Friday, September 11, 2009

Reflections on Facebook & Twitter for Lawyers

Facebook is one of many social networking site options, but it is not specifically designed for lawyers. It started as a site for college students to stay connected, thus its reputation as a "teeny bopper" site. Depending upon your law practice, Facebook may or may not be that useful. If one is a family lawyer, divorce lawyer, i.e. a lawyer who serves individuals, it could be a useful tool if used judiciously and correctly. The same may be true for lawyers who use Twitter and other mass market social networking sites.

Facebook is great to re-connect with old contacts-- those whom you may have fallen out of touch with and re-establishing contact may lead to mutually beneficial future relationships (i.e. future business). But, the majority of Facebook's active users are members of the younger generation, so it may be especially useful for younger Associates and Partners as a tool to re-connect and stay in touch with key people in many facets throughout their lives. But, today's most significant buyers of legal services are not even on Facebook, nor if they are, do they spend a lot of time using it.

The key for most lawyers is to manage the time spent on social networking sites carefully. Consider the fact that some lawyers who spend inordinate amounts of time every day on social networking sites are simply not very busy, may have too much time on their hands and as a consequence, any serious/sophisticated buyer may wonder just how good of a lawyer they really are. Common sense says that anyone spending a lot of time on social networking sites may not have enough clients, billable work to do. As a result, if they work in a law firm, they may be "on the bubble" and/or not very productive/profitable.

An article on this subject was written by Ann Urda of Law 360, and it should be published sometime next week.

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