Because you’re reading this blog, I’m assuming you’re at least semi-active online and have a LinkedIn profile. I’m also assuming you’ve heard both sides of the social-media-for-law-firms-coin. Some consider it a big waste of billable time and urge people not to waste their time, while others swear by it for all their business development efforts. Detechter recently posted an article, Arguments against Social Media Marketing and Pro-Social Media Points, that elaborates both sides nicely:
- Social media isn’t supposed to sell, it’s used to build relationships and trust
- Social media marketing increases your brand and product visibility
- Social media marketing increases website traffic
- Social media is about conversations, not conversions
- Social media marketing is about marketing – not selling
- Social media is a relationship building function, not a pay-per-click program.
- Social media monitoring can enable companies to identify potential crisis situations and respond appropriately
- Social networking is both free and entertaining
- Social media marketing is cost-effective
- Social marketing compliments other marketing efforts
- Social media doesn’t sell
- Social media is all hype
- The ROI on social media marketing can take months
- ROI is impossible to determine
- Social media doesn’t generate profit
- No one is searching for a product or service on social sites like Facebook
- It is very difficult to monetize social media
- Social media marketing can be unpredictable
- Social media marketing takes up too much time
- It is too easy to become addicted and wastes time
Instead of looking at it from a black or white perspective, take a gray approach.
Social media is one tool in your marketing tool box. If you’ve mastered the client lunch and look forward to every industry conference, social media will be a no-brainer for you. Use social media to enhance your current marketing endeavors: add all the people you meet at conferences to LinkedIn, follow them on Twitter, like their Facebook Page, upload your presentations to SlideShare, etc. Have your marketing team support your efforts.
If you’re new to social media, start small. Optimize your LinkedIn profile and start following other attorneys in your practice area on Twitter. Get a feel for how social media works. Instead of thinking about what social media can do for you, think about how you can contribute to the community. Share valuable content and start conversations. Make a commitment to keep at it for three to six months.
How are you using social media to market your firm and practices?