Facebook knows its members may die or become incapacitated ... and is now offering solutions.

Facebook knows its members may die or become incapacitated … and is now offering solutions.

The other day I was informed by Linkedin of a friend’s “work anniversary.” That was jarring, as I know she died last spring.

Even more unfortunate, that kind of social media interaction happens quite a bit—and there’s rarely a systemic change that would reduce its occurrence.

For example, for a few years around 2010, Facebook would invite me to “connect with someone you might know.” Fair enough. The selection of options was good, including a lawyer friend whom I had known for years, and even written about in Arizona Attorney Magazine. Sadly, though, she had died the previous year. I tried to alert people whom I thought were closer friends, but they had no leads on who might have access to her social media accounts.

Those were simply more opportunities for social media to remind me of sad times—and to highlight the need for post-death decisions about social media accounts.

That’s why I was glad to see a story that attorney Michael Tucker shared. The article by Geoffrey Fowler is titled “Facebook Heir? Time to Choose Who Manages Your Account When You Die,” and it is a welcome read. It opens:

“You can finally decide what happens to your Facebook account when you die. In a change of heart, the world’s most popular social network will begin allowing its members to designate someone—what they call a ‘legacy contact’—to manage parts of their accounts posthumously. Members can also choose to have their presence deleted entirely.”

Is making this change to your Facebook account something you’ll consider?

I'm sorry to ask about social media on a Monday. Too soon? gecko facepalm

I’m sorry to ask about social media on a Monday. Too soon?

Does social media do anything for you and your law practice?

Ok, I don’t typically start a Monday with such a potentially depressing question. So let me rephrase it: For those of you attorneys who find some value (however little) in social media to your practice, could you let me know what it is?

What led me to ask was an online post last week that examined the question “Does social media really work as a marketing tool?” You can read the (law firm marketer) responses here.

Besides being perturbed by the unnecessary use of “really” in the question, I also braced myself for the answers. That’s because lawyers (and many other legal organizations) often proclaim that “social media has never gotten me a new client.”

Well, if that was your goal for social media, and it didn’t achieve that, I’m sorry.

But of course (1) there are many goals for social media besides landing a client, and (2) how do you know your blogging etc. did not play a role in changing how a potential client viewed you as a potential counselor—or speaker, or mentor?

And remember, social media are channels, nothing more. When I encounter a resistant attorney, I sometimes ask whether their fax machine alone has ever “gotten you a client.” Or if your telephone “got you a client.” Of course not; you got the client, by displaying your expertise and/or experience and/or competitive pricing and/or geographic flexibility and/or 100 other things that may set you apart and make you appealing to clients.

Social media is just another way (and not the last way) to show those qualities.

It is also a great way to develop leads, learn about the community you want to practice in, and more.

In any case, please read the responses (by marketing experts) and let me know if you agree. I’ll be standing by (and bracing myself for the opposite of social media love); contact me at arizona.attorney@azbar.org.

Facebook Like thumbs upI’ll admit I was surprised by a headline that recently crossed my desk: “Majority of Law Firm Managing Partners Embrace Social Media”

Really, I thought? So all of that fearful fretting I hear is not representative?

Reading deeper into the release and the survey on which it was based yielded some welcome nuance. No, the conversations I have heard from law firms are not atypical: Many still dislike the medium.

What “The 2014 Managing Partner Social Media Survey–Part 1” makes clear, though, is that managing partners are “overwhelmingly embracing social media, specifically the professional social network LinkedIn.”

Well, if we’re thinking of Linkedin as a social media channel, I guess I’d have to agree. It is a space in the cloud world in which wearing a belt and suspenders is still welcome. So it may surprise few that “more than 90 percent of managing partners have LinkedIn accounts.”

Dig down a bit and the useful survey also reveals that “while 39 percent felt social media is a ‘new and exciting way to interact with others,’ 35.6 percent saw the innovation as a ‘necessary evil’ but said that they would ‘learn to adapt.’”

Belt? Check. Suspenders? Check. Social Media? Um...

Belt? Check. Suspenders? Check. Social Media? Um…

A necessary evil. That’s more like it. Can you hear the kicking and screaming?

Read and download the report here.

And here are some useful takeaways:

  • While 39 percent of respondents overall had a favorable view of social media, this number was 75 percent for managing partners under 40.
  • All managing partners under 50 reported having a LinkedIn account, compared to 86 percent of those 50 and over.
  • The vast majority of managing partners set up their LinkedIn accounts on their own.
  • On average, most managing partners access LinkedIn once a week.
  • Of the few managing partners who reported not being on LinkedIn, the majority cited an inability to see the benefits of the network.
  • Most managing partners belong to four to five LinkedIn Groups.
  • However, 40 percent of managing partners are mainly observers in the Groups to which they belong.

