Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Facebook for Lawyers?

As the marketing director in a law firm, I was frequently asked if I thought the firm should block access to Facebook. I didn’t recommended blocking access to Facebook but I wasn’t a strong advocate for using Facebook as a business development tool.

Kevin O’Keefe recently took up the LinkedIn versus Facebook discussion on his blog, Real Lawyers Have Blogs.

Kevin gave an example of how was able to connect with a business contact he was hoping to get to know better after she replied to a Tweet he had posted. He followed up with a LinkedIn request. She accepted but replied that she used her Facebook account more than LinkedIn. Kevin then friended her on Facebook.

The Twitter and LinkedIn discussions that followed Kevin’s blog posting have been split on mixing personal and professional social networking. 

Here are my takeaways on LinkedIn versus Facebook for attorneys: 
  • It depends. There are no right or wrong answers or approaches.
  • Be comfortable. Attorneys need to be comfortable with the social networking sites they use and the information they reveal. If you do not want to share what you did last weekend with your professional contacts, stick to LinkedIn.
  • Go where your clients and prospects are. Ask your clients and professional contacts if they prefer LinkedIn, Facebook or other networking sites.
  • Be proactive and engaged. To effectively use social networking as a business development tool, you need to go beyond creating profiles and accepting invitations. Whether you are using Linked or Facebook, be proactive and take the time to update your profile, search for new contacts, and share information. 

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