— Brian John Spencer (@brianjohnspencr) November 22, 2012
My reply was perhaps a bit tongue in cheek. It did, however, make me think about why we hadn’t been tweeting much at @inkstersin recent times. The real reasons are probably:-
- I have been very busy of late both with case work and strategic planning.
- I have been away a lot. 16 flights in the past 3 months (another 2 later this week) and several long train journeys often with limited or no social media connectivity.
But do you need to give excuses for reduced tweeting? I tend to find I tweet when I have spare time on my hands or am bored of watching TV of an evening. Not had much time to contemplate watching TV of late and with little or no spare time in general then tweeting has perhaps taken a back seat. When I think about it I have not posted on LinkedIn much and Google+/Pinterest have been even more neglected than Twitter (NB I don’t do Facebook yet).
Is it bad to take a break from social media? Especially if you are very busy IRL (in real life)? I don’t think so. You can’t be everywhere all of the time – although sometimes it feels like I manage it. I don’t believe that automated tweets are a good idea. You can drop in and out of social media and a less than constant presence may be seen by some as better than a never away from it one. Twitter has been likened to a bar where you drop in when it suits you. You chat to the people in the bar when you are there. If you are not there every night and miss some of the chat then so be it. You will catch up with things next time you are in. Unless you are a resident of Albert Square or Coronation Street you are unlikely to be in that bar every night. You will have other things to do.
However, whilst I may have been less visible on social media I have perhaps been otherwise engaged, especially this past week, in the social real world. I was in London on Wednesday for The Trial of Charon QC. I met many old twitter chums and made some new ones. It was more enjoyable than a night on Twitter but inextricably linked to that social media platform. The following evening I was socialising with sole practitioners from Edinburgh and Glasgow at a joint meeting of sole practitioners from the East and West of Scotland organised by the Law Society of Scotland. Then on Friday night I was meeting new people and seeing an old friend at a Venetian Masquerade Ball raising funds for the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust and sponsored by Irwin Mitchell. Then yesterday afternoon/evening I was at a party catching up with friends from my University days. None of them Tweet. Some Facebook but I have yet to enter that world. I even left my smartphone at home (by accident I hasten to add) yesterday so was bereft of any ability to use social media at all that day. I had a notepad with me (in place of the uncharged Surface I left at home) and scribbled out this blog post, whilst travelling on the train to the party, to type out later. How last century is that!
In the past four days I have not missed social media as I have been immersed in a social whirlwind of meeting and greeting. Social media should arguably only ever be a secondary activity to that primary one albeit a very important activity in sometimes making the primary one happen (as was the case with The Trial of Charon QC).
Brian John Spencer need not fear, however, as I fully expect a very busy Twitter stream from, to and about Inksters in December and January as we merge social media use and a festive hashtag with a physical Christmas greeting. I won’t spoil the surprise. Just keep an eye on your old fashioned Christmas post and then continue the fun on Twitter.
What do you think?
Should law firms be always on social media or is there no harm (possibly benefits) in taking a break from time to time?
Update – 28 November 2012
I understand that not every small business owner is internet or tech savvy; some of us are just too busy getting work done to maintain a Small Business Facebook Page or Twitter account and respond within hours. If that describes your business approach to social media, my advice is: get off of the social networks.
I wondered whether the same applied, in Amy’s eyes, to taking a break from social media. Our twitter exchange on the topic:-
— Amy Tobin (@AmyMccTobin) November 28, 2012
Even if you do take a break you can be available. Alerts can be set up so that if someone is attempting to contact you via social media you are notified and can respond without having to be there constantly everyday. It is perfectly okay to do so. That is not dabbling.