Social Media Snakes for Lawyers

Disclaimer, putting the words “snakes” and “lawyers” in the same line was not meant to degrade lawyers (ha, ha). Since I’ve worked on public relations campaigns for lawyer for years, I would not want to bite the hand the feeds me. However, the problem is that over those years, I’ve seen lawyers jump on the marketing bandwagon in a big way. So much so, that they’ll try almost anything from buying overpriced website design services to hiring people to ghost write their blogs.

There’s a LinkedIn group called Legal Blogging that has a discussion going about a BusinessWeek article titled Beware Social Media Snake Oil. The dialogue was started by a thought leader in this area, Kevin O’Keefe.
As a matter of disclosure, our agency helps our clients through the social media maze. However, we do disclose that while we can measure results, measuring the primary result with ROI in dollars is difficult. That’s because too often our clients don’t track all their business leads that come as a direct or indirect result from public relations or a social media campaign.
For fun, I went to YouTube and searched for videos on “social media for lawyers.” At the top of this was this:

Talk about irony, this “expert” video is a talking head that gives nothing more that few tips. And it does not make clear the ROI. This video reminds me of what I see being sold to lawyers: social media utopia for business development.

The PR laugh for me is that lawyers, highly skilled and skeptical professionals, sometimes fall for these “snake oil” sales pitches. Why? Not because they are not intelligent, but because in recent years their business has been down like other professional services company and they are desperate and feel that social media is the sure shot short cut cure.