November 03, 2008

Do You Have A Social Media Strategy? The Good, The Bad and The Time-Sucking

Not too long ago I  wrote a post discussing the term Technoshock. And in it was the following quote:

By way of a blog post from The Great American Lawyer quoting Dennis Kennedy's popular blog comes a very valid statement:

"by the end of 2007, we will be talking about a clear and growing digital divide between technology-forward and technology-backward lawyers and firms and a subtle restructuring of the practice of law." (original post here) 

This post is nearly two years old and it is fair to say this prediction has come true.  If you are a solo who has not embraced technology you are definitely behind and it can be argued you are in a down position in the marketplace as well as financially because of your overhead and because of the demands of your clients.

In my original post, however, I did discuss technology overload, the need one feels to grab every new gadget, then learning and integrating into ones practice. Feeling technology overwhelm..or what is called 'technoshock' is inevitable.  And for good reason.  It is just plain overwhelming and the overwhelm can be both intimidating and debilitating.

Now we are facing shock and overwhelm with the proliferation of social media sites and the push towards becoming social media savvy in order to stay competitive and meet the demands of clients.  Yes, the demands of your clients.

According to Cone Strategy and Communications Agency:

Sixty percent of Americans use social media, and of those, 59 percent interact with companies on social media Web sites. One in four interacts more than once per week.

(All statistics below are discussing the 60 percent who use social media)

“The news here is that Americans are eager to deepen their brand relationships through social media,” explains Mike Hollywood, director of new media for Cone, “it isn’t an intrusion into their lives, but rather a welcome channel for discussion.”

When asked about specific types of interactions, Americans who use social media believe:

  • Companies should use social networks to solve my problems (43%)
  • Companies should solicit feedback on their products and services (41%)
  • Companies should develop new ways for consumers to interact with their brand (37%)
  • Companies should market to consumers (25%)

Hard-to-reach consumers
Men, a much sought-after target in the online space, are twice as likely as women to interact frequently (one or more times per week) with companies via social media (33% to 17%, respectively).

“The ease and efficiency of online conversation is likely a draw for men who historically do not seek out the same level of interaction with companies as women,” says Hollywood.

Likewise, of younger, hard-to-reach users (ages 18-34), one-third believe companies should actively market to them via social networks, and the same is true of the wealthiest households (household income of $75,000+). Two-thirds of the wealthiest households and the largest households (3 or more members) feel stronger connections to brands they interact with online.

It really isn't very hard to extrapolate this data to lawyers and specifically the solo practitioner.  The questions one must ask are:

  • What is my brand? (how do you distinguish yourself)
  • Who is my target client?
  • How do I create a social media strategy which promotes my brand and reaches my target client?

And it's just not as simple as creating a Facebook and LinkedIn profile.

Fortunately, this Thursday we will introduce to you one of the most highly regarded social media experts in this country when with great pleasure we announce her faculty position at Solo Practice University. 

So, stay-tuned. And in my next lengthy post I will discuss some social media strategies to avoid what I call 'time-suck.'

(And in case you didn't see, check out our recent faculty announcements at Solo Practice University.

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September 18, 2008

There May Be Some Truth To This Social Media Video

(H/T to Lisa Solomon)

This tongue-n-cheek video pretty much says it all when it comes to Twitter, the good, the bad and the ugly.  But it also brings up some important points about the evolution of social media.  Twitter is where it's happening whether you like it or not and you, especially as a solo practitioner, had better give serious thought to incorporating select social media in your marketing plan if you want to keep up.  If you choose not to you may be making a very bad professional decision.

Related Posts:

I'm Officially Twittering - Come Join the Fun

Twitter - The Rules of Engagement

Twitter for Small Business - The Solo Practitioner

Lawyers Are Tweeting Away - Time To Join Them in the Forefront