Social Media 101 - Building Your Personal Brand

In July, we helped you build a professional LinkedIn profile with our article entitled “LinkedIn 101 for Lawyers - Your Profile and Why It Might Be Terrible.” As LinkedIn is really the only game in town for a professional social media account, it’s important to have an in-depth and interesting LinkedIn profile to help tell the story of who you are. 

While Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and the like might not be the best tools for telling your story as a professional, it can’t hurt to go back and audit those accounts too. Make sure your message matches your LinkedIn profile. Out-of-date info on your Facebook profile can muddy up your personal brand, so take a minute and clean those accounts up too.

Now that your profile(s) are ready, with concise bios and professional profile pictures, it’s time to start sharing content. We know that can seem like an overwhelming and time-consuming task -- but it doesn’t have to be. Use the following tools to help identify and share content quickly. Soon enough you will be positioning yourself as a subject-matter expert in your field.

Finding Content 

Do you feel like you have to spend hours online looking at different websites to find content to share? Don’t. There are tools that will help you find articles specific to your industry. One we are fans of is Feedly (https://feedly.com/). This site compiles news feeds from a variety of online sources for the user to customize and share with others.

Another option is using Google alerts (https://www.google.com/alerts). You can set up an alert on any topic and Google will monitor the web and then alert you when there is new content. You can set up to receive immediate, daily or weekly emails alerting you to the content. 

If you are active on Twitter, Twitter lists come in handy.  These are curated groups of Twitter users that you can categorize and follow separately from the rest of your feed. 

Sharing Content 

Now that you have found content, how do you share it? Some of you might think that you need to go to each of your social media profiles and manually enter in a post every day to share, but this is not the case. There are numerous social media management tools available to help you spend only a fraction of your day sharing content throughout the week (or month). 

At Nimble, we are big fans of Buffer (https://buffer.com/). Buffer allows you to plan and publish your content for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn, all from one simple dashboard. There are many platforms that do this and our reason for preferring Buffer is it has a clean interface and is easy to set up. Other platforms include Hootsuite, SocialOomph and Sprout Social.

If you want to get more eyeballs and engagement with the content you’re sharing, you have to do more than just share it. If you share your opinion about what you’re sharing or if you describe why you found it interesting, you’ll get more engagement and eyeballs on the content that you’ve shared.

Sharing Schedule 

You may see people on LinkedIn or other platforms who seem to share content multiple times a day. Don’t worry. We don’t expect you to. Start small and make it a goal to share once a week. Find 4-5 shareable content pieces, and schedule them out every week. Now you have content shared for the month. Take a moment and see how the postings did. DId anyone engage? Did one piece do better than another? Once you feel more comfortable start adding to the schedule. Hold off sharing too much too soon, especially on LinkedIn. It is recommended to share no more than 5x a week on LinkedIn so start small. 1x a week to show you are active should be your goal.

Another way to increase views of and engagement with your content is to schedule the sharing of that content for the peak times of 7:00 AM to 9:00 AM and 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM. This is when most people are checking their social media accounts.

Understanding Analytics

Once you get some posts shared and you are feeling confident with finding and sharing content, we do recommend you look back at your posts to see which ones performed well and which ones didn’t. Was there a particular topic that engaged your audience? If so, you might identify similar content to share in the future. You can also reshare content (although we recommend only doing this a few times over months). Understanding what does well and what doesn’t can help you better identify and create content for your audience that they are interested in. 

Don’t be intimidated by the thought of being active on social media. Like it or not, to be successful in business development or find a new job, you need to have a personal brand. In today’s world, that means having a digital presence. LinkedIn allows you to get your name and your personal brand in front of hundreds or thousands of professionals each day. That presents a tremendous opportunity for business development.

Still overwhelmed? We can help. Nimble has been advising legal professionals on how to build their personal brand. Contact us today!