a union-side law firm in Philadelphia, created a social media committee in which the members draft new and timely content, share relevant news stories, and engage on hot-button issues on their Facebook page. When they shared a Supreme Court decision that affected one union, they had 6,636 views, 36 shares and more than 30 positive comments within hours.

In addition, one of the firm’s labor attorneys was interviewed by Bloomberg Law as a result of a Google search that brought up a relevant blog she published and shared via social media.

Law firms should also monitor comments by lawyers across matters and encourage them to share posts by other attorneys in the firm. Get lawyers engaged and encourage them to follow clients and explore opportunities from different social media sources.

Myth 9: Social media creates an unnecessary risk to the firm.

There is a lot of risk on social media; attorneys certainly have validity in their fears. But this article has addressed the various ways in which social media can be a boon in law firm marketing.

Legal marketers should act as thought leaders in their firm by addressing the risks and non-risks and explaining the value of social media to their attorneys by developing a social media policy for firm management that can then be used as a training tool for firm staff. Present the value of the social media policy, and then videotape the training to post to your firm intranet for any new staff training and update it every few years.

Myth 10: Social media does not affect bottom line or bring in business.

You cannot always show an ROI on social engagement. With that said, it is important to have a good strategy that is aligned with your goals and includes talking to the right audience in the right places.

Utilize Google Analytics to show trends and validate that potential clients are going to your website through social media. Having these valuable metrics on hand makes the case for having a valuable social media program and the importance of getting the attorneys involved.

Interested in learning more about marketing technology? Be sure to check out the July/August issue of LMA's Strategies magazine.


[This article originally appeared in LMA Strategies magazine, link above. Jennifer Simpson Carr (@jsimpsoncarr) is the senior business development manager at Lowenstein Sandler LLP. Gina F. Rubel, Esq. (@ginarubel) is president and CEO of Furia Rubel Communications.]

Written by:

JD Supra Perspectives

JD Supra Perspectives on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
- hide

JD Supra Privacy Policy

Updated: May 25, 2018:

JD Supra is a legal publishing service that connects experts and their content with broader audiences of professionals, journalists and associations.

This Privacy Policy describes how JD Supra, LLC ("JD Supra" or "we," "us," or "our") collects, uses and shares personal data collected from visitors to our website (located at www.jdsupra.com) (our "Website") who view only publicly-available content as well as subscribers to our services (such as our email digests or author tools)(our "Services"). By using our Website and registering for one of our Services, you are agreeing to the terms of this Privacy Policy.

Please note that if you subscribe to one of our Services, you can make choices about how we collect, use and share your information through our Privacy Center under the "My Account" dashboard (available if you are logged into your JD Supra account).

Collection of Information

Registration Information. When you register with JD Supra for our Website and Services, either as an author or as a subscriber, you will be asked to provide identifying information to create your JD Supra account ("Registration Data"), such as your:

  • Email
  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Company Name
  • Company Industry
  • Title
  • Country

Other Information: We also collect other information you may voluntarily provide. This may include content you provide for publication. We may also receive your communications with others through our Website and Services (such as contacting an author through our Website) or communications directly with us (such as through email, feedback or other forms or social media). If you are a subscribed user, we will also collect your user preferences, such as the types of articles you would like to read.

Information from third parties (such as, from your employer or LinkedIn): We may also receive information about you from third party sources. For example, your employer may provide your information to us, such as in connection with an article submitted by your employer for publication. If you choose to use LinkedIn to subscribe to our Website and Services, we also collect information related to your LinkedIn account and profile.

Your interactions with our Website and Services: As is true of most websites, we gather certain information automatically. This information includes IP addresses, browser type, Internet service provider (ISP), referring/exit pages, operating system, date/time stamp and clickstream data. We use this information to analyze trends, to administer the Website and our Services, to improve the content and performance of our Website and Services, and to track users' movements around the site. We may also link this automatically-collected data to personal information, for example, to inform authors about who has read their articles. Some of this data is collected through information sent by your web browser. We also use cookies and other tracking technologies to collect this information. To learn more about cookies and other tracking technologies that JD Supra may use on our Website and Services please see our "Cookies Guide" page.

