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The 80/20 Rule

This post originally appeared in Susan Kostal's Legal Marketing Bits & Bites Newsletter. Sign up for more content here.

Some attorneys are afraid of the self-promotional aspects of social media. Sure, it’s torture to be around someone who only talks about themselves, and that’s how some people perceive social. But this isn’t an issue if you adhere to the 80/20 rule.

The 80/20 rule holds that only 20 percent of your posts should be about you and your products, services and content, and 80 percent of posts should be focused on curating news and content your connections and followers are interested in. I try to post at least twice a week on LinkedIn, with “likes” and “comments” in between. The bulk of my posts are about the legal industry, the economy, diversity in law and tech, pay equity, and legal marketing. That is, they aren’t about me. I share content my connections will find helpful. I can see whether or not I’m on target by looking at views, likes, comments and shares. Likewise, on Twitter, which is increasingly functioning as a news feed, I share legal news, as well as articles on tech and diversity, with a smattering of tweets from The Onion and The New Yorker’s humor columnist, Andy Borowitz. I do a fair bit of retweeting the content of others. Because I post there more often, only about 5 percent of my tweets reference content I’ve produced, maybe less. Even then I try to rightsize the importance of my own work, being mindful of the larger context. I shared my June newsletter on LinkedIn and Twitter this way: “It’s hard to go up against Comey and Cosby, but here’s my June newsletter anyway.” Approach your social media streams this way: “Enough About Me. What About You?” Our connections and followers are just like us: they want engaging, relevant content. You build relationship by providing that. And you build your personal brand as people learn what is important to you. In an upcoming post I’ll share how to move beyond posting to engaging in conversations that will get you noticed by the influencers and decision makers who matter.

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Susan Kostal is a legal marketing consultant and content strategist located in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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