Other ways lawyers may use social media (besides marketing)


Lawyers are usually not early adopters. Although more and more lawyers are using social media for marketing, many others feel constricted by their employers’ policies (i.e., firms that insist the attorney promote the firm instead of themselves), by concerns about ethical issues, or, simply, by their natural tendency to “play it safe”.

Many attorneys who have no objection to using social media but are either overwhelmed by the myriad of choices or (believe they) just don’t have the time.

I see social media as nothing more than an electronic extension of the “real world”. It’s still just communication with people you know and people you want to know. We’ve been networking all our lives; why should networking online be any different?

True, the Internet provides reach and permanency that do not exist at a Chamber of Commerce dinner, although the presence of cameras on our phones tends to blur that distinction. But if we mind our P’s and Q’s (does anyone use that expression anymore?) it isn’t difficult to stay out of trouble. And let’s face it, it’s a lot easier and less time consuming to interact via your iPhone than it is to press the flesh, although, arguably, not as effective.

Whatever your viewpoint and experiences with social media, one thing we can all agree on is that it’s here to stay. Like any trend that changes the way people communicate, we ignore social media at our peril.

Social media is starting to be used as evidence, for example.

So, like it not, use it not, we all have to pay attention. Experts say, “lawyers already tuned into social media are not only on the right track, but will have a head start on the competition.”

How about you? How are you using social media in your law practice? Please add your comments below.


How lawyers are using social media marketing


Lawyers are starting to use social media in a variety of ways only one of which is marketing. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social networking platforms, make it easy to find prospective clients and referral sources, as well as other opportunities to grow your practice.

It’s easy to find people online who write for or consult with people in your target markets and it’s easy to approach them (“friend,” “follow”). If you’re not networking online, you’re missing out on a simple, inexpensive, and effective way to grow your practice and otherwise further your career.

I know. I resisted doing so for a very long time.

Then, I discovered Facebook and realized it’s not just a site for college kids. I spent time watching what others were doing and learned what to do (and what to avoid) to meet more people online and do business with them. I’ve made a lot of new friends on Facebook and re-connected with some old ones from high school and even earlier.

I set up a Twitter account, but didn’t use it. I just didn’t “get” it. I do now.

I’ve been blogging for a couple of years now, and this I do get. I just started working with a lawyer and went to her web site for a quick take on what she’s doing. Well, one of the first things I will suggest to her is to add a blog. I believe it is the single most valuable thing a lawyer can do to market their law practice online.

If you’re new to the world of social media (marketing) I can tell you that the individual components–the various sites and resources that are available to use–are relatively simple to understand and begin using, but if you’re like me, you won’t appreciate their power until you have a better understanding of how they all fit together.

Over the weekend, I read “Crush It!” by Gary Vaynerchuk. The book provides a fascinating look into a bigger-than-life personality and a road map for creating a brand and monetizing it via social media. I was surprised at how much I knew (and was already doing) but I also learned a lot. More importantly, the book made me think about my brand, my “DNA” as Vaynerchuk describes it, something every professional needs to think about, no matter what kind of marketing they use.

Another valuable lesson is the importance of being yourself. That’s sometimes hard for professionals to do, but it is our authenticity that makes us simultaneously unique and attractive to the people in our niche.

The bottom line is, once you create your own brand and use social media to connect with people in your niche markets, you will not only do a better job of selling yourself to the world, you will also attract a lot of business via the Internet traffic that is a natural byproduct of the social media network.

Educate yourself and get started. Social media is here to stay and if you take it one step at a time, it is not only remunerative, it’s a lot of fun.