Before the unemployed marketers found a way to sell it for a living, and convince lawyers that clients were going to line up with every online "tweet" or "status update," no one thought of creating a fake persona for the purpose of lying to get business. No one thought of puffing qualifications, or, in legal terms, making shit up, in an effort to appear "experienced, aggressive," and here to fight for you 10 minutes out of law school.
When Facebook and twitter and other "social" media sites came online, the first thing people started doing, was talking to each other. When the marketers, unable to truly assist in "marketing" those that were qualified to be marketed started swarming, they made it a profession to help lawyers "create" an online image - true or not.
Lawyers are sheep. Proof? The most scammed segment of society as a result of "Nigerian" email solicitations and other "may I deposit millions of dollars in your account," jokes, are lawyers.
Want to make money? Convince a lawyer you can make them money. They will give you money. Doesn't matter whether you know how to make money. As a marketer told me recently in response to my wonderment how certain morons were given money by lawyers to give marketing advice - he said "no one asks about qualifications, no one."
So tonight, in the middle of watching the resident hucksters try and peddle their wares, I saw this from a social media marketer:
Separate Social Media From Marketing - Anthony J. Bradley and Mark P. McDonald - Harvard Business Review
Harvard Business Review. He he.
... we need to break out social media and talk about more than marketing and technology. Instead, we need to talk about what social media enables: the ability to collaborate in new ways — which is particularly important for business leaders interested in creating more collaborative, innovative, and engaging organizations.
An executive may boast, "We have Twitter and SharePoint, and we're on Facebook." But if you were to ask the executive how social media is positively impacting business results, you may raise a significant issue. When social media is applied to marketing, it creates activity — and in marketing, activity is a good thing. But activity alone does not create business results.
Now wait just a minute?
You can't just type things on social media sites and things will happen?
...just because you've opened the door doesn't mean you've crossed the threshold into a new way of working, managing, and leading. To achieve those ends — we've described these as attributes of a "social organization" — it takes more than setting loose the technology and praying that something good will happen.
So wait, there has to be something behind your online fakery that is actually true?
We need to move beyond social media as a technology tool.
Now this article is basically saying that if the organization behind all the social media lights and sirens is not "social," then it doesn't matter.
Taken a step further, if your law firm, solo practice, reputation, credentials, don't comport with the crap you are spewing on the internet, then all you are doing is using a marketing tool to project something that doesn't exist.
And for some, that's OK.
If it's not, then maybe it's time to think about whether you should be spending more time working on who you truly are, then who you are on social media.
Anonymous comments are welcome as long as they say something relevant and half-way intelligent and arent a vehicle for a coward to attack someone. I trust you understand. Located in Miami, Florida, Brian Tannebaum practices Bar Admission and Discipline and Criminal Defense. He is the author of I Got A Bar Complaint.