More people use Facebook than any other social network – by far.
No question that LinkedIn remains the safe and, probably, the most popular network for lawyers. However, networking savy lawyers are finding Facebook a good choice when it comes to building relationships and word of mouth.
More than one lawyer has told me that consumers and businesses, at all levels, want to get to know their lawyer – personally and professionally. Facebook provides the opportunity to do both by sharing personally and professionally.
If you want to tip your toes in the water and begin networking on Facebook as a way to grow your business, you need to start connecting with people — you need to grow your network. You do this by becoming a “Facebook friend” with people you’d like to get to know and people you’d like to get know better.
Growing “Facebook friends” requires you to reach out and add friends and getting people to add you as a “Facebook friend.”
To make yourself “friendable,” you need to let people know who you are. Here’s a few tips to guide you.
- Complete your Facebook profile. You have no idea how frustrating it is for me when I get friend requests or go to befriend someone Facebook suggests and their is no information as to who the person is. Facebook enables you to tell people what you do, what you have done, and what you are all about. Like other social networks, Facebook walks you through the profile building process. Follow the process. Also add all of your contact info, it makes you look more approachable.
- Regularly share items on Facebook. It’s tough to befriend people when they don’t share items on Facebook. Whether it is family pictures or sharing items from news stories, people are understandably looking for you to do more than change your profile picture or share an item every six months. I look for people who add value to my life whether it’s something that makes me smile, like and comment, such as someone’s daughter and two dogs selling girl scout cookies, or someone sharing an in-depth story of a possible NBC cover up on the Brian Williams’ story.
- Make public both your profile and what you share. It’s near impossible for me to befriend someone if I cannot see what they are all about. Sharing 99% of your posts with only your friends, as opposed to the public, will make it tough for you to grow a network. As I expand my Facebook network, I befriend people I do not know in real life. If they are sharing news items and commentary, in addition to personal items, I do not feel like I am prying when I ask to be their “Facebook friend.” If they share only personal items, I understand that is how they use Facebook and, in most cases, choose not to befriend. Get the idea? You may choose to share some items with only friends, but if you are looking to grow a meaninful network, share most of your items with the public.
I understand many of you are afraid of using Faecbook as a professional network. You may wish to revaluate your thinking.
You network in the real world, at least in part, so that others get to know you as a real person. You also do it because it’s fun and rewarding. Whether it’s a church board, little league coaching, bar associatons, or legal networks you build friendships, trust, word of mouth and relationships.
Networking and relationship building is still best done face to face. Social networks just accelerate relationships and keep alive those relationships from miles away and as time passes betweeen when you see each other.