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Practical and effective social media use for lawyers: Snapchat edition

This is the fourth in my series about how lawyers use social media in comparison to how I think lawyers should use social media to leverage relationships and, most importantly, build friendships. I’ve already looked at Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. This week: Snapchat.

Imagine a group of kids huddled by a campfire, listening intently to their camp counselor tell them a ghost story. There seems to be no more perfect setting for complete attention and engagement of an audience.

(Well, no other except maybe the courtroom in front of a jury. But I digress.)

Snapchat is this generation’s campfire. It is the perfect platform for storytelling lawyers to hone their craft, develop business and unleash their creativity.

Why should lawyers use Snapchat?

More users than ever are embracing Snapchat. As of Feb. 29, the number of Snapchat daily views was 8 billion. Facebook, by comparison, hit that same mark in November. The difference between Snapchat and Facebook is that people are engaging with Snapchat, while scrolling past Facebook videos.

I know what some of you are thinking: Isn’t Snapchat that sexting app? Isn’t Snapchat for young people? Remember, it wasn’t too long ago that “Facebook was just for young people.” Look how mainstream Facebook is now.

How should lawyers use Snapchat?

For business development, Snapchat is the perfect platform to give your tribe (your friends, clients, followers) a behind-the-scenes glimpse of your life and practice. The No. 1 reason why a client hires a lawyer is because the client trusts the lawyer. Clients trust people that they identify with. The engagement on Snapchat allows you to build a rapport with your tribe.

Moreover, because followers on Snapchat are intently listening and watching your video stories, it is a great opportunity to provide value by giving some legal information to them and becoming a trusted source.

Finally, Snapchat is a great way to be creative with your storytelling. Much like a trial attorney uses exhibits or a speaker uses PowerPoint, there are various ways to dazzle and entertain your audience on Snapchat through the use of emojis, text and video edits.

The best way to get started on Snapchat is download it to your phone, add some friends and start telling your story. Here is a great tutorial for Snapchat.  There is a Maryland Snapchatters Meetup group, which discusses best practices.

Snapchat is the perfect platform for storytelling lawyers to hone their craft, develop business and unleash their creativity. Don’t be left out in the cold with no future clients and the luddite ghosts. Now that would be a scary story.