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#ABATECHSHOW: Social media is hard, I guess. Or not, whatever.

So, Kevin O’Keefe dropped this nugget today:

It’s surprising that companies bringing us the latest in legal technology do such a poor job of using technology to market themselves.

Look at this year’s ABA TechShow.

Exhibition hall booths, cheap conference swag, program ads, name badge sponsors, lunch sponors, and who knows, maybe someone will buy the restroom doors on which to post their signs.

All of this could have been done 20 years ago. Heck, all of it could have been done when the Hilton Hotel, the site of the show, opened in 1927 as the Stevens Hotel.

And it’s hard to disagree with him, unless we accept that the attendees are decidedly not social media people themselves. After all, during the registration process, the registrant is not asked for his or her (or firm) Twitter handle or public-facing Facebook account (or Instagram page or even blog) or whether he or she knows what RSS means or what blogs do they read or podcasts they listen to. The ABA does not track any social media metrics for its attendees, and a cursory glance at the live feed on Twitter shows all the usual suspects (including dogs!), with a couple new faces. Hard to engage an empty room.

So every year I attend the Texas Bar’s Advanced Family Law conference. It’s an enormous gathering of over 1,500 lawyers, and over the years I’ve gotten to know a lot of them (and met some fast friends along the way). Guess how many interact with vendors in social media space before, during, and after the conference: about zero. Shit, most of them don’t read blogs. And maybe that’s just the culture of the section, who knows. But what I do know, that like TechShow, the conference is about seeing friends and talking to vendors face-to-face. Social media has nothing to do with it.

Maybe I’m missing something from Kevin’s post, as far as vendor engagement is concerned, you know, the “how” of it. Maybe it’s about slow cooking your brand through thoughtful posts or honest ones with the hope that lawyers will discover it once they figure out their own pain points and start hunting around for a solution. So it could be you introduce yourself at TechShow, but you better follow that up with an online, informative presence. Dunno.

Me, I’m a hit ’em over the head with a hammer guy. “Hey pal! I bet your briefs look like shit and judge’s ignore them because you’re still using Times New Roman in 14 point font. So go buy Typography for Lawyers 2nd and get a clue! Trust me.” And I’ll tell you that in person or online.

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