Monday, May 4, 2009

The pros and cons of social media for lawyers

The Legal Blog Watch raises the question whether social media tools are good marketing devices for lawyers or not:

After seeing this recent post at Larry Bodine's Lawyer Marketing Blog, I wonder whether we're wasting our time. Bodine points to MarketingSherpa's just-released 2009 Ecommerce Benchmark Report, which explains that most companies are relying on search engine optimization and e-mail to drive marketing efforts.

Does that mean lawyers shouldn't waste their time with social media? Bodine says they'll be left behind if they do. As the MarketingSherpa report concludes:

Social media is essentially a set of technologies and practices that enable the oldest and most powerful marketing there is -- word of mouth. In the long term, social media may have a positive effect on margins by rewarding sellers for qualities beyond price, such as customer service, on-time delivery, social awareness and the like. In the short term, it makes sense for companies to build an expertise and social presence while consumers and business people are still in the process of building their networks. Like the early days of email, it's probably a lot easier to make a name on Twitter or Facebook today than it will be in five years.

I agree. From my own experience with blogging -- and now social media like Twitter  -- I've reaped enormous rewards from early mover advantage (I've been blogging since 2002, using various social media apps shortly after their launch and tweeting for over a year now). Once a social media tool takes off, lawyers will need enormous resources to gain the same market share that they could have captured had they gotten an early start using it. So next time you see a post here at Legal Blog Watch about a new social media tool, give it a try instead of passing it by.

There you have it - straight from the horse's mouth.

I am the scholarship dude.


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