Social media has been, and will continue to be, my passion. It combines three of my passions: communication, people and marketing. Kevin O’Keefe and Adrian Dayton inspired me, MBM provided me with the tools to grow, and the social community welcomed me with open arms.
I jumped on the social media for law firms train early on. Lucky for me, It was a niche area of online marketing and the need for my services grew. I was able to quit my job, run my own business, travel the world and make some incredible friends (some I’ve never actually met in person aka Justin Brackett). Fast forward to today, I went back to work (R.JOHNSON Legal Recruitment where I still train lawyers how to use social media) as I have three children, four frogs and a fiance that keep me busy at home. Working at home isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
That being said, I have also experienced the dark side of social media. The good definitely outweighs the bad, but I’d like to pass on my two cents:
1. When possible and appropriate, take the online conversation offline. Meet for coffee, go to a tweet-up, attend a conference, etc. People develop online personas that don’t always match their in-person values, morals and attitude. You’re not going to visit everyone you meet online, it’s not always necessary. But, if you end up spending a lot of your time talking to someone, meet with them in person instead – Skype is a good choice as well. Obviously, be safe aka don’t meet on a deserted street at 2:00 am.
2. Treat the people you’re talking to with respect and remember there is a person behind that screen name. The people you correspond with become your “online” friends and you need to treat them accordingly. Follow up when you say you will and be true to your word. Don’t over-promise and under-deliver (I’ve made that mistake). The social media community is small, especially if you’re in a niche field. World travels fast if you’re a jerk.
3. Be yourself. “Be Yourself” is one of my favourite Audioslave songs. It also rings true for social media. Don’t be fake. In other words, don’t act one way online and another offline. Your in-person friends like you for who you are quirks and all. I like World of Warcraft and am a big nerd at heart. I’m not afraid to show it either. I’m also not your average Social Media for Law Firms professional. Not everyone likes it, but I don’t mind. It’s me.
Overall, I’m still smitten with my social media career, however, I have been burned and witnessed tragic events unfold online. The above three tips will help you navigate the social media realm. It’s exactly the same as meeting people in person, and the same rules apply.