The ever-expanding social networking universe is becoming a much smaller place. That is, a recent announcement made by Twitter has revealed that users of the micro-blogging service will now be able to more effectively link their Twitter accounts to their Facebook and LinkedIn profiles. This will lead to the establishment of a web of social networking contacts that may soon be able to fully interact with one another.
According to a pcmag.com article, Twitter has added both Facebook and LinkedIn to its “Find Friends” feature. However, as with any new development still in its infancy, the new feature is far from flawless. Reportedly, the Twitter-Facebook application does not allow users to access their Facebook information at this time, disallowing them from being able to discern which of their Facebook friends are on Twitter (which is what the application is supposed to allow). It should be noted, however, that the Twitter-LinkedIn application is currently working as it is supposed to – allowing LinkedIn users to see which of their LinkedIn connections also have a presence on Twitter.
Social networking began as a means for friends to communicate about a variety of topics that they all found interesting. Today, social networking is very much the same thing, and forever will be a grouping of arenas where members are allowed to express themselves. For law firms, the allure here should not be to become friends with someone in hopes that the person will soon become a client. Instead, attorneys should enter into the social networking discussion as an authority on the type of law its firm is centered-around. The point of having a presence on social networking sites is not to sell your product, but to connect with other users and establish yourself as a trusted authority on whatever type of law you may practice – whether its personal injury law, criminal defense, bankruptcy law, or business litigation.
Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn and all other social networking sites look for ways to intertwine with one another, creating a giant social graph where users have access to a variety of opinions and information. The most important thing that any law firm looking to utilize social networking strategies in its marketing can do is to establish a presence on these networks. Because word of mouth is the basis on which social networking exists, it is essential to remember that shamelessly plugging your business on any of these arenas is not the proper way to become an authority. Proper social networking strategies should involve establishing your identity, becoming an authority, and relying on word of mouth to spread your message.
Your end goal should be to help people notice your law practice, which will allow them to talk about your firm, and ultimately refer you to their friends/followers/connections. Be an authority, and people will turn to you when they or their friends need help!