A very interesting conversation is taking place on Kevin O’Keefe’s blog, Real Lawyers have Blogs, and on Twitter (unfortunately, no hashtag to follow) as to whether it is appropriate to use social media as a distribution channel for law firm content.
In the “No” corner is Kevin O’Keefe, blogger extraordinaire to the legal industry.
In the “Yes” corner is, well, pretty much everyone else.
Kevin, good guy that he is, is promoting the debate, and you should weigh in as well.
For me, Social Media and Social Networking are about balance. I personally use both to promote content, as well as promote conversations, for my personal brand and blog.
For my firm, however, I use social media primarily as a distribution tool for our firm’s blog content. That will evolve as our social media evolves. Right now, the “conversations,” the social networking, takes place between the lawyers and the individual people.
According to Kevin:
Pushing law firm content on people is not what social media, or for that matter, the Internet, is all about. By all means have your content (lawyer articles, newsletters, alerts) accessible to be indexed by Google so it may be retrieved on search, but the Internet is about communicating. Communicating does not mean shouting content at people.
Here are some alternative opinions:
Why limit the scope of these powerful tools? Why, for that matter, so limit the definition of the Internet? (To say nothing of defining the Internet on behalf of everyone in the first place.) In a broader view, the Internet enables both one-to-one AND one-to-many communications. How we use it rests entirely with those who use it. In other words: different for everyone.
When using social media, lawyers should balance the information they put out there. I agree with the rest of your post, with the caveat that lawyers will be missing out on a ton of traffic if they follow your advice.
Kevin, I think you’re blurring the line between social media and social networking here. Blogging, for instance, is a web 2.0 social medium and is most definitely a platform where lawyers should be pushing out their content. Anything interactive on the web is “social media.”
Social networking, on the other hand, *is* more about relationships, yet is also a venue where you carry your message.
Not sure any social media rules are codified somewhere but last I looked social media did not require conversation. Nice, but not required.
I agree with your statement, above, that the Internet is about communicating, but why is sharing information, including lawyer-created articles or blog posts, “shouting content”?
So, Coolerites, what say you??