A lawyer from Wyoming asked me this morning, “LinkedIn group or Facebook?” Which would I suggest for a group of international lawyers who he met at a conference recently to use for staying in touch, collaborating, exchanging ideas and maybe even referrals.
He directed me to a post of mine from six years ago in which I said LinkedIn groups have it all over Facebook groups for lawyers. My opinion has changed.
Today, I’d go with Facebook groups over LinkedIn groups.
Facebook has become part of the fabric of our lives. We turn to Facebook all of the time for personal exchanges as well as for news and information. LinkedIn, though widely used, does not garner near as much mindshare for engagement with others.
I am personally aware of two groups in the legal profession using a Facebook group with great success. A group of legal marketing professionals nationwide and a group of Texas family law lawyers. I participate in the first group. I find both the information exchanged and camaraderie extremely valuable.
I am told by one of our members that the family law lawyers group is very active for information exchange and reputation building. She tells me she gets referrals from lawyers she meets in the group.
Facebook is where the people are today. Facebook is where people spend their time.
More people use Facebook more of the time than any other social network, including LinkedIn, by far. Over 90% of those over age 34 use Facebook and they spend over 900 minutes a month on the social network. LinkedIn is not even close in users nor in the time spent on the network (less than 20 minutes a month on average).
Facebook also has more of an intuitive feel on mobile than LinkedIn. That’s important when mobile represents two of three minutes we spend online.
Lawyers in a Facebook group will receive a non-obtrusive notice on their smartphone that someone has added a post to the group or liked/commented on something the member posted or liked/commented upon.
Finally, God only knows where LinkedIn is going to end up. I love the company (have paid them $200/month for years). I use LinkedIn for connections and limited engagement. But companies acquired by Microsoft often lose their focus and have not done well.
Facebook, with Zuckerberg leading the way, is going to remain focused on connecting people and enabling communication/sharing/collaboration to facilitate these connections. Improvements and features for further commenting people will come at the rate of a half dozen a month.
Don’t dismiss ‘befriending’ on Facebook the people you have meet personally either. Getting outside a group can bring broader exchange and learning.
I liberally use Facebook to meet and get to know new people. Whether it’s professional or personal items that are posted, I receive value and get to know people as people. Plus the Facebook algorithms work wonderfully to further refine and improve my News Feed.
I found I interesting what I had to say about Facebook groups seven years. I suggested LinkedIn for professional engagement then, but
I’ll admit Facebook has all the appearance of becoming the central nervous system of Internet communication, collaboration, community building, and networking. AOL ruled the Internet in the mid and late 90’s, acting as the de facto entry to the net for everyone. Facebook, with its rapid growth and the features it’s adding, feels that way today.
Well, Facebook rules the Internet today. I’d go Facebook group over LinkedIn group for lawyer exchange and engagement.