Over the weekend I had the great privilege of being a panelist at the State Bar of Arizona’s Grand Slam or Foul Ball . . . Social Networking for Lawyers – Co-sponsored with The State Bar of California.  It was a glorious day in Arizona filled with good conversation, excellent panelists, magnificent food, and of course, baseball.

During the seminar portion of the day – I won’t tease you with the food and baseball – the participants were treated to some great discussion of social media and how it can benefit, and hurt an organization.  One of the more interesting thoughts came from Peter Woodfork
Vice President & Assistant General Manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

He spoke about the issues involved with athletes using social media and some of the guidance that Major League Baseball is providing to its member clubs.  There are legitimate concerns with athletes posting to social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIN etc. and many clubs discourage athletes from posting during the season.

This brings up an important business principle – make sure the individuals utilizing social media on behalf of your organization are the appropriate persons to be speaking for the organization.   Once something is posted on Facebook, it can live forever on Google.

I shared with the attendees my analogy on where social media fits into a law firm marketing plan. Imagine you have a cylinder and you have to fit large rocks, small rocks, sand, and water into the cylinder.  Which ones go first?

I recommend the large ones, which are your referrals and past clients.  The small rocks are your grassroots networking activities and your website.  The sand in the cylinder is your blog.  The water is social media.  It ties all of your legal marketing efforts together, but it is not your primary marketing tool.

It was a great seminar for those who attended, and I hope to participate in more in the future.  Social media has a place in your law firm marketing plan.  Putting that piece in the right place is the key.
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