Brand Building 101

  • March 13, 2014
  • Beverly Spencer

Social media is part of the lexicon of every law firm today. But not every law firm knows how to harness the potential of Facebook, Twitter and blogs to build their brand.

Think about social media as part of your marketing toolkit, says Jordan Furlong, senior consultant with Stem Legal Web Enterprises in Ottawa. It’s a way to market your firm, much like traditional ads, newsletters and more recently, websites, however it delivers a more nuanced portrait of your organization. It’s also a vehicle for developing the profiles and practices of your lawyers, and is a great way to engage and empower newer members of the firm.

Here are some of his best tips:


Law firms have the most trouble getting Facebook right, Furlong says. It’s not the same as your website; it’s much more relaxed and creates an opportunity to build a different narrative about your organization. The website is the formal china; Facebook is everyday dishes, he says.

Use Facebook to tell stories about your firm that you can’t easily express in an ad or tell on the website. For example, talk about your firm’s work in the community and its pro bono efforts; it’s an excellent way to engage associates and show a different side of the firm. Use it as a recruiting tool. Show the firm’s human side. A stellar example: Eversheds’s customized Facebook page.

Don’t ignore all the tools available on Facebook. Post videos; use applications such as JDSupra to stream additional content on to your page; add HTML to your site; and use as much of the Facebook real estate as possible by adding links to blogs, LinkedIn and your team members to the information page.

A caution: Don’t make it all about you. It’s important to encourage conversation. In other words, don’t be a poor host. It’s like inviting someone to your house for a party and not having the party, Furlong says.


Law firms should blog in a big way. That means “a blog for every offering you care to promote,” Furlong says. Multiple blogs not only indicate that your firm does a number of things very well, they also create a larger footprint online: more people will notice you.

Blogs provide an opportunity to nail down niches. Work at cornering the market: even firms that practise one type of law can have many types of blogs. And give full rein to your bloggers; a blog without a point of view, Furlong says, is just a newsletter. Many lawyers fear they will wind up muzzled if their blog is incorporated in the firm’s overall marketing strategy.

Assuage those fears by loosening the reins, within the limits of professionalism.

Finally, don’t forget to brand blogs under the firm’s banner. If it’s not branded and the lawyer leaves, the firm also loses the blog, its readers and the traffic.


Facebook may not be all about your firm, but Twitter is not about your firm at all: It’s about your readers. Don’t use it to distribute news releases; your Twitter feed should be a service. It’s a way to link to news of consequence to your readers. That means you have to know who your readers are and what they care about.

It’s hard to be engaging at an extremely broad level, so if you’re a full-service firm where everyone is a potential client, it’s best to leave the tweets to practice groups. In terms of what to put out there: be a “recommender.”

Point your readers to items that will be of interest to them and get readers to trust your judgment about what they should read.

Finally, follow strategically: who you follow on Twitter has an effect on your reputation and the legitimacy with which you’re viewed. “The more selective you are, the better it reflects on your firm.” And don’t forget to monitor your followers and purge spammers and porn sites.