Just over 3 months ago, a local news blog in Rockville, Maryland ditched their stand-alone Rockville Central website and moved to its own Facebook page.

The reason? Facebook is the second most visited website on the Internet.

Brad Rouke, Rockville Central’s Founder and Publisher, regarding the move:

We believe that this suggests that Facebook is where people, by and large, have decided to go for their first-stop online community activities. Which begs the question: Why have a separate site, and try to drag people away from Facebook? Why not go where they are?

I’m not suggesting that you, as a lawyer or law firm, ditch your blog and move to Facebook. I am suggesting that you consider co-publishing your blog on Facebook.

Not via any sort of auto-feed, but in a tasteful and strategic way that allows your insight to be shared in a person’s Facebook newsfeed.

Jeff Sonderman at Poynter, writing on what Rockvile Central learned on its move to Facebook, provides three reasons to consider co-publishing on Facebook.

  • Your work may reach more people. Rockville Central saw their traffic almost double after the move to Facebook. Instead of people having to seek out your website, it is right in the newsfeed they already look at several times every day.
  • You can reach new people. Instead of only reaching people who would take the initiative to seek out your website, they are now reaching new and different types of people. When the information is easier to access, more people are likely to take the time to read it.
  • You can build relationships quickly. It is much easier to “like” an article on Facebook than it is to log in to a website and add a comment. Think of an online newspaper you may read. How often do you log in to write a comment on an interesting news story? The process is cumbersome. Now think of how easy it is to comment on a Facebook post. Facebook quickly creates conversation and community because it is easy and convenient.

Sonderman shares some tips for Facebook publishing based on the Rockville Central move.

  • You should use personal voices. Though you’ll publish posts in the name of your blog on Facebook, Facebook enables page administrators to toggle their active identity between their page name and their personal profile. This allows you to comment to posts personally.
  • Timing matters. People tend to look at Facebook before work, at lunch and after dinner. Publishing information during these peak traffic times can increase visibility, as the information is less likely to get lost in a crowded newsfeed.
  • Have a strategy beyond getting people to “like” your page on Facebook. Per Rouke, “Think first about developing a community within Facebook, which is what the platform is best at rather than trying to pull users away to your site with every post.” Think about what you can share on Facebook that you could not on your blog, making it at unique and interesting environment. You should have information on your Facebook page (photos, links, status updates, etc.) that is not on your blog.

Sonderman finally pointed out some challenges with publishing on Facebook.

  • The Notes application is a poor publication tool. There is no way to categorize or tag your notes, so information is unorganized and it is hard to search for specific articles.
  • Archiving and search functions are weak. Facebook is designed to distribute information as it is posted, not keep history of old posts.  If one of your readers is looking for an article that is more than a few days old, the only way to find it is to scroll through pages of information.

As a lawyer, you should never look at your blog as destination place for your target audience to come. Your goal should not to become the source.

By blogging you are joining a relevant conversation that already exists so as to enhance your reputation as an authority and spread your word of mouth reputation.

Facebook is the same. You are going to where many of your target audience already are. If you ignore Facebook, you are missing out on reaching a significant and growing segment of your target audience.

It’s probably time to start experimenting with bringing your blog to Facebook. I am.