What comes to mind when people in your community hear your law firm's name? Do they know who you are? Do they have any negative or positive reactions?

For too many law firms, the answer is that people simply don't know who they are.

Why should you care if legal consumers in your area know who your firm is? After all, most consumers don't need an attorney very often, right?

While that's true, there are significant benefits to making sure that your law firm is known and trusted in your community - even by people who don't have an immediate legal need. 

Here are three reasons your firm should care about driving online engagement:

1. Most legal consumers start their search by asking for referrals. When people are facing difficult situations, they turn to their family members and friends for advice. If those friends and family members know and trust your firm, that advice will be to call you. But you can't get these types of referrals if people don't know who you are.

2. Fewer legal consumers are conducting generic searches for "lawyer" or "attorney" each year. And more and more are searching for specific law firm and attorney names. What's even more important, people who conduct a search for a specific attorney are twice as likely to actually contact the law firm. Again, people in your community can't conduct these valuable types of searches if they don't know your name.

3. Being active in social media can set your law firm apart from the competition. Too many law firms are still not taking advantage of the opportunity social media presents to be visible to people who may need their services today or in the future. But that can be a good thing for you. If you put in just a few minutes each day, you can make your law firm top of mind with legal consumers in your community.

The time you invest in managing online engagement will very likely not result in an immediate increase in calls to your law firm. But over time, you will see that more and more of your clients come to you because they already know you to be a trustworthy firm that can help them. And that in turn will lead to even more, more qualified leads for your firm.

If you haven't already checked out FindLaw's white paper on developing a strong law firm brand, I highly encourage you to do so. You can download a free copy here.