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Does a lawyer need to blog to make effective use of social media?

I often hear lawyers say they are going to rely on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and the like for client development. Blogging is not part of their social media plans.

I was presenting on a social media panel last month at ACLEA in Orlando with Attorney Ali Gerkman, Manager of Online Content and Development at Colorado Bar Association CLE. Ali said something I thought was pretty profound. I may not do justice to what you said Ali, but here’s what I recall:

As a lawyer, your blog remains your constant face among all other social media. As other forms of social media rise and fall in popularity (even go away), your blog remains your constant. Your blog represents your insight, commentary, and the information you shared from years ago and the same for years to come.

Is it prudent for a lawyer or law firm to rely on third parties to maintain and protect their brand? A brand as a professional service provider that labels you as a trusted and reliable authority in a niche area of the law. I’m not sure that’s a responsible course of action.

In addition to the inherent difficulties of establishing yourself as a thought leader and an expert through Twitter, Facebook, and the like, what if those services decline in popularity or go away? Unlikely, but law firms approaching social media worry about things of lesser risk.

What if your brand is hitched to some third party social media tool when that happens? What happens to all of the content you shared? At best, no one is one looking at the content anymore if there is a decline in popularity in the social media tool you used. At worst, your content is gone.

If a lawyer is really going to network through the Internet and engage their target audience through social media, don’t they need to blog?

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