In the March 2018 issue of the American Bar Association’s Law Practice Today webzine, I put around 2,500 words to web in my article, What’s New in Social Media Marketing for Lawyers? It seems like just yesterday that Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn (and plenty others) came into our lives. It’s been longer than that…as a nine year old post this morning on Facebook reminded me of an event from days’ gone by. The tools have changed, and for business development purposes, lawyers have had to change with them.
In preparing to write the feature, I kept putting down notes on various social media news, programs and events—seemingly by the hour. At the same time I write this very blog post, I’m mere minutes away from moderating an ABA CLE on The Law and Social Media: Tips for Every Lawyer, with my colleagues Cynthia Dahl, Kathryn Deal and Molly DiBianca, covering social media issues that range from employment law matters to tweeting jurors, messaging witnesses, friending judges, cybercrime and prosecution, DMCA and trademark issues, virtual law practices, professionalism, and marketing.
Just last week, the ABA released Formal Opinion 480 from the Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility reminding lawyers of the confidentiality obligations for lawyer blogging and tweeting. It is an opinion that has been widely panned as being late to the game. This provides another reminder as to the speed that social media runs. The suggestions are already somewhat old and outdated.
But I was also reminded of a social media training course I gave at a law firm in Western Pennsylvania a few years back. The focus—as it usually is at a corporate-focused law firm—was on LinkedIn. The firm had asked me to basically repeat a session that I had taught there a year earlier. After the program, the marketing partner asked me about my advice for some things being the complete opposite of the advice I had provided a year earlier. “Yes,” I said. “That’s correct.” My advice and opinions had changed as the social media channels uses, products and formats had changed as well. What you looked at and used on Facebook or Linkedin today is much different than the way you would have addressed them one, two or five years ago. This is a reminder that “what’s new” is just as important as understanding “what’s old?”
If you are interested in getting more information on social media uses for your law firm—whether it is a training program, an ethics CLE, updating your firms’ social media policies or any other related subject, please feel free to drop me a line, or a tweet.
But wait, there’s more…
Of course, there are other excellent pieces in this month’s law marketing-issue of LPT. Jen Smuts, Director of Marketing & Business Development at Connolly Gallagher in Wilmington, Delaware, writes on The Power of Intelligence in the Business of Law. Down the I-95 corridor in Philadelphia, Joe Goldshear at Marshall Dennehey discusses Understanding the Multiverse of Legal Marketing. And on the other coast, my friend Nick Gaffney’s always-outstanding LPT roundtables address Women in Law Firm Leadership Positions. Be sure to check them out.