This blog post is really inspired by a law school professor in New York and very active in career development for lawyers. Our conversation revolved round time and money! Her pet peeve about social media is one that I whole-heartedly agree with that SM is not just about connecting but about having conversations. Let’s face, we are human we do business with whom we like know and trust. Its during those conversations and meetings where one gets the jobs, the sales conversations happen, strategic alliances are formed and host of other opportunities show up. My colleague Jennifer Ellis of Freedman Consulting Inc., took this one step further and discussed in an article published in Law.com whether gender plays a role in how we utilize Social Media. Here’s the first part of that article: The Positive Impact of Social Media.
Social media is a phrase that can bring up nightmares of ethical risks and time-consuming efforts on one hand, or happy thoughts of inexpensive and easy marketing on the other. The truth is somewhere in between. Proper and timely use of social media can help expand a network and a career. Improper use can be a time-waster and cause serious embarrassment. But with a little bit of education and a lot of appreciation for its value, social media, combined with more traditional efforts, can help take a legal career from zero to 60 in a surprisingly short period of time. This is especially true for women attorneys.
Women have an uphill battle when it comes to being included in professional networking opportunities. They often find themselves barred due to exclusivity (golf clubs), or inappropriateness of the venue (gentlemen’s clubs). These days, while networking and other forms of equality still are not quite here — Augusta National Golf Club, for example, continues to exclude women — women have greater opportunities than ever before. And one of the greatest areas of opportunity is social media.
The only exclusion that exists when it comes to social media is a self-based one, caused by fear of time or technology. But it does not take a lot of effort to get started in social media, and through use of proper time-management tools, the time commitment is easily controlled. As a result, there is no reason women attorneys cannot find themselves with a robust and successful social media presence.
All attorneys are busy, women attorneys sometimes more so. Often, a woman attorney is the primary caretaker of both children and home, in addition to managing a challenging legal career. No doubt, the idea of adding yet another daily task can seem especially daunting. Still, it is the unwise attorney who does not appreciate and take advantage of the branding power of social media. A solid and far-reaching online reputation is extremely important, and management tools such as Ping.fm and Hootsuite, combined with sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and a blog or vlog can help women attorneys manage their time spent online, while developing their reputations and increasing both their client and referral bases.
Women use social media more often than do men. Social media consultant company Media Badger found that women spend 6 percent more time than men on social media. In addition, 40 percent more women actively share content. Further, 28 percent more women will actually engage in conversation via social media by responding to comments and messages. What does this mean? It means that women tend to be more social. And the word social is not in social media by accident.
Social media use requires efforts to engage the audience. Unfortunately, the most common way law firms manage their social media presence is by linking to news articles relevant to their area of practice. There is often no effort to ask questions, share thoughts and feelings, or encourage a give-and-take. In short, there is no attempt to engage the social media community. The social is lacking.
Successful social media users, male or female, tend to actively encourage one another to share posts, communicate thoughts and feelings, exchange personal information and reach out to one another and their readers. Typically speaking, these are all strengths that women have in their communication methods.
Paramjit L. Mahli, CEO and founder of The Rainmakers Roundtable, agrees that women see and use social media differently than men. “Women have embraced social media in a more proactive way in business because social media is not just about connecting but having conversations,” Mahli said. “Women tend to see social media as building relationships, whereas men view social media as transactional. Social media is a critical part of a business development strategy for us.” For the rest of the article click on link.