Nancy MyrlandAll Posts, Social Media 11 Comments

Last week I was fortunate enough to take part in the third, and final, Social Media webinar in a series sponsored by ILN, or the International Lawyers Network, for its members around the world.

They’ve hosted these series for the past two years, which have been well-received by members, so I was pleased to be asked by ILN Director of Network Development Lindsay Griffiths to teach her members about Social Media, first by talking about Twitter for law firms, then wrapping up with thoughts about Social Media’s place in the legal profession.

I knew I wanted to provide valuable information that would help member firms move further along in the Marketing and Social Media continuum.

I’ve worked with law firms long enough to understand that giving real-life examples of how tools are being used by other professionals and firms helps them understand their value, so I decided to do a little crowdsourcing for part of my presentation. With crowdsourcing, one can go to the public, or a defined group of people, to ask their opinions, and gain additional perspective in order to help make a decision, or gather intelligence about a given subject.

The day before my presentation, I went to Twitter to ask if any lawyers had any thoughts about why they liked, and how they used, Twitter that I could share the next day.  I was then able to use a few of their thoughts in my presentation, with related screenshots, which helped show my audience some examples these lawyers were kind and gracious enough to provide with such short notice.

Here they are:

This 1st response is from Chicago, Illinois, lawyer Tom Valenti:

“For me it gives me the chance to talk with and meet local people and communicate with people around the world.”

My friend Shelly Kramer shared, or ReTweeted, my message to specific Twitter followers of hers who are lawyers. Because of that, I received a Tweet from Birmingham, Alabama, lawyer Jon Lewis, asking if I would like his answer via Twitter or email. I told him I was thankful for his response, and whatever was easier for him would be appreciated. Here is a portion of the letter he sent to me via email:

“The main reason I like Twitter is the ability to meet people through new technology.  I have met over 20 people in the Birmingham area as a result of Twitter. I had an App done, Accident Tips, for Iphone through Brian Cauble and his company Appsolute Genius.  Brian is in Birmingham, and I met him on Twitter. As a result, the Birmingham News did an article on our App and our firm. This would have been impossible several years ago (maybe a year ago). What more can I say?  Thanks for thinking of me.”

I also heard from Colorado lawyer Jim Denver, who offered:

“”I like searching twitter to make subject matter connections & for research on business issues.”

…and last, but not least, a thought from Arizona lawyer Troy Foster:

“Love that I’m able to nurture client relationships by providing helpful timely information of use to them without them paying!”

I think you’re getting the picture here, aren’t you?

Bottom Line:

A wonderful use for Twitter and other Social Networking sites is to crowdsource information. Crowdsourcing will help you create richer, more well-rounded information you can then share in a number of ways. I used it during the ILN webinar. I am now stretching its use by writing a blog post about it.

I only know a fraction of what’s on the minds of users, so why not ask?  It makes what I know and say infinitely more interesting when I can add the opinions of others to my presentation.

Your Clients:

This is also a good way to learn from your clients and potential clients. Ask them a question that you sincerely want to know the answer to; something that will help you gain a better understanding of what they think about a particular subject, trend, piece of legislation or development.

Why guess what’s on clients’ minds? Although not as thorough as a formal Client Satisfaction Interview, you might still glean valuable information that will help you serve them better.

Your Turn:

The next time you prepare to write, teach or present, crowdsource a portion of your topic to make your data more meaningful to your audience.

Just ask!

Have you done this, or do you have any thoughts about how you might like to crowdsource in the future?