Blogs Aren’t Magic: What South Park and SNL Can Teach Us About the Follies of Social Media

We can learn a lot about the pitfalls of law firm social marketing from satirical television shows.

It seems that any discussion of law firm marketing these days begins with “You gotta get a blog!” (a la the Saturday Night Live “Chandeliers” skit).

Lawyer blogs are classy, smart, cutting-edge, convey status and make a statement. “OK,” you say, “I’ve launched one. What now?” A few weeks ago I saw an actual LinkedIn post that posed the question, “How do I convert my blog subscribers into clients?”

How indeed.

There’s a lot of rhapsodizing in legal marketing circles about social media as the new PR, and the power of blogs to generate speaking opportunities, media coverage, new business leads and new clients, but painfully little specific discourse on the mechanics of how it works. South Park skewers that business model elision in the famous “Gnomes” episode:

  • Phase 1: Collect underpants
  • Phase 2: ?
  • Phase 3: Profit

The fact of the matter is, blogs perform a lot of very important marketing tasks very well. They can:

  • Make it easier to be found by potential clients (aka SEO).
  • Efficiently organize and display information.
  • Demonstrate capabilities and expertise.
  • Convey a sense of who you are, how you think and how you work.
  • Provide a mechanism for contacting you.

What they don’t do so well is:

  • Get the right information in front of the right person at the right time.
  • Follow up.
  • Persuade.
  • Identify new opportunities or paths for advancement.

In other words, blogs can’t close the sale. They can make marketing more effective and efficient, but that only goes so far.

  • Journalists and bloggers still need to be motivated, engaged and informed through PR outreach.
  • Potential clients still want to meet you in person or at least talk to you in real time.
  • Conference organizers still need to be persuaded that attendees will find you interesting and your presentation valuable.

So while magical — kind of like the iPad — blogs are not magic. You still need magicians to make them work. 



  1. I love it! Seriously? Chandeliers, underpants gnomes, AND the law? My favorite things! I’m hooked. 🙂


  1. […] as one survey suggests in-house counsel take blogs into consideration in choosing law firms (though it’s also worth noting that blogs have their limits in this […]

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