By Kevin O'Keefe

Is streaming law content how you build relationships through social media?

I just saw another web application that allows law firms to distribute their documents onto social media. Court filings, legal articles, email newsletters and alerts. All going out onto places like Facebook.

What am I missing here? Does it make any sense to you for a law firm to go out on social media and hand out (maybe push in people’s faces) law content that people may not otherwise want?

Social media, whether it be Facebook, Twitter, a blog, or LinkedIn is about building relationships through engaging people. It’s no different than networking at a legal or industry conference. You listen to conversation, preferably among people you want to get to know better, and engage in conversation by offering insight and commentary of value.

Imagine a lawyer who’s approach to networking and building relationships is passing out court pleadings and law articles to everyone at a conference cocktail party. Of course each document would be branded with the law firm’s name and contact info.

It would take five minutes for the lawyer to be the best known person in the room. Everyone would see the lawyer running around passing stuff out of a box. Everyone would be talking about the lawyer. Those who didn’t know the lawyer and what law firm they were firm would be asking others who this chap was. The lawyer would be the talk of the conference.

Do you want to have people talking about you because you don’t have common social etiquette? Do you want people avoiding you because they’re afraid you’re going to push something at them?

Perhaps I don’t get social media yet. But I don’t see what’s to gain for you as law firm by distributing static content that’s not part of discussion through social media – even if people can find the controls on a social media tool to turn you and your content off. Why do you want people looking for a way to avoid you?

Maybe there’s value in having a repository of content at social media sites so long as you are not streaming it to people. I don’t know.

What do you think?

Kevin O'Keefe
About the Author

Trial lawyer turned legal tech entrepreneur, I am the founder and CEO of LexBlog, a legal blog community of over 30,000 blog publishers, worldwide. LexBlog’s publishing platform is used on a subscription basis by over 18,000 legal professionals, including the largest law firm in each India, China and the United States.

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