Tweets Are For Birds

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Well, not quite, but if you are not being followed or following others, I would not lose too much sleep over it; at least not yet.

You can ignore social networking

It seems like every article about legal marketing these days is about social networking, primarily Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Do they have a place one’s marketing strategy? Yes. Is your marketing strategy fundamentally flawed without 100 LinkedIn connections? I do not think so. This may sound like heresy to some, but you can still be a successful marketer even if you ignore social networking.

In the interest of full disclosure, I am one of those baby boomers who reluctantly adapts to technology, so there is my bias. One the other hand, everyone talking or writing about social networking in my view, loves the stuff. Hence, their bias.

I have read lots of articles on social networking and have talked to many people who swear by it whose opinions I highly respect (many of them bloggers here at Lawyerist). I am still convinced that at least for now, if you are not on board yet, the train has not quite left the station. Plenty of time remains, if and when, you want to start tweeting.

Personal networking should always be front and center

Call me old-fashioned, but one-on-one personal relationship building by networking will always be the most important component of one’s marketing plan for the vast majority of practice areas. The challenge is to find ways to add to your list of people to be get to know who can be clients or referral sources.

You can certainly meet new people via social networking and I am all for it, assuming you follow up with them for coffee or lunch. But you can still meet new people the conventional way by getting active in professional groups or community service.

When I coach lawyers, I always want to make sure of two things about their marketing activities. First, they enjoy the activity and second, the time is well spent. If you simply love Twitter and use it as a tool to meet new people; go for it. However, if it is painful to figure out Twitter, but you continue to do more conventional activities to meet new people, your overall marketing efforts will still be successful.

(image: Zadi Diaz)

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  • I’ll agree that networking in person should be front and center. I’ll agree that if a lawyer is not comfortable with social networking, that’s o.k. In my view, personal networking is a foundation that a lawyer can improve upon with web-based networking such as blogs, linked-in, facebook, twitter, etc. I would encourage lawyers interested in networking to maintain their personal networking; and add web-based interaction gradually as skills and comfort build. Facebook is much easier to use than twitter. But twitter’s limitations give it it’s power. Since I’ve been on twitter, my personal networking activity has skyrocketed. It’s not either-or. It’s a tool to enhance personal networking for those interested in using it.