(OK, I really tried to read that third bullet point without smirking. Good on them!)

Part 2 promises to cover “firm-wide social media policies and practices.”

Do you think ghost-blogging by lawyers is misleading, unethical?

Do you think ghost-blogging by lawyers is misleading, unethical?

Here is a simple question for you on a Monday morning. It involves ghost blogging, the practice of some lawyers to post blog content on their own blog that was written by someone other than themselves.

 

My question arises from a few sources. It’s related to conversations I had at a Scottsdale conference last week. And it’s connected to an exchange that is evolving in a Linkedin group in which I participate.

Yes, I have my own opinions. But I’d like to hear from others and then we’ll chat more.

Lawyer-Word-Cloud

Keep up with what’s happening at the State Bar Annual Convention by following us on Twitter! Get short, timely messages (including photos, speaker presentations and more) from Arizona Attorney Magazine’s staff. If you, your firm or employer are active on Twitter, just insert the hashtag #azbarcon into all of your Convention tweets to allow them to be read and searched by fellow attendees and the entire legal community.

The Twitter links will take you to updates in our Convention Daily—news items and photos that will appear on the magazine blog, Facebook and Tumblr pages, and in our News Center:

For more detail, click on the image below for gigantification.

Twitter at Convention flier 2014

Westin 3 Westin La Paloma Resort in Tucson

This is annual Convention week at the State Bar of Arizona. As always, a large selection of educational seminars (and fun activities) are packed into the three-day event held in Tucson at the Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa.

More detail about the Convention is here.

Later today, and in the next few days, I’ll share what seminar chairs have told me are the most valuable parts of their educational offerings.

Over the years, Arizona Attorney Magazine staff have covered the heck out of the annual event, and this year will be the same.

As in the past, we will not print a once-a-day hard-copy “Convention Daily.” Instead, we will cover Convention news closer to real time, via the editor’s blog. We will use multiple channels to communicate what’s going on. But the surest way to be sure you see everything is to follow us on Twitter. My name in Twitter is @azatty. You can view all the evolving content here (or at http://twitter.com/azatty, to be specific). I will be tagging everything with the hashtag #azbarcon – so be sure to search for that.

Want to participate? Send me brief stories or story suggestions. Or if you have convention photos, we’d be glad to share them with readers.

And don’t forget to tweet from convention. Use the hashtag #azbarcon.

Questions or suggestions? Reach the Editor, Tim Eigo, on-site at the Westin La Paloma, at 602-908-6991.

And always feel free to stroll up and say hello. I’ll be hiking all over the Westin to cover the goings-on. Or you may catch me at the Arizona Attorney table in the Exhibitor area. If you miss me there, leave your card or a note.

social media heart love

… but maybe it’s just me.

This Friday, I will join a fellow Bar communicator as we present a seminar on how association leaders can best deal with media—not news outlets, but all the other media that takes up our day: everything from press releases and websites to social media.

State Bar Chief Communications Officer Rick DeBruhl will cover legacy mainstream media channels. I’m the social media portion of the edutainment. Our shared title is “Dealing with the Media—From Mainstream to Social.”

And I’d like your help.

The audience will be attending the annual conference of the Arizona Society of Association Executives (you kind of knew they must have an association, didn’t you?). As they describe themselves:

“AzSAE is for all levels of management and all types of nonprofits, from chief executives to staff managers and from international trade associations to local philanthropic organizations.”

Have you spotted the challenge faced by the event’s speakers? The audience will range from folks who understand communications like the back of their hand, and those who oversee an association and may know little about the topic.

Hmmm. How granular to get? But if we remain general, we’re bound to annoy the more fluent parts of the audience who may be hoping for nuts-and-bolts takeaways.

So I wonder if you have a suggestion for our portion of the event. I’m nearly done with my presentation prep, but then it occurred to me that I should crowdsource a solution (why it took a social media maven so long to stumble on that notion is a mystery).

You may know little about associations (congratulations). But before you avert your gaze, I point out that many professionals, especially millennials, identify social media and websites as key channels through which they learn association news.

One of the results from a 2012 Millennial Impact survey

One of the results from a 2012 Millennial Impact survey

In addition,you certainly know which of the member organizations you belong to “get it right” and which routinely fail to meet your expectations.

So you may be uniquely qualified to help answer these questions:

  • What communications channels work best to “reach you” about association news?
  • What techniques or tools used by associations make you feel most “at home” in an association?
  • What association strategies leave you cold and make your association appear irrelevant?

Thanks! I’ll report back about how our insights were received.

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