The Florida Bar: Social media is a full-time job
If you’ve been thinking that using social media effectively means you have to use a tool like Hootsuite to schedule tweets, Danny Aller would like you to think again. In fact, he said, the idea of “set it and forget it” just doesn’t work.
“You have to be engaged,” he explained, which means you must see and respond to tweets, retweets, and other interactions as they occur. In fact, Aller is often on work-related Twitter late at night, which is when he gets some of his best ideas, including the #LawyersAreTheCoolest hashtag that went viral.
Similar to NYSBA, when The Florida Bar started its Twitter account in 2013, its intention was to use it to push out “news releases and tech tips,” Aller said, but then the Board of Governors decided the bar should go “all in.” Aller was hired in 2014; he credits the BOG for the forward-thinking decision to create a social media staff position.
“If you want to do [social media] well, you need someone full time,” he stressed, predicting that in the next few years, up to 90 percent of organizations and businesses—many of them bar associations—will have such a position.
Engagement leads to being noticed: Within two years after he arrived, Aller said, the bar’s followers went from 600 to 6,000—and now that number is over 8,000.
Aller does see one use for scheduled tweets, which is to avoid letting your account go totally inactive over the weekend, when a lot of lawyers are using Twitter. Vogel agreed with Aller’s assessment of scheduled tweets, noting that they did come in handy when his son was born at a time when he would ordinarily be tweeting.
If a particular tweet makes an especially strong statement about the bar or attracts a lot of interest, Aller recommended, make it the “pinned post” that will be the first thing users see when they click on your feed—and then don’t forget to change it to something else down the road.
One simple yet effective tweet?: A screen shot of bar exam results, which those who are listed will be eager to share and comment on.
The Florida Bar’s Twitter account is well known for its sense of humor and use of GIFs (short, often funny moving images). It’s important to use “good news judgment” on Twitter, Aller noted, but it’s also important “to actually be social” and human.
“We’re at our best when we’re happy,” he said, adding, “You can’t spell Twitter without W-I-T.”
Aller has heard some occasional gripes about whether the bar posts too much fun stuff, or too much stuff in general. But he has another prediction regarding social media use in the coming years: “Everyone saying we ‘overpost’ will be eating their words.”