Social Media is Not For Everyone

Sometimes it seems like everyone who has created Facebook page has hung out a virtual shingle claiming to be a social media consultant. There is no denying that that social media is here to stay, and that it’s important for everyone to understand the impact social media has on our businesses, and how we make connections and broadcast our news. And lawyers seems to be the biggest targets for social media experts; mostly because the legal profession has been slower adopt online trends.

These consultants bang their drums and tell lawyers how social media allows busy lawyers to stay in touch with their networks, revive old relationships, approach potential clients, establish trust, display their personalities and discuss current issues.

But it is not that simple. All of those things are not true for all types of social media, and also not true for all attorneys. What those consultants fail to mention in their presentations is that social media is merely a tool to support marketing and public relations goals, not an end in and of itself. When done well, and with a strategy and proper support and investment, the various social media tools can help lawyers obtain new clients and stay in touch with existing clients. When it doesn’t work, it can be an expensive waste of time.

Too often in an era of social media, the basics are ignored. The existence of social media doesn’t negate the necessity to ask the fundamental questions of marketing: Who is out there who might wish to purchase my services, and how can I find them and reach them? If those prospective clients are on Facebook or Twitter, by all means join those networks and connect with clients on those platforms. If they are hanging out somewhere else online, figure that out, and then make your plan. Time and money is not unlimited, especially for busy lawyers who feel the hourly pressure to do their clients’ work. So being efficient, and smart, with social media strategy is critical

And not every specialty or segment of the lawyer universe embraces social media. In 2016 there are still industry segments in which lawyers and clients meet offline and exchange information and frequent conferences sponsored by various government agencies, for example. Or there are other legal specialties dominated by national lawyers’ organizations that are major sources of referrals between lawyers in different parts of the country. Not every legal specialty has jumped onto the social media bandwagon, at least not yet.

As an Internet marketing specialist has said: “At the end of the day, any marketing campaigns should contribute to your bottom line and improve your relationship with your customers. If you are unable to find a viable business case for your company’s use of social media, then focus your efforts elsewhere.” That’s good advice.