It’s no secret that social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter and others have exploded in popularity in recent years. Almost everyone that uses the Internet uses social media in some way, whether to keep in touch with friends or simply find out the latest trends in celebrity news.
Even businesses have started using it recently to promote their products and services, and why not? It’s extremely cost effective if not free, and since almost everyone uses it, it’s a great way to get the word out about the masses. You’ll find everyone from your local ice cream parlor to you car salesmen to your hairdresser using these sites to advertise specials, give discounts and just keep in touch with their customers.
And now, you can even use these tools to find legal advice. Corporate businesses such as law firms, financial advisors and other professionals have been using LinkedIn for social networking needs for a while now, but not really to market services, more to stay in touch with colleagues, or others within the industry to find out about job prospects or professional advancement.
It’s only recently that law firms have been offering service descriptions and in some cases, even legal advice on online sites such as Facebook. While you probably aren’t going to get detailed legal advice for free on a Facebook wall, some law firms are taking the risk in encouraging some inquiries as a way to drum up business for their firms. Will this extend to eDiscovery advice as well? Time will tell.
As some young lawyers say, why not? Other businesses do it, and it works out well. If you can find a restaurant or dry cleaner using these sites, why can’t you find an attorney? Or eDiscovery provider? It’s no secret that traditional methods of advertising are going downhill. Newspapers are slowly going out of business one by one and in this digital age, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who still uses the Yellow Pages to find businesses and services when a Google search takes all of a few seconds. So is there any harm in using social media sites for advertising legal services?
It’s still too early to tell, but many firms don’t think so. Of course you’re going to be limited in the amount of free advice you can get, just as you always have been, but these firms have found that Facebook and other sites are the future of advertising and they are taking advantage of it.