In a very short space of time, social media has moved on from being a new fascination to a central part of our communication habits. Marketing strategies are now built around social media, rather than incorporating them as a side channel. Social media marketing should be part of the daily routine for lawyers looking to increase their prospects.
It can be hard for even the most enthusiastic technology follower to keep up with the trends. But it is important to invest time in creating and curating your social media presence. Without it you are decreasing your personal employability and marketability to at least 70% of employers who are using social media to screen candidates.
It takes minutes to set up a social media account, and if you monitor and manage your profiles effectively and regularly – we’re not talking hours, just set aside ten minutes a day – you can potentially reap enormous benefits. Let’s face it – if the Pope himself (Twitter @pontifex) can manage it, so can you!
How to do social media marketing in 10 minutes a day
It can be easy to decide to just withdraw yourself from digital platforms entirely – believing that it’s just not worth the hassle, or you don’t have the time. Social media marketing also comes with a seemingly increased amount of risk, with every word, link, and re-Tweet under scrutiny by everyone from your old school classmates to industry leaders.
If you’re reading this and nodding then you’re not alone – even some of the most modern and relevant celebrities and businesspeople are often notable only by their absence on Twitter, and over half of LinkedIn profiles are incomplete. However, according to MyCase, 73% of lawyers have a personal presence on LinkedIn, 27% use Facebook for professional purposes, and 23% use Twitter for professional purposes.
We believe it is easy to incorporate social media marketing into your daily routine and avoid the pitfalls – don’t overthink it, just follow these simple dos and don’ts:
#1. DO include personal with professional
People don’t like to follow bots. As with all our social interactions we want our online feeds to be warm, genuine and human. Building a full picture of your life, your values, humour and interests is part and parcel of ensuring people want to get to know you, and may consider you as someone they can work well with. This goes for your profile description as well as the things you post along the way. Talk about yourself: your backstory, why you are here, and what you value can add. Include your personal experiences and opinions on issues when sharing links to articles. Post about your home life, what drives you and inspires you on an emotional level. Share what makes you comfortable and happy, and you won’t have to spend too much time drafting and planning what to post.
#2. DON’T overshare
When we talk about over-sharing it is usually in reference to personal details and thoughts. But sharing too much on a professional level can also land you in hot water, particularly for lawyers. It can be tempting to share your successes as means of marketing yourself but if that means inadvertently putting out sensitive, identifiable client information then you stand to lose trust, clients and future work from firms. It also doesn’t paint yourself in a good light if you are enthusiastically celebrating a win in a case that involves difficult, upsetting circumstances for all involved. A far better way to market your professional strengths is to show your knowledge and expertise around certain topics, rather than referring directly to previous and ongoing case work, so hold back on work updates. You also need to consider how your opinions and political standpoints may affect the work you want to secure in future. Simply be as objective and considered in your online postings as you are in your day to day work.
#3. DO schedule your posts
It is hard to get into the habit of posting regularly, but the fewer gaps you leave between posts the better. Not everyone will want or need to post every day but it is good to have something of a routine so your audiences will continue to pay attention. All social media platforms have settings or associated apps where you can schedule posts. For cross posting social media management apps such as Buffer or Hootsuite (there are also plenty more available!) will save you time and headaches. Scheduled posts allow you to plan in all those links that you have bookmarked and favourite with the intention of sharing later. It enables you to set aside some allocated time during the week rather than trying to snatch a minute here and there and finding yourself distracted from other tasks. Finally, scheduling stops social media becoming a stress-point and allows you to enjoy spending some time checking out other people’s posts and engaging with them more genuinely and with more care.
#4. DO remember to network
We can be so busy concentrating on curating our own feeds and getting things right, we forget the most important part of social media – socialising! We have previously provided some great tips for using LinkedIn and the opportunities there for networking, and there are plenty of other opportunities on other social platforms. In the time you allocate for social media, whether that is conscious time dedicated to your own marketing, or browsing during leisure, if you see something interesting that someone has posted, tell them and share it. Social media needs to be a conversation and not just a broadcast channel in order to establish and cement valuable connections and working relationships.
#5. DON’T fall down the rabbit hole
Social media becomes a timesuck when we idly scroll through our feeds looking at every comment, post or trending topic that vaguely takes our interest. It’s important to curate what you see to avoid the distractions and prioritise who/what you want to see first, so you don’t have to wade through other noise and distraction. Adjust your feed settings to show the individuals and pages that share the most valuable and important content to you, and make use of lists to organise people you follow into categories. Have a following clearout and rid yourself of any irrelevant accounts that clog up your feed.
By applying a little discipline and organisation, you can make social media an enjoyable and lucrative part of your marketing mix – DON’T say you don’t have time!