Should Lawyers Be Marketing on Mastodon?
Mastodon is a free and open-source social networking service that has gained popularity as an alternative to mainstream social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. There is no question that there is a lot of buzz associated with it, especially with all that has been happening on Twitter lately.
Its decentralized nature, where users can set up their own servers, has attracted many who are concerned about issues like privacy, censorship, and data ownership. But should you add Mastodon to your list of social media sites where you do your marketing?
You Can Build a Community (Your Tribe)
One potential advantage to being on Mastodon is its focus on community building. It allows users to join or create “instances,” which are communities of users centered around particular interests or topics. This is similar to Facebook groups or pages. But before you can benefit from this advantage, you need to ask yourself:
Is this where my potential clients gather? Can one or more of my practice areas benefit from “community”?
You need to be where your potential clients are. If they aren’t on Mastodon, then why spend your limited time looking for them there? You’re better off on other platforms, if they are working for you, and not extend to this one.
But then again, it may not be about just getting more clients (at least directly). You could use it to connect with other lawyers in your community and people in related professions to build your professional network and encourage referrals.
But There Are Drawbacks
However, there are also potential drawbacks for lawyers using Mastodon. For example, its decentralized nature also means that there is less central control over the content that is posted on the platform. While it does have some moderation tools, instances are largely responsible for managing their own communities.
This means that you, or someone in your firm, must be the “moderator,” which can be a bit of a time commitment. Not moderating posts could potentially lead to instances that promote hate speech or other forms of harmful content, which could reflect poorly on you and even lead to a possible ethics violation or lawsuit.
Another potential drawback is its relatively small user base compared to mainstream social media platforms. While Mastodon has gained popularity in certain communities, it may not be the best platform for lawyers who are looking to reach a wide audience. Again, is your audience of potential clients there?
So Should You or Shouldn’t You?
Ultimately, whether you should be on Mastodon will depend on your individual needs and goals. Are you looking to build a referral network? Then you need to find out if those referers are on the platform. Talk to people in your local bar association or chamber of commerce to guage the interest. If they’re on it, then so should you.
Are you looking to reach a wider audience of potential clients or use social media as a marketing tool? If so, you may be better off sticking with mainstream platforms like Twitter or LinkedIn if your avatar clients are there. Do some research on this (along with doing the Ideal Client Exercise) before jumping in.
Regardless of which platform you choose to use, it’s important to remember that any online activity can have professional consequences, and to exercise caution when posting online.
It can all be a bit overwhelming with all of the things marketers tell you you need to do to be successful in growing your practice. The list seems to grow every day. If you need some of the weight taken off your shoulders, then click here to schedule an initial, no obligation call to see if I can help. I offer a free coaching call to get you started!
Finally, for more comprehensive information on how to transform your solo practice, you can also get a free copy of my book, Getting Off the Hamster Wheel.