Posted by: Jim McClenahan | October 11, 2010

Ethical, Targeted Community Building in Social Media

“If you build it, he will come,” the prophetic message of Field of Dreams may apply to baseball diamonds, but couldn’t be further from the truth when it comes to social media profiles. The fact is that even when you focus on building profiles only on those networks where your best prospects are gathered, you can’t expect your audience to come to you.

Keep in mind that your audience is already engaged in a conversation; as a lawyer delving into social media marketing, it’s up to you to join that conversation and build your network. In order to do so effectively, there are three things that you must consider:

  1. You must take the time to understand the dynamics of the group. If you’re networking on Twitter, don’t take it as a given that your friends or followers will read your legal blog unless you provide a relevant link within a tweet.
  2. Practicing ethical marketing is your responsibility. Avoid misrepresenting yourself or your firm while you focus on demonstrating the value your services offer.
  3. Make sure the time you allocate will be productive.

Neglecting either of these points will lead to – at the very least – not being taken seriously within the community. Simply broadcasting your message without interacting, not taking the time to build relationships, or being perceived as being unethical could lead to being “defriended” or blocked by your prospects. Any of these can have a negative impact on your credibility – meaning that instead of hitting a social media home run, your marketing efforts have struck out. Proceed with caution and common sense, and you’ll be on the right track toward social media success.

This post is authored by Todd Felts, one of the sm@rt conference organizers and originally appeared on the Closers Group blog,


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