I don’t think I have ever gotten a client from Twitter or Facebook. I may have gotten a few clients from LinkedIn, but only by accident (I rarely even log in). Many of the most effective and succesful lawyers I know never use social media at all.
I am highly skeptical of claims that every lawyer should be using social media for marketing. I fact, I am convinced that most lawyers cannot use social media effectively for marketing, no matter how many social media gurus they follow on Twitter.
But I do think you should use social media. It’s fun, after all. Take Twitter. Twitter is awesome. The main reason Twitter is awesome is public radio’s John Moe. If it weren’t for him—oh yeah, and The Bloggess—I would have deleted my account a long time ago. I don’t follow many lawyers on Twitter, though, because lawyers usually aren’t very funny and mainly retweet things from other lawyers until they devour one another in a really lame retweeting frenzy.
(This kind of attitude is probably why I don’t get clients from Twitter.)
Facebook is also awesome. If, that is, you want to reconnect with classmates you haven’t talked to in years (probably because you’ve got nothing in common, now that you think about it) and e-stalk your ex-girlfriends or ex-boyfriends. It is also great for finding out what your friends and family are doing without, you know, talking to them.
LinkedIn, on the other hand, is just boring. It’s like speed networking without the free drinks. I’m told it is actually a very effective marketing tool, but every time I log in to find out why, I wind up on Wikipedia reading about honey badgers (link NSFW) or something.
But using social media for marketing? If your best referral sources are self-styled social media gurus, you can probably get a ton of great clients from Twitter. Or, if you have a marketing budget on par with Old Spice, definitely hire Weiden+Kennedy to create a totally awesome social media campaign. Otherwise, use social media if you enjoy it, and go have coffee with someone.
(I left out blogging on purpose. Blogging absolutely can be an effective marketing tool, but turning a blog into an effective marketing tool takes just as much time and effort as anything else. It’s great if you love to write, but it’s not worth it if you don’t.)