Stacked3Here is a recent Daily Record column. My past Daily Record articles can be accessed here.

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Lawyers: Take a Look at These Two New Social Media Platforms

As you plan for a successful 2021 for your law firm, don’t forget to consider how you plan to use social media to forward your firm’s marketing and business development goals in the coming year. Importantly, you may want to think about whether you should broaden your presence to additional social media sites.

You might be wondering why you should bother interacting on new platforms. I would suggest that it’s well worth it for forward-thinking lawyers to invest time into establishing a presence on less populated platforms early on. This is because it gives you the opportunity to make a name for yourself and your firm before everyone else jumps on the bandwagon and competition for attention increases.

There are two social media apps that have caught my eye in recent months –  and keep in mind that this is the first time in years that I’ve been excited about the potential of new social media sites for lawyers. These two platforms are Clubhouse (joinclubhouse.com) and TikTok (tiktok.com). Because these two sites are quickly gaining momentum, there’s no better time than now to make your mark.

First, there’s Clubhouse. If you’re not already familiar with it, Clubhouse is an audio chat platform that is available as an iOS app and is invite only for now. It consists of user-created drop-in audio chat rooms. You can form your own room or join rooms created by others. These chat rooms can be created spontaneously or scheduled ahead of time. Topics run the gamut, and there’s something for everyone no matter what your areas of interest.

The reason Clubhouse is such a good fit for lawyers is that it’s a great way to showcase your expertise, connect with professional colleagues who might be potential referral sources, and generate exposure for your law firm. It also offers a format that is comfortable and familiar to most lawyers. For many lawyers, sharing information verbally is a much better fit than communicating in writing via a blog or by video on YouTube. Audio chat is less formal than writing, and there’s no pressure to create a professionally produced video – or to be perfectly groomed and dressed every time you interact. Instead it’s a decidedly more informal format that is perfect for lawyers seeking to showcase their expertise and share their knowledge.

Finally, the flexibility and convenience offered by Clubhouse can’t be beat. You can hop on the app whenever you have downtime throughout the work day, or during lunch or after hours. No matter when you decide to interact, it’s a great way to make the most of a short break.

Another app that shows promise for lawyers is TikTok. This mobile app makes it easy for users to view – and create – short, informal videos that are one minute or less. There’s lots of educational content on TikTok which is why it’s such a good fit for lawyers looking to connect with potential clients by providing informational videos. There are already many lawyers using the app for this purpose, so seek them out for some ideas to help get you started. Importantly, if you go this route and decide to provide educational content, make sure you conform to ethics regulations about engaging online, such as ensuring that you provide legal information, not advice.

The bottom line: One of these social media platforms, or even both, may very well be worth your time in 2021. You’ll have to carefully consider your goals and your comfort level with the different formats. Take each one for a test drive for a week or so and then make a determination as to whether either one might be a good use of your time or provide value.

As you might expect, I’m active on both platforms, so make sure to connect with me once you join. Hope to “see” you on one of these sites soon!

Nicole Black is a Rochester, New York attorney, author, journalist, and the Legal Technology Evangelist at MyCase  law practice management software for small law firms. She is the author of the ABA book Cloud Computing for Lawyers, co-authors the ABA book Social Media for Lawyers: the Next Frontier, and co-authors Criminal Law in New York, a Thomson Reuters treatise. She writes legal technology columns for Above the Law and ABA Journal and speaks regularly at conferences regarding the intersection of law and technology. You can follow her on Twitter at @nikiblack or email her at niki.black@mycase.com.