For Lawyers

15 Years of Social Media

I first got into the online world in 2004 when the BBC did its Big Read! This was where the nation could vote for its 100 Favourite books. I was hooked and decided to read all 100 of them. That fizzled out after about 12 but I did sign up to the online forum. A group of us would login and chat about Harry Potter, Philip Pullman or Life of Pi. It was a great introduction to what was to become a brave new world. At about this time I also read an article about the Arctic Monkeys*. They had found fame and fortune largely through Myspace. This was fascinating. I thought I might be able to do the same! I signed up and quickly made about 2 friends. But in time I found my way around it. I posted my first blogs about; Farting Cows, the Beatles and US Politics including the rise of a certain Mr Obama. I am still in touch with some of those original contacts.

I was starting to enjoy it when my niece asked why I didn’t do Facebook. ‘What’s Facebook?’ was my response which didn’t sound as bizarre back then! But sign up I did and within a few weeks must have had about 10 friends. But I did learn about Groups. This was great. I could join a group of people with common interests. I started my own Groups – Steve’s Mates Who Love Everton and People called Cornforth. The latter led to me being suspended by Facebook because I trawled for members with my surname and asked them to join my group. I had no idea that this wasn’t allowed. None of this was anything to with business at first.

In the meantime, Twitter was a very strange alien world. I dabbled. I posted the odd tweet which seemed to disappear into this massive black hole. I had no idea what it was about until I read – How to Leave Twitter by Grace Dent. Ironically this got me into Twitter in a big way. I learned how to use @ to draw attention to a tweet. I learned the joys of # which highlighted a topic. This was when I also started my Steve Cornforth Blog which has now had about 250k reads. With Twitter, I could post a link and then tag people who might be interested in the hope that they would share. Twitter is now the platform I use the most for ranting!

LinkedIn came later. As I got familiar with Facebook I saw how it could be a great place to share work that I was doing. I was a working litigation lawyer at that time and there is no better place to share stories. I also learned how to set up use Pages to promote my firm and build up my own profile. Next came 'boosted posts' and even better, targetted 'boosted posts'.

In 2017 this all changed. I left mainstream legal practice and became an independent consultant. Overnight, my client base changed. I was no longer offering services to the public but to business and in particular to law firms. Facebook became less important, although it has made a comeback! LinkedIn became the place to be. In fact, in two and a half years since I started working for myself, this has become my second biggest source of work after word of mouth and face to face networking.

There we have it. 15 years of fun, mistakes, hard work and lots of friends.

I have learned many lessons. I could talk about Social Media all day. In fact, that’s what I plan to do. I can help with most platforms and can guide you through anything from getting started, which is your best platform to the launching and use of pages, LinkedIn Groups and the wonders of Twitter…with Instagram thrown in if you like.

I now manage the Social Media accounts of several firms. This includes posting of blogs, updates and news.

I can also arrange a Skype or telephone discussion to talk about anything to do with Social Media.

*Well known Sheffield Rock Combo!!