20130203-123329.jpg My friend, New York Attorney Scott Greenfield (@scottgreenfield), penned this morning that social media for lawyers was ‘cutting edge without substance.’ Greenfield was prompted by Jason Wilson (@jasnwilson) , VP of McClure Publishing, satire that lawyers must use Vine, a new Twitter video service, before it’s too late.

Lawyers, you MUST be on Vine now. If you aren’t producing 6 second looping videos about your practice, associates and their hipster attire, speaking engagements, ghost-written blog and marketing content, or the office cat, then you may already be too late.

Jason’s a good guy and is having a little fun. But it is the hype from many that lawyers need to get to use social media for wealth and fame that rightfully gets Greenfield calling BS. Sifting through the conflicting noise hyping social media and claims that social media is a fad that doesn’t work, lawyers ought to use common sense. Social media is just networking through the Internet. I’ve been a lawyer for 31 years. I practiced for 17 years and have been in business serving lawyers since that time. I have always got my best work by word of mouth and relationships. Talking with other lawyers and law firms, they all agree. A lawyer’s best work comes from a strong word of mouth reputation and relationships. Yesterday and today. Today, building online visibility is imperative for driving business development for any business, let alone lawyers. Not visibility through a website or SEO, but visibility that showcases, through others, your reputation and visibility built on relationships. Social media and social networking is not flakey, it’s real authentic engagement that accelerates relationships and one’s word of mouth reputation. Sure there are flakes. There were flakes among the lawyers at the courthouse, bar meetings, and rotary lunches. But don’t dismiss the power of networking through the net to build a reputation and relationships because of a few flakes. Social media is not about getting out there now so you’ll not be left behind. It’s just a common sense way of building a practice, feeding your family, and paying your mortgage. Networking. Image courtesy of Flickr by Holly Penny.