How do we use this information?

We use the information and data we collect principally in order to provide our Website and Services. More specifically, we may use your personal information to:

  • Operate our Website and Services and publish content;
  • Distribute content to you in accordance with your preferences as well as to provide other notifications to you (for example, updates about our policies and terms);
  • Measure readership and usage of the Website and Services;
  • Communicate with you regarding your questions and requests;
  • Authenticate users and to provide for the safety and security of our Website and Services;
  • Conduct research and similar activities to improve our Website and Services; and
  • Comply with our legal and regulatory responsibilities and to enforce our rights.

How is your information shared?

  • Content and other public information (such as an author profile) is shared on our Website and Services, including via email digests and social media feeds, and is accessible to the general public.
  • If you choose to use our Website and Services to communicate directly with a company or individual, such communication may be shared accordingly.
  • Readership information is provided to publishing law firms and authors of content to give them insight into their readership and to help them to improve their content.
  • Our Website may offer you the opportunity to share information through our Website, such as through Facebook's "Like" or Twitter's "Tweet" button. We offer this functionality to help generate interest in our Website and content and to permit you to recommend content to your contacts. You should be aware that sharing through such functionality may result in information being collected by the applicable social media network and possibly being made publicly available (for example, through a search engine). Any such information collection would be subject to such third party social media network's privacy policy.
  • Your information may also be shared to parties who support our business, such as professional advisors as well as web-hosting providers, analytics providers and other information technology providers.
  • Any court, governmental authority, law enforcement agency or other third party where we believe disclosure is necessary to comply with a legal or regulatory obligation, or otherwise to protect our rights, the rights of any third party or individuals' personal safety, or to detect, prevent, or otherwise address fraud, security or safety issues.
  • To our affiliated entities and in connection with the sale, assignment or other transfer of our company or our business.

How We Protect Your Information

JD Supra takes reasonable and appropriate precautions to insure that user information is protected from loss, misuse and unauthorized access, disclosure, alteration and destruction. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. You should keep in mind that no Internet transmission is ever 100% secure or error-free. Where you use log-in credentials (usernames, passwords) on our Website, please remember that it is your responsibility to safeguard them. If you believe that your log-in credentials have been compromised, please contact us at privacy@jdsupra.com.

Children's Information

Our Website and Services are not directed at children under the age of 16 and we do not knowingly collect personal information from children under the age of 16 through our Website and/or Services. If you have reason to believe that a child under the age of 16 has provided personal information to us, please contact us, and we will endeavor to delete that information from our databases.

Links to Other Websites

Our Website and Services may contain links to other websites. The operators of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using our Website or Services and click a link to another site, you will leave our Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We are not responsible for the data collection and use practices of such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of our Website and Services and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Information for EU and Swiss Residents

JD Supra's principal place of business is in the United States. By subscribing to our website, you expressly consent to your information being processed in the United States.

  • Our Legal Basis for Processing: Generally, we rely on our legitimate interests in order to process your personal information. For example, we rely on this legal ground if we use your personal information to manage your Registration Data and administer our relationship with you; to deliver our Website and Services; understand and improve our Website and Services; report reader analytics to our authors; to personalize your experience on our Website and Services; and where necessary to protect or defend our or another's rights or property, or to detect, prevent, or otherwise address fraud, security, safety or privacy issues. Please see Article 6(1)(f) of the E.U. General Data Protection Regulation ("GDPR") In addition, there may be other situations where other grounds for processing may exist, such as where processing is a result of legal requirements (GDPR Article 6(1)(c)) or for reasons of public interest (GDPR Article 6(1)(e)). Please see the "Your Rights" section of this Privacy Policy immediately below for more information about how you may request that we limit or refrain from processing your personal information.
  • Your Rights
    • Right of Access/Portability: You can ask to review details about the information we hold about you and how that information has been used and disclosed. Note that we may request to verify your identification before fulfilling your request. You can also request that your personal information is provided to you in a commonly used electronic format so that you can share it with other organizations.
    • Right to Correct Information: You may ask that we make corrections to any information we hold, if you believe such correction to be necessary.
    • Right to Restrict Our Processing or Erasure of Information: You also have the right in certain circumstances to ask us to restrict processing of your personal information or to erase your personal information. Where you have consented to our use of your personal information, you can withdraw your consent at any time.

