The latest ABA Journal talks about use of social media for lawyers. The journal says that there’s a growing consensus that it is overhyped, arguing that no credible ways to measure return on investment are available and that no data exists showing that social media has the capacity to create business or that the number of followers you have on Twitter or friends on FaceBook means that you are increasing your earning potential.
Naturally, there are pros and cons. From my perspective, those arguing for social media seem to be those who most profit from set-up of the sites. You’ve heard me say before that I’ve abandoned my Facebook account because I could not keep my family/friends separate from my professional Facebook. Although Facebook has now solved that problem by allowing people to create separate Facebook accounts, nevertheless, I’ve concluded that the benefits do not outweigh the effort, and I will not be reposting any Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or other social media pages.
My conclusion is that the benefits I derive from my website and my blog, maintained on a regular basis, the time I spend in online discussion groups focused on family law—both mentoring and networking—are all of the marketing that I need. I don’t even spend money on yellow pages advertising anymore.
The comments that made the most sense to me based upon my own experience were those of Daniel Harris of Harris & Moure in Seattle and author of the China Law Blog, who says he sees real returns on his blog in the form of invitations to write for the Wall Street Journal and to speak at seminars.
What Harris says that makes the biggest impression on me is this:
“You learn, network, meet mentors and join associations. You go where there are people you could learn from. Social media are very effective for becoming a better lawyer, and it’s a very, very effective way of nurturing relationships with existing clients, which will bring in more work.”
Here’s a link to the ABA Journal article. You might want to read it for yourself before deciding to discard or to create any social media sites. G.M. Filisko. “Social Media or Snake Oil: Does Social Media Measure Up to the Hype?” ABA Journal, Jan 2011.