Don’t Turn Your Social Account into Junk Mail

If you haven’t used social media much, it can be hard to figure out where to start. As an attorney, you’re used to having resources, like case law and legal dictionaries, which you can use to write persuasive, dense and rather lengthy documents. Create a Twitter account or a Facebook page, though, and nobody gives you any starting material to work with. That can be tough, because expressing a message on social media is a very different style of communication. Typically, it is short, not very dense and directed at a pretty wide audience.

One trap many attorneys fall into is taking advantage of shortcuts that purport to make social media use an easy, fast and almost no-thought-required exercise. For example, LinkedIn allows you to congratulate a connection who has a new job by sending an automatic message with one click.

The temptation here is understandable, but pursuing this too far can sap the value out of social media participation.

When the Time Comes for a Hand Written Note

Social media makes it simple to acknowledge the accomplishments of others. A Facebook “like” for the local hardware store’s sidewalk sale or an automated LinkedIn message for a colleague’s promotion keeps your firm engaged in the community without taking up too much of your day. But there are times when a more personalized approach is necessary.

Treat your social network and your business network as one in the same. There are individuals and companies in both whose relationship you’d like to cultivate on a more personal level. If that’s the case, then a comment or message on social media should be unique and well thought out. Take the time you’d spend on a quick hand written note to craft a personalized response to their post.

We’ve said time and again, for you to get authentic, valuable interactions with your social network, you need to provide authentic, valuable content. Understanding the difference between a passive like and an active message is one way to stay engaged while using your time wisely.

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