Turns out the number one reason businesses use online social networking is for networking. This from an informal poll conducted by Wendy Kier, a UK marketing consultant, which found the main use of social networking for 60% of businesses was networking. Only 15% of businesses viewed increasing brand awareness as the main reason to use social networks. Is this poll stating the obvious? No, in the case of most attorneys and law firms. The majority of attorneys and law firms view social networking as a means to increase awareness and to brand their firm. Rather than teaching their lawyers how to use the Internet for networking, law firms focus on increasing visibility by using social networking to push their content at people. In a webinar I was giving to law firms yesterday, one professional chimed in out about applications that can be used to distribute one’s blog posts across multiple social networks ala Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Facebook all at once. That’s marketing, not networking. Do not view blogs and other social media/networking tools, whether Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook as marketing tools. Look at the them as mediums to use for networking. Networking through the Internet for business development. Those of you who follow me may think I’m a broken record. But, I’m gonna keep telling you until the cows come home that the Internet for lawyers is all about networking to build relationships and to enhance one’s reputation. I fear the cows are a long ways from home for most attorneys and law firms.