A well-known UK business coach said to me recently, “Social Media is too big to ignore even for lawyers.” The coach in question is like me, 40 something, and has finally grasped the fact that SM is not going anywhere. Given the fact that boomers have now reached 65 and the younger generations are more tech savvy and are incorporating SM in some aspects of their lives, I thought it would be helpful to put together a quick pros and cons list so that if you are engaging with social media for your company, you can go in with eyes wide open.
- Considerably low-cost compared to traditional marketing like print, television, outdoor, etc.
- Relatively quick feedback from clients.
- Allows for deeper engagements with customers/strategic alliances/prospects.
- Similar to great brand marketing and customer service, the benefits of doing social media right can last for years.
- Every client/employee is a potential media outlet: social media is word of mouth on digital endorphins.
- Previously, businesses that had the most money to spend on marketing often won. Today, it’s the business that produces great products and experiences for their clients.
- Social media takes time and effort similar to getting business in Asia. In China, business people think of long-term relationships rather than a one-night stands. Many businesses aren’t willing to do this, hence those companies that put forth the extra effort will stand out.
- If you are a progressive forward-thinking innovative practice, you can use social media tools to effectively recruit new talent.
- Often, the many benefits of social media are seen in the months to come rather than immediately. It shouldn’t be viewed like Google AdWords, which has a quick return. It should be viewed more like brand marketing and good customer service, which reaps dividends in the long-term.
- Tools can quickly change. One day it is MySpace, Orkut, Friendster, and Bebo; the next day it’s Facebook and Mixi.
- There’s a lot of hidden soft costs; it takes time to develop relationships with customers. In the offline world, developing relationships takes time and effort – the same holds true within social media.
- May reduce the amount of face-to-face communication we have with one another, diminishing interpersonal communication skills.
- If the client feels they haven’t been treated appropriately, they have powerful tools at their disposal (YouTube, Twitter, etc.) to express their side of the story and negatively impact the firm.
Like anything in marketing , there are pros and cons to using social media. However, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages and even if they didn’t, we don’t have a choice on whether to do social media. The question is how well we do it. The worst thing to do is to do nothing.
Let’s Get Social
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