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Why You Can’t Afford to Sit on the Social Media Sidelines Any Longer

Harlan Schillinger is in charge of business development at Glen Lerner Injury Attorneys.

By Harlan Schillinger

If social media has the power to sway a presidential election, maybe it’s time you got in the game. In fact, you must get in the game now. Remember how long it took for you to get going with an internet presence and marketing strategy?

Most lawyers have sat on the sidelines of social media for far too long. Only early adopters, who started leveraging social mediums like Facebook and Twitter at the outset, are ahead of the game, having already spent years building their reputations and communities online. Just like early adopters of internet marketing.  

While marketing- and social-savvy law firms are certainly ahead, it’s not too late to catch up. That’s the beauty of social media—it’s open to all, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

So why is it worth it for attorneys to have a social media presence? Simple: As a lawyer you are already in the service industry. You work with people, for people, and therefore are intimately tied to clients and community by the nature of your profession.

Growing your tribe of followers

Social media just gives you one more way to nurture those legal marketing intangibles: connecting with community, growing your professional network, communicating your values, demonstrating thought leadership, educating others on the law, growing your tribe of followers and earning trust. It gives you a way to express honest credibility and reputation. It humanizes you!

You’ll notice that nowhere in that list did the phrase “making transactions” show up. That’s because the heart of social media will always be social—it’s about people, connections and community. Having a social-media presence should never be predicated on making money. Sure, that’s a benefit that certainly occurs, but it’s simply a side effect of marketing via social media.

One example of a lawyer who has figured this out is injury attorney Glen Lerner. Facebook is his favorite social medium. Watch the Glen Lerner Gives Back documentary video about feeding 1,360 families Thanksgiving dinner on Chicago’s South Side and you’ll get whole point of social media.

The story is told entirely from the viewpoint of the community outreach coordinator who took Lerner’s idea and ran with it. Lerner was simply the catalyst, but his heartfelt contribution continues to echo in the local community—and beyond.

Posts like these are never transactional; they’re personal. Social media strategy is not designed exclusively to get more clients or drive more traffic to the website—even though that happens—but rather to build credibility.

Social media feeds can work in many ways to build your reputation. A variety of different post styles can, for example:

  • share local history and stories,
  • connect to people and companies you admire,
  • inform about events or causes you care about and participate in,
  • showcase a new TV commercial or take a fresh spin on an existing advertising campaign,
  • convey critical news stories that relate to your practice,  
  • give helpful tips to your clients and followers, and
  • humanize you and make you more approachable.

When you already have so much skin in the game, there’s no reason to sit on the sidelines. Take social media for what it is—personal, not transactional. Then jump right in. Your social activity will make people think, act, laugh and, ultimately, remember you.

In today’s marketing world it is a necessary tool—and a must in your advertising and marketing strategies. Learn now how to grasp, use and facilitate social media. Just think about where you would be now if you took hold of your internet marketing 15 years ago. It’s always better to be out front rather than playing catch up. Don’t you agree?

Harlan Schillinger is in charge of business development at Glen Lerner Injury Attorneys. With offices nationally, Glen has one of the largest and most successful plaintiff’s practices in America. The firm already takes on well over a 1,000 cases a month, and Harlan is positioning the firm for even more growth.

Harlan attends many attorney meetings, conventions, and prominent roundtable forums throughout the country as a speaker and contributor, in order to help attorneys to stay on top of the legal marketing trends.

He actively participates on the National Trial Lawyers Association executive committee and is instrumental in the annual summit each year in South Beach, FL. Harlan is both a speaker and moderator.

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