Getting started in Social Media from [not] a social media expert

I am not a social media expert I am, however, a social media enthusiast.  Apparently, due to my “enthusiasm” I am going to be publishing an article in a law journal next month.  The purpose of the article to provide some basic guidance on social media.  Below is an excerpt from the article which I hope you is helpful.

  1. Choose a few services that are a good fit for you. There are hundreds of service you could use and many that have gained a lot of traction.  Pick out one or two that you are comfortable with.  In general, if your in business, I recommend starting with LinkedIn because it is business focused and Twitter (because it huge!) because it is easy to get started.
  2. Create your account and fill in your profile. After setting up your accounts, on most services, you are offered a chance to create your profile and a description of what you do.  Do not miss out on this opportunity.  A blank profile section is a signal to many people that the user does not understand the service and/or has not taken the time to learn it or invest in it.  Describe what you do and how what you do can provide value to people who might want to work with you.  Share some personal information; even mentioning you are married with three children gives other users comfort in approaching you.
  3. Research how other users use the service. Consider how other attorneys and people who are doing well in social media are using it.  Also, keep an eye out for what you do not like and try to avoid those things.
  4. Look for guidance from trusted sources. You can hire a “social media expert” to help you get started.  However, the proliferation of self-appointed social media “experts” makes it difficult.  I recommend looking at trusted sources first, such as blogs that are widely read, books and other attorneys.
  5. Start posting and participating. All the planning in the world is for naught if you never execute.  If your network of choice is Twitter, send out a few tweets:  say hello to a colleague or friend, describe something you are doing, compliment a user on a well-done article or project, share a website you find useful.
  6. Look for ways to add value.  While social media is about conversation and not broadcasting, sharing usual and interesting information is often acceptable.  For instance, sharing information about a change in the law, resources to improve a law practice, technology tips, good deals on goods and services (with some moderation), an article you wrote, activities you are involved in that might interest others.

Can you add any tips for getting started in social media?

Posted by Shawn Roberts

On this blog, I write about and try to answer practical Oklahoma legal questions. My focus and most experience is in estate planning and business issues including Oklahoma non-compete law. I make a living as an attorney in the law firm I founded, Shawn J. Roberts, P.C. in Oklahoma City. I live in Edmond with my wife Amy and my two children, Sam (19) and David (11). We live precisely in the path of where the "wind comes sweeping down the plains."

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