Social Media: Do-It-Yourself or Outsource?

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Cast aside your doubts about social media and take the plunge; additional marketing will help your firm. Now that you have elected enter the social media landscape, who is going to handle the task at your firm? Some think that social media should be extension of your own personality, meaning solo attorneys should do their own social media marketing.

On the other hand, social media is marketing, and there are experts that can handle your marketing efforts. A recent article conducted a poll on the best way to handle social media, so which route is best?

Cost v. time

Yes, you can write your own blog posts, Facebook updates, and Tweet for free. But if you do not know what you are doing, you are unlikely to get good results. There are tons and tons of resources on Lawyerist for creating your own social media campaign. If you take the time, you can create a nice plan on your own. The downside, if you are new to the game, is that it takes time, and time is money.

If you have the time, the drive, and willingness to learn, then go for it. If you are overwhelmed with other responsibilities, then maybe hiring someone is the way to go.

Success rate

I will admit, I have no idea what social media experts/consultants do. That said, I am willing to bet that hiring one may lead to a higher success rate for your social media campaign. Social media is marketing, and by hiring a social media expert, you are hiring a marketing expert. Marketing is all about having good content and getting that content to the right people. If you can only do one or the other (or neither), you should consult with someone.

There are plenty of other variables to consider. But before you get started, make sure you have a plan, and do some research to make sure you choose the right path for your firm.

(photo: the tartanpodcast)

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  • ElizabethL

    Definitely outsource…unless you’re a marketing company. But business who try to jump on the bandwagon too quickly will find themselves stuck in the mud.

  • While it’s ok to hire a marketer to design your website (i.e. the colors and the layout).

    But as you say, “I will admit, I have no idea what social media experts/consultants do.” There’s a reason for that. I’m not sure they do anything. If you need to hire someone to suggest to you different ways to use twitter or facebook or a blog to market, you might as well go back to your abacus.

    If you are talking about hiring someone to WRITE your blog posts for you, or write your tweets for your or your facebook updates(!) then I think that crosses the line into unethical behavior.

  • Randall Ryder

    @ David – I tend to agree with you. I think design questions are perfect for outsourcing, perhaps even marketing strategies too. But when it comes down to blogging, Tweeting, etc., there are some serious problems, ethical and otherwise.

  • David M. Gottlieb

    Ethics aside, ghostwriters only cause problems. If someone manages to figure it out, and outs you, you’ll spend more time explaining yourself than you would have spent writing your own posts. And it will all show up in google searches.

    If you want people to read your blog, or follow you on twitter, you should write your own material. Would you want to read a law blog written by a marketer?

  • Randall, I agree with you that sound strategy should precede Social Media execution and use. Attorney time, which is meant to be used taking care of clients, is far too valuable to spend on networking, or any kind of marketing, that is not backed up by a thought process that includes definition of market, messages, avenues of communication, and other factors. I blogged about this yesterday. In case you are interested, my post can be found at
    http://www.myrlandmarketing.com/2010/04/the-best-social-network-for-lawyers-is/

    It’s important for all of us to continue to write and talk about these issues because they are new, and very important as they aren’t going away, and are tools that have changed communication forever. Social Media and Networking are the focus of my marketing consulting practice. I believe there is no one right way to do any of this as far as the tone, tools and execution. There are, and should be, as many different methods and strategies as there are human beings because communication, whether by traditional or new media, is unique to the two people interacting.

  • Paramjit L. Mahli

    I think this comes back to basics: know who your market is, understand how they like to be communicated and then use the appropriate tools which may or may not include social media.