Where do you start as law firm when looking for help on social media and blogging? A PR firm, a web design firm, a marketing company, a consultant, or a combination of all four?

Widely respected Internet marketing strategist, B.L. Ochman, says you need only ask two questions when considering a company or agency which says they can help you.

  1. Do they walk the walk? If they aren’t not participating in social media and blogging as thought leaders, then you don’t want them advising you.
  2. Do they have case studies to share with you to demonstrate their success incorporating social media into clients’ overall marketing strategy? If they don’t, they’ll be learning on your dime.

It’s possible there are a few other questions you’d want to ask, but Ochman’s point is well taken.

You need to find a company with street cred. Per Ochamn:

  • Does the prospective agency, have a credible social media presence of its own?
  • How long have they been using social media? If they have only recently established a presence in social media, ask why it took them so long.
  • Do they have a following? Many agencies have no more social media presence than what they pass off as blogs. Many of those are thinly disguised press releases, or are updated every month or so, if at all.
  • …[T]hey need to be there themselves to demonstrate that they understand how new media actually works, and how community is built in real life, not in theory.

Second, you need to find a company with a track record of achieving success for their clients. Ask for stories or case studies of client successes. Make sure the clients are similar to your law firm.

Social media and blogging is not new. Ochman’s correct that “Social media has been part of the online landscape for a more than a decade, beginning with chat rooms and forums, and evolving into its current form.” If your agency or consultant hasn’t been helping clients achieve success in social media for years, keep looking.

Great questions for law firms. As Ochman warns, “Ignore them at your peril.”