What Dr. Seuss Can Teach Us About Social Media

green-eggs-and-ham

In honor of Dr. Seuss‘ birthday, I’m recycling a commentary I made on a legal listserv where LinkedInTwitter were being heavily debated. This was originally penned 10/28/08 and aimed toward Legal Marketing Professionals.

If we can all agree that law is a relationship driven business then social media/networking tools can assist or hurt us with regard to developing or nurturing relationships. Remember it’s only one tool out of many & a hammer is not needed for every situation.If used correctly, there are numerous opportunities online to have a deep dive conversation – get to know the person’s business, current needs, & future risks. When someone is in pain, there are opportunities to help them find a solution & be of value. Online this process is accelerated because people are so candid.When one is contributing positively to the online conversation i.e. Q&As, forums, and/or blogs, then there is also a chance to improve your know, like, & trust stock. If one is ego or celebrity driven & clearly projecting that it’s ALL about them or doing ALL the talking (in many cases shouting), then one’s know, like, & trust stock will take the hit. Ideally, professionals should avoid random acts of marketing. So sit down & define what success looks like with the attorneys:
· Reconnect with X # of colleagues for the year
· Conduct competitive intelligence on X # of potential clients in advance of annual networking events
· Facilitate X # of introductions with your network quarterly
· Grow network by X # of new contacts a month
· Create/Reply to X # of provocative discussions a week to unearth hidden pain/potential opportunities
· Listen to X # of blogs or discussion boards dailyThen use a business plan to prioritize which potential & existing relationships are ready for client meetings, events, newsletters, blogs, etc…Evaluate your progress – Am I more known, more liked, more trusted? If not, perhaps it’s not the hammer’s fault perhaps it’s time to reevaluate the brand & positioning. Are you in the right places? Are you revealing too much or too little? Are your character & competency strong or weak? Like it or not, conversations are taking place through this new medium. If you can not improve the silence then listen because there is a ton of information being shared.Thanks to Twitter, I learned that Forrester recently reported that 75% of online adults now use social tools to connect vs. 56% in 2007. The momentum is building! Web 2.0 for professionals is started to remind me of Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs & Ham. Just substitute Social Networking & Blogging for Green Eggs & Ham, eat for consume and Attorneys for Sam. Do you remember how that story ended???Ultimately, if you’re still not impressed with the cyber world then by all means Log Off & Meet Up with your attorneys, clients, & friends. I still encourage everyone to do this because there are conversations to be had anywhere. “…In the rain. And in the dark. And on a train. And in the car…”