In Robert Ambrogi’s latest blog post entitled “Pseudo Social Sharing Isn’t Smart, It’s Spam” he accuses me of creating software that prompts lawyers to spam their contacts. It isn’t true Bob, so let me have a chance to set the record straight.
I’d like to start by clearing up one major misunderstanding. Just because the software makes it easier for lawyers to share, doesn’t mean it removes their responsibility to share in a thoughtful way. Here are six reasons my software will lead to more genuine sharing.
1. ClearView Social encourages lawyers to share articles to individuals by email. When you receive an email from my software, you can choose to preview an article, share that article by email to a personal contact or share it online with two clicks. Engaging in 1-to-1 sharing with personalized messages is the highest and best use of a lawyers time, and the software encourages this.
2. ClearView Social promotes personalization of messages. Each lawyer that clicks to share using my software is prompted to personalize the message before sharing. They can add their thoughts of how it might impact their contacts, their practice area or their industry. They are not required to personalize, but they are always given that option.
3. ClearView will decrease SPAM by tracking the success of articles. The software tracks every article shared, and how many clicks and likes those shares receive. If lawyers share content that nobody in their network wants to read, then nobody will click on it. It makes the entire law firm smarter about sharing. If hundreds or even dozens of people are reading the articles, that isn’t spam. That is effective content distribution, notice I didn’t say lead generation, because that isn’t the point. The point is sharing content that is useful to others in their network.
4. ClearView reminds lawyers on a daily basis to share good, quality content. Receiving a daily email with suggested content makes it easy for lawyers to share pre-approved firm content, but it is also a simple reminder to share daily. ClearView Social gives lawyers the option to bring in their own outside research and articles to share or share those suggested by the firm. If these articles are successful, others lawyers in the firms can learn from their success.
5. ClearView provides opportunities for lawyers to start conversations. Less than 3% of lawyers are sharing online right now, this is dreadful! We can do better. I’ve spoken to over ten thousand lawyers over the last five years, written two books on the topic and over 100 articles. Robert Ambrogi, Kevin Okeefe and anybody else that cares to listen should know by now, I am committed to getting lawyers to engage in real conversations online. Sharing isn’t a lead generator, it isn’t the end game, it is the beginning and it is a great way to connect with new people for the first time and re-connect with contacts that have sat dormant. ClearView can help new lawyers get started in a positive way.
6. ClearView takes something scary for lawyers and makes it simple. Some lawyers may never read an article, copy the link and open LinkedIn to share that article. They just don’t think that way. I want them to though, and if ClearView Social can make it just a little bit easier for them to figure out what great tools LinkedIn and Twitter are, then we will be getting somewhere.
Robert, I appreciate your insights, and it made me look at my software in a different way. Your concerns are all valid ones. My software is currently in beta with a handful of firms for this very reason, I want to make sure it is the best sharing software possible when it launches. If that hasn’t come through in my messaging, then that is on me. Yes, my software makes it simple, and that could lead to lawyers sharing in a less than thoughtful way, but that isn’t the goal. The goal is to encourage engagement, encourage cross-selling and make sure that big firms can get their best ideas out to a larger network of potential clients where lawyers have existing relationships.