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3 keys to promoting your blog on social media

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Social media can become a leading, if not the leading, source of traffic to your blog.

The leading sources of traffic to my blog are Twitter and LinkedIn, with Facebook closing in.

I value this traffic more than that coming from Google. Those coming to my blog from social media are doing so because my content was shared by someone they trust.

The key for lawyers though is using social media the right way. Otherwise you’re just going to alienate people on social media.

Business development professional and author, Ted Rubin (@tedrubin), shared ‘Six Do’s and Don’ts for Promoting Your Blog and Using Social Media’ this week.

Read the whole post, it’s good. I’m focusing on a few key points for lawyers. Listen, don’t promote, and build relationships.

1. Listen. Social media, including blogging is all about engaging your target audience. Engaging people in a conversation requires listening to what others are talking about before opening your mouth.

Follow successful bloggers in your area of the law and in the industry/consumer groups you represent. Set up searches in Google alerts and have them fed into your reader, ideally on your iPad. Follow thought leaders and the media on Twitter. Set up lists so that you can easily use Twitter for news and information. Follow the information your connections are sharing on LinkedIn

Doing this you’ll gain context as to what is being discussed, glean the type of information shared on that particular social media, and gain an understanding of what people are interested in for when you begin to share information on social media.

2. Don’t market or sell. Don’t do what many other law firms and lawyers do, talking about themselves or looking at social media as a place to promote their blog. People come to social media to learn, to meet others, and relax. If sharing a blog post, talk about the underlying idea. Share other’s posts and news stories.

Rubin suggests that social media posts about your content be no more than 10 to 20% of what you share on social media. On Twitter, my posts are no more than about 5% of the items I share. Sharing others content has allowed me to establish myself as an intelligent agent and someone that lawyers and other professionals can trust. It’s this trust which causes others to promote your blog content.

3. Build relationships. Social media is not about building a brand in the case of lawyers and law firms. People on social media want to know about you, both professionally and personally. Provide your real name (seems obvious, but many do not do it on Twitter) and your contact information (website, blog, email, phone number). Share some emotion with your insight. People relate to those who do this on social media.

Be personable every time the opportunity permits. Look up who the people are who are following you. Look up the backgrounds of those you’d like to get to know better on social media. Drop others a personal note through LinkedIn, exchange with others on Twitter, like and comment on what others are sharing on LinkedIn and Facebook.

Rubin’s right.

[S]ocial media isn’t a blast medium—it’s a conversation medium. When planning your posting strategy, always be thinking of ways to help your reader get something done, make their life easier or just enjoy every moment. Be a good networker online. When people comment on a post, always “like” the comment and answer back promptly. Take a look at their profiles and tag them or use their name when you respond. Use it as an opportunity to extend the conversation by asking questions and being friendly—just as you would in face-to-face networking situations. (emphasis added)

Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Unfortunately lawyers and law firms all too often look at social media as an opportunity to market or promote themselves.

Doesn’t work. If you want to draw attention via social media to the insight and commentary you’re offering on your blog, you need to listen and build relationships, not market.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Tiffa Day.