I’ve been enjoying, yet disturbed, by the conversations this week on my professional listserv about Twitter (and I’ll take the liberty to extrapolate that to social media for purposes of this post). Our debate, quoting this post, was even picked up by Cal Law today. I don’t get all of the resistance. Where is the curiosity?

As a marketer, especially one in a law firm, one of the greatest attributes I bring to the team is that I am not cautious or autonomous, and it turns out that I am pretty darn social (for someone who doesn’t like people, lol).

But as I wrote here, that was not always the case. My experiences, and a lot of hard personal work, have changed me.

When law firm marketing departments started migrating away from “marketing” and towards “business development” (code word for sales), I stomped my foot and swore not to participate. I hated sales. I did it for a year, was horrible at it (because of the whole people aversion thing), and I wasn’t going to do it. So there.

Fast forward to 2008 and I spend as much of my time as possible focused on strategic planning and business development, which I now find exciting and much more rewarding than “marketing.” I am a believer.

Same goes with blogs. I didn’t get them. I still don’t believe they are the answer for everything legal marketing (sorry Kevin), but I now see how they are an important and central piece in the puzzle. I learned this by starting my own blog.

When LinkedIn invites started coming to me last year, I ignored them. But, by February of this year I finally started playing around. It turns out that LinkedIn is a very interesting piece of the puzzle.

And now Twitter. I don’t even remember how or when it first hit my radar. But I jumped in with both feet immediately. I started out slow, listening, posting here and there. It was fun. The “professional” side of Facebook. But I quickly realized that Twitter was going to take on a bigger role.

Yes, I am building relationships in 140 characters or less:

  • I throw out questions, and I get responses from the most interesting people;
  • People are coming to me with questions, and I am willingly sharing what I am learning;
  • We comment on the silliest things, like whether or not we’re going to HSM3 this weekend (both our daughters are, we now have something in common);
  • I helped a Girl Scout with a project because, as a Girl Scout leader, I felt it my duty (turns out both our daughters are named Katie, what a coincidence);
  • I’m also following a PR guru (old media type) who was on the phone with the Best Buy CEO (if I was selling something, he could be a great referral source for introductions, I bet he’s following some interesting people);
  • I joined a social media group here in LA where I can meet people live;
  • And I received some very interesting internal information on hiring trends in legal marketing departments.

And that’s just in the last 18 hours.

What I like most about being part of the early adopters, is that we’re all doing this in what can best be described as a “beta” format. There is no time to wait for a 1.0 product release on social media. I am experimenting with the technologies on myself, so I can see how I can incorporate for my firm.

The pieces are coming together for me. Sales. Web sites. Blogs. SEO. LinkedIn. Social networking. Twitter. Together the picture I’m getting is that social media can quickly, and cost effectively, drive my marketing, business development and PR in ways beyond my imagination.