Content Marketing for Lawyers: The Copernican Revolution in Legal Social Media

Cheryl Bame’s recap of a Gary Goldhammer presentation on corporate social media reminded me of the Copernican Revolution — the paradigm shift from a geocentric (Ptolemaic) planetary model to a heliocentric (Copernican) one. Legal social media marketing seems stuck in the Ptolemaic model, where, despite clear evidence to the contrary, everything is believed to revolve around blogging — particularly one’s own blog. In contrast, mainstream business understands that social media is actually about seeking and engaging with your target audiences wherever they are.


While it’s presented in various ways, the orthodox version of legal social media marketing is the same — it all starts and ends with blogging.

However, as summarized by Goldhammer, the current understanding of social media doesn’t assign primacy to blogging — or any other specific social media platform for that matter. Customers occupy the central position around which social media platforms and content orbit.

  • Create a digital roadmap aligned with customer behavior and experience.
  • Create valuable content often.
  • Perform regular keyword analysis and incorporate results.
  • Engage in social environments where people already are and want to stay.
  • Online visibility is driven by people, not machines.
  • Focus on the business goals,  not marketing and PR or social media.
  • Move towards expressions, not impressions.
  • It takes three to five media channels before someone will trust your message.
  • Trust = authenticity and relevancy.
  • Digital strategy can’t live in the marketing silo, it must incorporate sales, PR, customer services,  internal communications and product/service development.

The biggest problem with a Ptolemaic, blog-centric model of legal social media marketing is not so much that it’s wrong — which it is — but rather that it’s limited and limiting.

I’d love to hear from people who have learned through their own experience that blogging isn’t the center of the universe.

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