Facebook use continues to rise, and many lawyers are using Facebook in their personal lives to connect with friends and family, but Facebook can be a valuable business building tool, and another way to communicate and engage with colleagues, law firm employees and even clients.

One way to do this is by creating a Company Page for your law firm and follow these six steps.

1. Define Administrator Roles

In the past, Facebook pages had only one level of administrator, but Facebook has recently created administrator roles, allowing firms to give different levels of permission to different people who have access to the firm's Page. This avoids the problem that arises if only one Page administrator has access to the Page, and that administrator leaves the firm.

It also will aid firms who have employees who are interested in contributing to the firm's Facebook presence, but who the firm may not want to have access to all aspects of the 'back end' of the firm's Page.

2. View insights

It is often difficult to determine whether your social media and other efforts are reaching the audience you would like them to reach, or if your are engaging your audience. Facebook administrators (depending on the Role they have been assigned) have the ability to see 'insights' that show how many people your Page is reaching on a weekly basis, and how many people are "talking about this" or engaging with your content by liking, commenting or sharing it with others.

In addition to these 'big picture' stats, page administrators can see how many people have been reached with an individual post. For each post, you can find out:

Reach: The number of people who have seen your post (within the first 28 days after the post was published)

Engaged Users: The number of people who have actually clicked on your post (within the first 28 days after the post was published)

Talking about this: The number of people who have liked, commented, shared, responded to an event or answered a question you posed in an update (within the first 28 days after the post was published)

Virality: The percentage of people who have engaged with the post in any of the ways mentioned in 'talking about this' above, out of the number of people who have seen the post.

3. Schedule posts

Another relatively new feature of Facebook pages is the ability to schedule posts in advance. F irms can create a number of posts about newsworthy issues, happenings or events.  They can schedule the posts to be published in the  future.

Since batching or 'chunking' similar work together is one of the best ways to be productive, this can help firms to ensure that their message is getting seen by their connections and colleagues - or to their employees - without needing to constantly go back to update the Page.

Page administrators can concentrate on engaging with others by spending only a few minutes a day on Facebook, with one weekly time set aside for creating updates.

4. Offer Valuable Information to Your Audience

With Facebook's "apps" or "tabs," you can create calls to action. For example, if you offer free information or downloads from your website, such as a personal injury guide, FAQs on divorce in your state, a guide to the court system, etc., you can direct Facebook visitors to your website by creating a custom App.

Upload an appropriate image and a link that directs visitors to a landing page you designate.

5. Use Your Timeline Effectively:

Create Milestones, which are to Pages what Life Events are to personal Profiles. Milestones are designated with a flag icon and are the full width of the page (843 x 403 pixels), rather than the smaller size of regular posts (520 pixels wide).

A Milestone must include a title, but it can also include other details. Mergers, office moves, and the addition of a new partner are events you might want to include as Milestones.

6. Star stories to expand the post to widescreen and make it more prominent.

Pin a post to the top of your Timeline for up to a week--after that, it returns to its chronological place in the Timeline.

Backdate posts for special events in the life of your firm that occurred before you started your Page.

Want more tips on what lawyers can do with Facebook - both as individuals and with law firm Pages?

Take a look at Facebook in One Hour for Lawyers, my latest book with co-author Dennis Kennedy, now available for pre-order, with a 15% discount.

I'd love to hear how you and your firm are using Facebook, too! Connect with me on LinkedIn and let me know your ideas.

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