9 Social Media Mistakes You’re Making Right Now

April 4, 2012 — Leave a comment
law firm social media mistakes

How does one become accredited in social media marketing? There isn’t a course that I know of (please correct me if I’m wrong). My social media training consisted of getting up at an disgusting hour of the morning and reading my little heart out.  My mantra was “become CNN” on everything related to social media for law firms.  It’s been approximately two years since I tweeted my first tweet and I’d like to share some of the biggest social media mistakes I’ve made, and seen, since. Feel free to share your own in the comments below!

1.) Don’t link your Twitter, LinkedIn, and/or Facebook posts together so that all your posts are shared on each simultaneously. Just don’t do it. Please. It may seem like a time saver but it will hurt you in the long run.  There are lots of posts about this online if you want to get into a further explanation, but please trust me. It’s not cool. You may have people that follow you across the same social networks and they’ll get bored very quickly seeing the same content.  It can also get annoying depending on the audience your talking too. For example, your Facebook connections may not appreciate seeing thousands of tweets per day about your work. I made this mistake by syncing my Twitter and LinkedIn accounts. I got told. Now I’m telling you.
2.) Don’t jump into a conversation with your target client without getting to know how they interact online first. I know, I know. It’s exciting to find your dream client tweeting away online.  I assure you, it’s the kiss of death to jump into the conversation without having something valuable to say (unless you’re incredibly good looking or famous).  When you find your target client, take some time to observe them.  Do they tweet often? Do they talk to a lot of different people? What do they talk about? Can you engage them by talking about something they might be interested in? You’re smart. I know you’ll come up with something!
3.) Don’t ask someone a question, or engage with them, and then disappear. This is one of the worst mistakes to make.  When someone actually takes the time to reply to you, please take the time to respond in a timely manner – within one day is what I aim for. Even if it’s just to say you’ll get back to them later. This should be a no-brainer right?
4.) Don’t expect to land a new client within a certain time-frame. Social media is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. I’d like to put it like this:
social media + luck + consistency + serendipity + follow up + relevance = you might get a new client
Try and enjoy the social media experience and learn from it.  Social media isn’t just about landing the next big thing. You’ll also stay up to date, build your connections and have a little fun.
5.) Don’t talk about yourself all the time, period. It may be fun to talk about how wonderful you are but trust me, it’s only wonderful to you. Think about the personal relationships you enjoy most – what do you like about them? It’s probably a two way street that involves both listening and talking.  Try and do more of that. You’ll get better results.
6.) Don’t be afraid to have an opinion and show a little personality. I am really quirky, I love to play World of Warcraft and spend a lot of time in front of my computer alone – I’m a hermit, really.  I also love to talk with people and get to know them. I’ve met a lot of other quirky people online after I decided to not always be “vanilla”.  You can’t be all things to all people. Don’t get me wrong, I try and steer clear of religion, politics and other exciting topics, but don’t worry about showing off your personality.  And don’t worry if you’re boring, just be boring online.  You don’t need a separate persona.
7.) Don’t wait on the sidelines. The best way to learn about social media is to start using it. You learn by trial and error. There’s no way I would have learned as much as I did by just sitting around and watching the experts do it.  Yes, I made some mistakes, but that’s okay. I used my common sense and just got up and started again.  Social media is like any other marketing and business development medium. Just use your common sense. Learn the lingo and open an account.  Set aside some time every day to use it.  It takes doing something 100 times to make it a habit. (I learned that selling gym memberships – most people didn’t come 100 times!) Make it a goal to do it for at least 3 months and then re-evaluate.

8.) Make sure you use a professional headshot or something similar. I always tell people to use a picture they wouldn’t mind their mother-in-law or grandmother seeing. Leave the bar-star and/or shirtless pictures for Plenty of Fish. They won’t do you any good here.

9.) Don’t forget to make sure your headline is consistent with your blog post i.e. don’t call your blog post “9 Social Media Mistakes You’re Making Right Now” when you only have 7.

So there you have it.  These are nine of the biggest social media mistakes you can make online.  I hope I saved you some grief!  And again, please feel free to share yours below – I look forward to hearing from you!

Samantha Collier

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Samantha Collier supports lawyers, law firms and legal industry consultants in their social media marketing efforts. Her blog, Social Media for Law Firms, won the 2011 Canadian Law Blog Awards in the Best Practice Management Category and she was recently recognized as part of "The 24: Canada's Top Legal Social Media Influencers" from The Counsel Network.