The fashionable embrace of social media

The fashionable embrace of social media

It is interesting to observe the evolution of the use of social media within the legal sector. It seems to have gathered pace to the extent that only a small minority of firms will not claim to be "embracing" it.

It is now commonplace to see the increasingly sophisticated law firm marketing departments working their magic and coming up with some very polished and professional output. We are now seeing regular "best use of social media" categories at the ubiquitous legal awards, regularly attracting the big name law firms.

However, what seems to have happened is that social media has been thrown into the marketing “toolbox”, to be treated in the same way as brochures, websites and newsletters. This approach betrays a misunderstanding of the whole concept of social media and misses out on the huge value it can offer.

From a consumption perspective social media is a unique, highly-customisable, personal digital space for each of us. We can choose who to follow and not follow based on unique personal preferences as to what we want to see in the context of what we have defined for ourselves as the purpose of this channel.  It is flawed to assume social media is a place for generic marketing messages. Social media evades the rules of the standard marketing textbook and requires rules of its own.

At the risk of stating the obvious, social media is supposed to be social. This means

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