Social networking as just another tool

I find Kevin O’Keefe’s blog, “Real Lawyers Have Blogs” insightful and practical.  I often agree with his take on social networking and blogging.  However, I think this post, sets out the wrong framework for looking at social networking.  Its the gee-whiz approach, the breaking down barriers, taking big risks for big awards take on social networking.  At one point he even quotes Seth Godin about types of “artists.” 

Social networking is simply another way to connect to clients and prospects.   As such, justification for its use needs to be based on its value as a tool.   Social networking for attorneys and in particularly blogging is a time intensive but low expenditure marketing approach.  It also integrated nicely with other forms of marketing. 

For example, if an attorney writes an article that gets published in a legal journal, he or she can break the article down into bite sizes suitable for multiple blog posts and reference people to the entire article or even make a PDF of the article available to people who sign up for his or her firms mailing list.  This points to social networking’s value in extending and broadening traditional marketing approaches.

But treating social networking as a thing to worship or to wear as a badge of revolutionary courage is counterproductive.  As I have written elsewhere, the sooner its treated as just another part of doing business, the more value it will have.

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