With all the talk about social networks, law firm marketers and attorneys are wondering, “Should I have a MySpace page?” Such was a flurry of activity on the Legal Marketing Association List-serv this past week where most legal marketers poo-pooed sites like Facebook and MySpace as they were mostly for ‘kids’, but opined that perhaps Linkedin might be useful as it has a more ‘business crowd.’ Currently, I’m not an active user of these systems (as blogging is my drug of choice), and I don’t expect that lawyers and law firms will start jumping in in droves, simply because as an industry they tend to be new-technology-adverse (see earlier post Lawyers Slow to Embrace Blogs ABA Survey Says).
However, and this is a huge however, I do believe that social networks can and will be an important part of internet life and business going forward and we should all become more familiar with them. Law students and young lawyers and marketers are already using them, so the train is coming. (Whether social networks remain distinct services or integrate themselves into our holistic web experience is another question to ponder.) Sure, there are the potential horror stories when folks sign up for and use technology that they don’t really fully understand.
Since law firm clients are just now starting to ask seriously about the benefits of blogging, I don’t predict a fast adoption of social networks by this same crowd. But if you want to be on the leading edge, now is the time to dip your toe into the social network waters and at least learn and evaluate. And if you see a way to use a new technology as a way to differentiate your brand, leverage your content, or improve and increase releationships and awareness — I say, go for it!
There has been plenty written on the subject of social networking including Kevin O’Keefe’s Social Networking Sites: Will they work for lawyers and other professionals?
Here are some others…
MySpace Helps Attorneys Find Clients
I’d love to hear others’ views and experiences on the topic. Please feel free to comment.