In order to stay in touch with what is on the minds of those I serve regarding Social Media, I recently asked a question about Twitter:
“If you are not using Twitter, can you share your thoughts with me…is it discomfort, time, unfamiliarity,you don’t like to network, you think it’s silly, aren’t sure how it fits in to your current marketing plan or efforts, waiting for an easy tutorial to learn how, some combination of the above, all of the above, or any other reasons not listed? As a Social Media Consultant & Marketing Advisor to law firms, I’m trying to get a handle on the thoughts you have so I know best how to offer what might be helpful.”
I received many answers, some public, some private, which were all across the board, ranging from a poor perception of the service, to lack of time, to needing proof that it has brought in business for other lawyers, to dabbling with it and getting ready to dive in, to the need to scrap virtual and concentrate only on actual networking. The discussion on Larry Bodine’s LawMarketing listserve was healthy. It grew in to a larger discussion about Social Media, which was healthy. I let it flow for a few days, then shared the following thoughts with my colleagues….
Please let me know your thoughts after you’ve read the following, okay?
“I’ve received so many wonderful comments from my Twitter inquiry. Thank you very much for helping me.
To let you in on the process I used, which might be something you could all do for your firms or individual practices in this new world of Social Media to help build your firm and attorneys’ brands, I’ll let you in on the process I used to “crowdsource,” or gather ideas and solutions from many, for this question.
I tell you all of this not to bore you (sorry if I do), or to brag (that is not my style), but to give you some food for thought about how Social Media can be used to help establish your brand, further your education, help you stay in touch with the users of your services, find others who might be collaborators or referral sources, you name it. You and I could sit here and think of 50 different goals one could establish for putting oneself in front of our desired audiences, regardless of the media, whether traditional or “new.” It all depends on our goals for our businesses and practices.
- I posted my question on this wonderful listserve.
- I posted my question on 4 different Special Interest Groups sponsored by the LMA listserve, which is called LMA Connect.
- I posted my question on approximately 10 legal trade Groups I am a member of on LinkedIn.
- I posted the question on my Facebook Business Fan Page in the Discussions Tab.
- I posted a link to that Facebook Fan Page on my Twitter account a few times.
I received many fine comments, many you read right here [on this listserve]. We don’t all need to agree with each other’s use of Social Media, or anyone else’s, as your style should be your style based on your goals, what you are comfortable with, or what you might become comfortable with knowing it might help your business.
There is no cookie-cutter approach to any of this, just as there is not for marketing strategy you and I should be using every day. My Marketing Plan doesn’t resemble that of other Social Media and Marketing Consultants because our goals might not be the same, our styles might be different, etc. I advise attorneys and firms in the same manner. It’s all about strategy, execution, then monitoring what makes sense for your business.
I am a firm believer these tools are not going away, nor will they diminish in their importance in our lives as legal marketers. By legal marketers, I mean everyone reading this post as you, and every single person in your firms, are responsible for marketing your practice every day.
The most important point I can make at this stage of discovery of these tools is that Social Media are not meant to REPLACE marketing strategy. They are PART of your overall marketing strategy, which is led by a discovery process of goals, desired audiences, messages, locations, the services you provide or should provide, what your competition is doing, how soon you want to accomplish your goals, what your marketing budget is, and more factors based on your firm and your situation.
These tools are also not meant to replace F2F(Face-to-Face) networking as that is the golden moment in all of the relationships we work to develop. Social Media can accelerate the process of parties even having the desire to meet F2F, or to find out more about one another. People can learn more about one another, their intelligence, how they might approach client problems, what their personality is, and how comfortable they could be if they do business together by experiencing their interaction in Social Media.
I encourage you to learn and use these tools as time, your Marketing Plan and your situation allow, as they are great extenders of your brands, your messages, your intelligence and your personalities. I don’t need to replicate the suggestions Natasha and others made. They are all sound and valuable. Don’t let the perception of them taking hours every day hold you back, if that is what is holding you back. You would be surprised at the impression attorneys and other service providers have left with me in a very short time because of their ability to share themselves and their intelligence with me. I don’t need to see them countless times every day for them to be memorable.
Thanks for lending your keyboards, your minds and your eyes to this discussion, and to my question about your use of Twitter. These are important discussions for us to have.
Dear Blog Visitor, what are your thoughts regarding your use of Twitter, or any of the comments made above? I’d love to have you join the discussion. How would you answer my Twitter question?