Social Media for Lawyers: Child Labor? Really?

In yesterday’s post about the State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting, I mentioned one presenter’s narrow and idiosyncratic understanding and use of social media marketing. To be more specific, he characterized social media marketing as so simple and second-nature to digital natives that solo and small firms should hire only high school or college interns — or even family members as young as 14 — to manage their firm’s social media activities.

That’s not much of a surprise, though. He also volunteered that the only reason he got into social media marketing in the first place was because his career coach badgered him into it, and even then he agreed to try it only on the condition that “it had to be free.”

I’m not making this up.

Giving credit where credit is due, that approach — plus a sweet FCPA niche — has served this particular lawyer well. But is it replicable, and can it scale? No.

Recently on the excellent Spin Sucks blog, guest blogger Andrew Hanelly discussed “Five Reasons the Intern Shouldn’t Run Social Media“:

  • Interns don’t live and breathe your brand
  • Interns aren’t forever
  • Interns stick too closely to the script
  • Interns aren’t always aware of the faux pas minefield
  • Interns aren’t compensated well enough for the pressure

I would add one more to that list: If you rely on interns to run your social media marketing, you’ll never be better than an intern at social media marketing. And that’s…OK.

Just remember, you get what you pay for.


  1. Man that blog post hurt some feelings! Even though I didn’t write it, I had interns from around the globe asking me what I have against them. My take? You wouldn’t send an intern to a board meeting. You wouldn’t send an intern to close a piece of business. You wouldn’t send an intern to man a trade show booth. Or speak. Or network alone. So why put them in charge of your social efforts?

    • Jay Pinkert says:

      Thanks for commenting! Remarkable that so many interns took umbrage at the original post. Shows a lack of self-awareness — which ironically pretty much makes the case for why one shouldn’t leave them in charge of social. As for business owners who run their social efforts like amateur hour, I don’t have enough evangelical zeal to convince/convert (to borrow a phrase) individuals with that world view.

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