the-anti-social-mediaSeeing how many companies were approaching social media today, author and marketing strategist, Brian Solis, shared on Twitter this morning a Time article by Graeme McMillan (@Graemem) entitled ‘Are Companies Being Anti-Social with Twitter and Facebook?’

The problem with most corporate social media strategies, according to [Solis], is that they’re just not social enough, they’re actually anti-social, and that that will lead to “social blindness” and a downturn in overall brand loyalty if left unchecked.

Social blindness resulting in a downturn in brand loyalty. I couldn’t help but think of law firms and the strategies being deployed by many law firms. Look at some of the points Solis made in his conversation with McMillan.

  • Corporate social media efforts are “so anti-social that saying [the words] social [and] media together is like saying military intelligence,” and “are actually about to force people to start unfollowing and unliking [companies] en masse.”
  • Most social marketing relies upon the old-media idea of one-way communication, which only distances the companies from their target audiences.

Law firms using social media (blogs, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn) as the distribution arm of a content strategy are only shooting themselves in the foot. The smarter companies are with their use of social media, the greater their revenue growth. This from an NYU study cited by Scott Galloway (@profgalloway), a marketing professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business, who also spoke with McMillan. The problem, says Galloway, is getting companies to change how they use social media.

Maybe we’ll have to wait until bad online word of mouth translates into falling sales for companies to step up their social schemes.

The problem for many law firms is that they tend to be lemmings. Once they hear about a marketing approach being deployed by a number of law firms, they all follow. Many of the law firms leading the way on social media use it as a broadcast mechanism. That’s also the approach being taught to many legal marketing professionals. Add to this that social media at law firms is being driven by marketing professionals traditionally skilled in one-way communication and branding, not lawyers who know they get their best work by virtue of relationships and a strong word pof mouth reputation. Law firms will learn eventually learn how to use the Internet for business development. For many though it’s going to come at the cost of significant lost revenue.