We're getting a little cynical about the number of 'social media' experts out there whose main advice appears to be Tweet, tweet, use my consultancy services please – so we were more than a little pleased to receive this new white paper The use of social media in relationship development in the professions (lawyers, accountants & surveyors) by Kim Tasso and Peter Abraham.

The white paper is attached so you can read it yourselves but the key point is this is an objective overview of where professional services are at the moment in their use social media and how they could use it to greater advantage in the future. Given that the regulations governing marketing activities by the professions were liberated a quarter of a century, the chart reveals just how few firms regard themselves as being at the cutting edge in terms of selling and marketing. And as for social media, the vast number still see themselves as absolute beginners.

Section 2 of the white paper – Best practice – defining and aligning social media best practice in professional selling – is the idea starting point/check-list/bluffers guide to take into marketing meetings and impress your colleagues. Seriously, it may help you put your organisation's social media strategy back on track, as distinct from the half-arsed attempts most law firms make of it.

Section 5 – Eleven Key Lessons – is another must-read section and there is also a useful resources  and reading list section at the end.

All in all, well worth reading. In fact, if you don't read anything else about social media, read this.

Incidentally, Kim Tasso says “As we are keen to hear comments and questions and continue the research but want to avoid convoluted email exchanges we have set up two LinkedIn groups. The second one is just for the professions and the first is for the topic in the broader markets – but you need to join both:
 
Here's the main group:
http://www.linkedin.com/groups?mostPopular=&gid=2079375&trk=myg_ugrp_ovr

Here's the sub group for the professions:
http://www.linkedin.com/groups?mostPopular=&gid=3717399&trk=myg_ugrp_ovr