Why am I starting to like Facebook so much?

This afternoon I asked a question on Facebook about law firm’s vetting lawyers’ blog posts before publishing them. I received responses from 8 law firm and legal industry professionals in a thread of 21 total posts. That was over only two or three hours.

I asked the same question on Twitter and received responses from two people, the second from the same firm just retweeting what the first shared.

I have nearly 20,000 followers on Twitter. I have less than 4% of that on Facebook with my 758 friends. Yet I receive eight times the engagement from Facebook.

This is not the first time I’ve experienced this type of engagement on Facsbook. It’s happened on many occasions. A week ago Friday a law firm marketing professional shared a blog post of mine on Facebook. A firestorm (at least for me) of discussion and argument ensued.

Those who understand social media know that it’s not about the number of followers, likes, or shares. It’s not about traffic or reach. Social is about engagement. Facebook delivers engagement.

Note that the engagement this afternoon was not with folks fooling around on Facebook. The discussion from which we all learned a bit involved a former corporate executive now working with law firms, lawyers, in-house marketing professionals, and marketing consultants.

In addition to the learning, relationships were built and strengthened. At least I know they were for me.

It’s this professional engagement upon which trust and friendships are built. Trust and friendships which lead to business. Business earned not by selling our services, but earned by something much higher – earned because people hire people they like and whose company they enjoy.

Law firms and lawyers are quick to dismiss Facebook as a business development medium. “It’s a waste of time. It’s just for personal. You don’t mix business and personal. Our law firm has a Facebook page for marketing.” What a shame.

Facebook can be every bit as effective as a networking event at a conference. Lawyers don’t dismiss cocktail receptions because they only drink with personal friends and relatives.

Law firm Facebook pages won’t cut it for lawyers. People hire people, not law firms. People hire lawyers they know well and that they trust as a result of personal engagement.

It takes lawyers using their personal Facebook accounts to leverage the power of Facebook for business development.

If you’re up for it, give Facebook a real try. It may take six months or a year of adding friends and engaging others for you to see Facebook’s power. Over time though you’ll see that the level of professional engagement on Facebook far exceeds that of Twitter – and possibly other social networks used by professionals.

Image courtesy of Flickr by mkhmarketing