About a year and a half ago, KCBA conducted a survey to better understand how its communications efforts were being received by existing and prospective members. One of the areas we were curious about was how much the bar and bench used social media in their professional lives.
While we all notice colleagues forever tethered to electronic devices, scanning emails, sending text messages and snapping photos of all aspects of their lives, how much of that is related to business and how much to pleasure?
We were surprised to find that lawyers and judges make a very clear distinction between their use of social media personally (they like it) versus professionally in their work (they don’t!). While a noteworthy number of solo and small-firm practitioners are actively using social media for marketing purposes, very few of our members use it as a source of news and information about the practice of law, as a scheduling tool or as a means to keep informed about the activities under way at KCBA.
One exception to this was that KCBA members did report widespread use of the profiles found on LinkedIn. Facebook and Twitter, however, were lightly used (KCBA’s accounts show we’ve been “liked” by 734 people and “followed” by 804 people — about 14 percent of our membership). The need for confidential communications, and legally substantial and professional styles seems to trump the seemingly universal use of social media by the legal profession.
I share all this in advance of a confession. Despite these low numbers, I’ve gotten into the habit of sharing news from KCBA with a daily tweet — especially because it allows for a “triple play” each day in social mediaville. Our systems at KCBA are set up so that anything we tweet is simultaneously posted to our Facebook page and our KCBA website homepage. That ensures that every day there’s at least one fresh item appearing on those three platforms. Granted, it’s not particularly interactive, and usually somewhat self-serving, but it does feel like useful information is being shared with those KCBA members who are receiving it.
To give you a flavor for what you may have missed, check out the recent tweets (140 characters max!) from the last three weeks that appear at the end of this column — quick, succinct pieces of news and information of likely interest to lawyers and judges in our area. You can join our followers and “likers” by using our handle @kingcountybar (twitter.com/kingcountybar and facebook.com/kingcountybar).
But what about those of you who don’t want to use social media, yet still want to keep abreast of information like this? First, you can just check out KCBA’s website once a day, where you’ll see the daily tweets on the bottom, left-side bar menu. Or you can install a very helpful Outlook add-on to your email called “TwInbox.” It puts any tweets you wish to view directly into your email in-box as they are posted — easy to use instructions are at www.techhit.com/TwInbox/twitter_plugin_outlook.html.
Whether you use social media in your professional life or not, I hope you’ll check out these daily news and information tidbits from KCBA. But act soon, or else you’ll have to give up on these tools and take time to learn some new app that’s likely being invented in some teenager’s room somewhere in America (or China or Brazil or France or Guatemala or ...).
Recent KCBA Tweets:
Thanks to the WA Supreme Court candidates who participated in today’s forum. Video to be posted later this week at http://kcba.org.
First meeting of our Juvenile Justice Reform Task Force plus retreat for our *engaged* foundation trustees today. Thanks to our bar leaders!
Newsclip | Appeals court rejects lawsuit over lawyers for immigrant kids
http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/appeals-court-rejects-class-action-over-lawyers-for-immigrant-kids/?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=article_left_1.1 … via @seattletimes
KCBA trustees met today–topics incl. judicial elections & strategic planning exercise–thanks to presenters Marcia Nelson & Theo Angelis.
Newest members of the bar took the oath of attorney today–thanks to special guests Pete Holmes @CityAttyPeteH & Reagan Dunn @KCCReaganDunn.
Thanks to 11 King County Superior Court candidates who attended today’s forums. Two photos here; video coming soon: http://www.kcba.org/judicialelections.
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