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…”

Interview: Post Gravity Summit Panel at UCLA

Interviewed here:

Stick the Landing

Guest blogged here:

http://legalwatercoolerblog.com/2008/09/08/stick-the-landing/

Watching the conventions on the heels of the Olympics, I noticed a striking similarity in the commentary from the sports and news announcers. Both kept noting that contenders had to “stick the landing.” Individuals in both proceedings were judged on whether or not they had flawless execution.

In the business world, we don’t needed judges on the sidelines holding up score cards to tell us that we missed the mark dramatically; we have blogs and newsletters for this. This weekend as I caught up on current events two stories stood out as shining examples of poor execution.

In the first article, a managing partner left plans to take a dozen nonequity partners to another firm on the printer. D’oh! The incriminating evidence exposed the entire plan. Now the law firms are suing each other instead of increasing their PPP. Maybe the winner will successfully accomplish both.

In the second article, a top HR executive selected the wrong distribution list and instead of alerting only senior managers about the looming layoffs accidentally alerted all staffers. Whoops! Hope the Chief People Officer knows some people who can help her out of this disaster.

Even though we are not top athletes or political contenders, these cautionary tales remind us that simple mistakes can discredit us in an instant. Knowledge, discipline, and hard work are only the price of admission. As downsizing and layoffs abound it is imperative to remember to execute flawlessly, follow through, and always stick the landing!

Hello, my name is AAARenee and I’m a Joiner…

Guest blogged here:

http://legalwatercoolerblog.com/2008/05/29/hello-my-name-is-aaarenee-and-i%E2%80%99m-a-joiner%E2%80%A6/

A colleague on LinkedIn recently asked what others have been thinking – why does she join so many groups? The answer is simple. I am a Joiner. It’s not as bad as it sounds and if there was a support group, I’d probably join. Since childhood, I have always belonged to more than one group (i.e. club, sport, activity, and/or organization) at any given time. My social tendencies stem from a genuine love of people and conversation. The good news is Joiners are natural connectors because they have access to an abundance of people and ideas. As social butterflies, we like spreading information. Therefore, we also like to include people because no one wants to feel like the last kid standing on the blacktop as teams are picked.

Joining groups on LinkedIn allows me to correspond with people whom I share a social common denominator while still maintaining the privacy of my first level connections. People in the groups I join are like pen pals. I can correspond when I have something to say but they remain just outside my daily life. Some groups are active with blogs, websites, and frequent conversation. Other groups are nothing more than a catalog of contacts.

Recently, I have been jumping into groups to monitor and observe them for my clients. Strategic uses of groups can be alumni, target audiences, brand loyalty, membership organizations, social/political causes, and industry groups. Groups can be inclusive or exclusive. If you start the actual group, you have the added benefit of owning the database of email addresses. A client retained me to start a group and the idea was sticky enough that it went viral. In six weeks, there were over 1,000 members in 26 countries. Apparently, there are a lot of other Joiners to be found on LinkedIn.

What are you opinions on groups on LinkedIn, do you join ’em, beat ‘em, or ignore ‘em?

Placing Bets on Online Social Networking: A Story of Capital Invested Wisely in LinkedIn

LinkedInAAARenee

Article published here:

http://www.americanbar.org/publications/law_practice_home/law_practice_archive/lpm_magazine_articles_v34_is1_pg43.html