Friday, August 3, 2012

It Won't Bite, So Go Ahead and Tweet.

Last week Inside Counsel did a great piece on how in-house lawyers are using social media. I've done my own shilling of social media on this blog.  So in house lawyers get it.  Social media is a here to stay and can help connect us to colleagues, employees, potential employers and other interesting people.  It serves as a valuable resource when researching an issue, a firm, or outside attorneys.  So why don't firm lawyers get this yet?

I spent the later part of last week at a patent litigation CLE.  The organizers asked participants to tweet about it using the hashtag #TBCLEPatent.  And you know how many did?  One.  Me.  In a room full of lawyers, not a one of them used social media to promote their interacting with each other or the distinguished speakers, which included several judges that are extremely relevant to the patent litigation world.  Opportunity missed to promote yourself to those in house attorneys who use social media to check up on outside counsel.

I went to this CLE because my employer has had recent patent litigation issues.  When evaluating the proposals from almost a dozen very well respected firms, my CEO looked every partner and associate up on LinkedIn, and used those profiles or lack thereof to form opinions on them.  At least half of them didn't have profiles.  Of those that did, they were either carbon copies of their firm profiles or the bare minimum required for a LinkedIn profile.  It didn't give any information that would market them to a social media savvy client like my CEO.  But why not?  Another opportunity missed to promote yourself to the CEO making the decision on to whom he wants to hand a high value case to.

I understand that to be active on social media can be scary for firm lawyers.  You don't want to expose yourself in a way that may turn off some potential clients.  On all things controversial or quasi controversial, you need to appear as neutral as possible so as to protect against a potential client making a hasty decision on your skills based on whether you like the Giants or the Yankees.  But what you don't get is that you're turning off clients by not having a social presence.  And resist as you might, this is only going to get more prevalent.  When selecting outside counsel I will read your firm bio, and sometimes I'll flip through the marketing material your firm sends me.  But more often than not, I'll Google you, look at your LinkedIn Profile and see if you're active on Twitter.  If all I see is static information that's rarely updated or firm promoted press releases I'm not learning anything about you.  Take the opportunity to market yourself.  Show me that you can keep up with my fast paced technology filled world, able to connect with my Gen X, Y and Millennial workforce while maintaining professionalism and getting good results and you'll go on my short list for who I'll hire.  And my short list for who I'll recommend.  So go ahead and make your online presence known, I promise if you use it wisely it won't bite.  

No comments:

Post a Comment