You can make a request to exercise any of these rights by emailing us at privacy@jdsupra.com or by writing to us at:

Privacy Officer
JD Supra, LLC
10 Liberty Ship Way, Suite 300
Sausalito, California 94965

You can also manage your profile and subscriptions through our Privacy Center under the "My Account" dashboard.

We will make all practical efforts to respect your wishes. There may be times, however, where we are not able to fulfill your request, for example, if applicable law prohibits our compliance. Please note that JD Supra does not use "automatic decision making" or "profiling" as those terms are defined in the GDPR.

  • Timeframe for retaining your personal information: We will retain your personal information in a form that identifies you only for as long as it serves the purpose(s) for which it was initially collected as stated in this Privacy Policy, or subsequently authorized. We may continue processing your personal information for longer periods, but only for the time and to the extent such processing reasonably serves the purposes of archiving in the public interest, journalism, literature and art, scientific or historical research and statistical analysis, and subject to the protection of this Privacy Policy. For example, if you are an author, your personal information may continue to be published in connection with your article indefinitely. When we have no ongoing legitimate business need to process your personal information, we will either delete or anonymize it, or, if this is not possible (for example, because your personal information has been stored in backup archives), then we will securely store your personal information and isolate it from any further processing until deletion is possible.
  • Onward Transfer to Third Parties: As noted in the "How We Share Your Data" Section above, JD Supra may share your information with third parties. When JD Supra discloses your personal information to third parties, we have ensured that such third parties have either certified under the EU-U.S. or Swiss Privacy Shield Framework and will process all personal data received from EU member states/Switzerland in reliance on the applicable Privacy Shield Framework or that they have been subjected to strict contractual provisions in their contract with us to guarantee an adequate level of data protection for your data.

California Privacy Rights

Pursuant to Section 1798.83 of the California Civil Code, our customers who are California residents have the right to request certain information regarding our disclosure of personal information to third parties for their direct marketing purposes.

You can make a request for this information by emailing us at privacy@jdsupra.com or by writing to us at:

Privacy Officer
JD Supra, LLC
10 Liberty Ship Way, Suite 300
Sausalito, California 94965

Some browsers have incorporated a Do Not Track (DNT) feature. These features, when turned on, send a signal that you prefer that the website you are visiting not collect and use data regarding your online searching and browsing activities. As there is not yet a common understanding on how to interpret the DNT signal, we currently do not respond to DNT signals on our site.

Access/Correct/Update/Delete Personal Information

For non-EU/Swiss residents, if you would like to know what personal information we have about you, you can send an e-mail to privacy@jdsupra.com. We will be in contact with you (by mail or otherwise) to verify your identity and provide you the information you request. We will respond within 30 days to your request for access to your personal information. In some cases, we may not be able to remove your personal information, in which case we will let you know if we are unable to do so and why. If you would like to correct or update your personal information, you can manage your profile and subscriptions through our Privacy Center under the "My Account" dashboard. If you would like to delete your account or remove your information from our Website and Services, send an e-mail to privacy@jdsupra.com.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Privacy Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our Privacy Policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use our Website and Services following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this Privacy Policy, the practices of this site, your dealings with our Website or Services, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at: privacy@jdsupra.com.

JD Supra Cookie Guide

As with many websites, JD Supra's website (located at www.jdsupra.com) (our "Website") and our services (such as our email article digests)(our "Services") use a standard technology called a "cookie" and other similar technologies (such as, pixels and web beacons), which are small data files that are transferred to your computer when you use our Website and Services. These technologies automatically identify your browser whenever you interact with our Website and Services.

How We Use Cookies and Other Tracking Technologies

We use cookies and other tracking technologies to:

  1. Improve the user experience on our Website and Services;
  2. Store the authorization token that users receive when they login to the private areas of our Website. This token is specific to a user's login session and requires a valid username and password to obtain. It is required to access the user's profile information, subscriptions, and analytics;
  3. Track anonymous site usage; and
  4. Permit connectivity with social media networks to permit content sharing.

There are different types of cookies and other technologies used our Website, notably:

  • "Session cookies" - These cookies only last as long as your online session, and disappear from your computer or device when you close your browser (like Internet Explorer, Google Chrome or Safari).
  • "Persistent cookies" - These cookies stay on your computer or device after your browser has been closed and last for a time specified in the cookie. We use persistent cookies when we need to know who you are for more than one browsing session. For example, we use them to remember your preferences for the next time you visit.
  • "Web Beacons/Pixels" - Some of our web pages and emails may also contain small electronic images known as web beacons, clear GIFs or single-pixel GIFs. These images are placed on a web page or email and typically work in conjunction with cookies to collect data. We use these images to identify our users and user behavior, such as counting the number of users who have visited a web page or acted upon one of our email digests.

JD Supra Cookies. We place our own cookies on your computer to track certain information about you while you are using our Website and Services. For example, we place a session cookie on your computer each time you visit our Website. We use these cookies to allow you to log-in to your subscriber account. In addition, through these cookies we are able to collect information about how you use the Website, including what browser you may be using, your IP address, and the URL address you came from upon visiting our Website and the URL you next visit (even if those URLs are not on our Website). We also utilize email web beacons to monitor whether our emails are being delivered and read. We also use these tools to help deliver reader analytics to our authors to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

Analytics/Performance Cookies. JD Supra also uses the following analytic tools to help us analyze the performance of our Website and Services as well as how visitors use our Website and Services:

  • HubSpot - For more information about HubSpot cookies, please visit legal.hubspot.com/privacy-policy.
  • New Relic - For more information on New Relic cookies, please visit www.newrelic.com/privacy.
  • Google Analytics - For more information on Google Analytics cookies, visit www.google.com/policies. To opt-out of being tracked by Google Analytics across all websites visit http://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout. This will allow you to download and install a Google Analytics cookie-free web browser.

Facebook, Twitter and other Social Network Cookies. Our content pages allow you to share content appearing on our Website and Services to your social media accounts through the "Like," "Tweet," or similar buttons displayed on such pages. To accomplish this Service, we embed code that such third party social networks provide and that we do not control. These buttons know that you are logged in to your social network account and therefore such social networks could also know that you are viewing the JD Supra Website.

Controlling and Deleting Cookies

If you would like to change how a browser uses cookies, including blocking or deleting cookies from the JD Supra Website and Services you can do so by changing the settings in your web browser. To control cookies, most browsers allow you to either accept or reject all cookies, only accept certain types of cookies, or prompt you every time a site wishes to save a cookie. It's also easy to delete cookies that are already saved on your device by a browser.

The processes for controlling and deleting cookies vary depending on which browser you use. To find out how to do so with a particular browser, you can use your browser's "Help" function or alternatively, you can visit http://www.aboutcookies.org which explains, step-by-step, how to control and delete cookies in most browsers.

Updates to This Policy

We may update this cookie policy and our Privacy Policy from time-to-time, particularly as technology changes. You can always check this page for the latest version. We may also notify you of changes to our privacy policy by email.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about how we use cookies and other tracking technologies, please contact us at: privacy@jdsupra.com.

- hide

This website uses cookies to improve user experience, track anonymous site usage, store authorization tokens and permit sharing on social media networks. By continuing to browse this website you accept the use of cookies. Click here to read more about how we use cookies.