How to Gain Visibility with Twitter and Facebook

Photo by Rosaura Ochoa

Jaclyn Wissmueller, from the Wausau law firm of Strasser and Yde, S.C., asked me to speak to the Brown County Association for Legal Professionals on how to use online resources like Twitter and Facebook to communicate.

Jaclyn and I know each other from our church. She  followed my blog since the Haiti earthquake when I wrote this post, Use it for Good about how I had not fully understood the crisis until I connected it with the international students from Haiti who go to my church.

My years of administration with the Kiwanis Club conditioned me that community groups need speakers. With Kiwanis, sometimes we chose a speaker because we wanted to know more about a certain topic, but more likely it was a brainstorming session that went something like this: “Well, what do you think? Who can we get? Any ideas?”

Jaclyn was gracious enough to pick me up and drive me to the meeting in Green Bay about 90 minutes from Wausau. It wasn’t until I got into the car to go home that I fully understood that this group had an entirely different reason for choosing me to speak to them.

When this group talked about speakers, they were focused on their goal was to get off and running using using tools like Twitter and Facebook to promote their group. The question wasn’t just who can we get, but who can we get who is already using those tools successfully and could communicate to the group with a show-and-tell type presentation.  Jaclyn suggested me.

I love show-and-tell and I do most of my speaking engagements using that approach because I know people hate hearing a speaker drone on with no interaction. (17 years of weekly Kiwanis meetings – the great, the good, and the well… you know kinds of speakers.)

Right off the bat, I felt valued when I saw the invitation they sent out:

It’s all true too. I did learn everything I know about social media from using the tools and it has been so much fun along the way.

What I shared

The group asked me to demonstrate Tweetdeck, show them how blogs work, share some of my favorite bloggers (many of them can be found on my sidebar), explain LinkedIn basics, and reasons to use Facebook as well as the difference between FB pages and groups. I listened as the members developed the strategy they would use to turn what I just shared with them into action points.

Their questions told me they had genuine interest and concerns. How to do you use Twitter?  How do you find time? Some in the group were visibly excited and others commented that they didn’t want to touch a computer outside of work. The challenges of the legal profession is that some firms deny access to these types of tools during work hours so any work would have to be done after hours. Good questions that could fill another post.

Who they are

While I was at the meeting, the group voted to change their name to better attract a larger market. See the definition of the Bay Area Association of Legal Professionals:

BAALP (formerly known as BCALP) is a chapter of NALS comprised of members based in Brown and surrounding counties including Marathon County and the Fox Valley.

Their mission statement of the National Association of Legal Professionals:

NALS is dedicated to enhancing the competencies and contributions of members in the legal services profession. NALS Accomplishes its mission and supports the public interest through:

  • Continuing legal education and resource materials
  • Networking opportunities at the local, state, regional and national levels
  • Commitment to a Code of Ethics and professional standards
  • Professional certification programs and designations

How have they used their new knowledge?

Their goal is to be visible to students and others in the paralegal profession. They understand that using the right tools will help attract new members, especially in the student population. One of the reason that groups like this are challenged is because many people don’t even know they exist.

By gaining visibility through using Twitter and Facebook and targeting Twitter messages using hashtags like #paralegal. Tools like Tweetdeck can be used to follow hashtags, they may find more resources available to them and more people who are interested in the group. When they hold educational sessions, they can reach a wider audience. When they have a job opening, they can use the platforms to announce the openings to the right audience.

I loved the attitude of the group. They understood that old ways were not working, they wanted to learn about new ways from someone who could show them how it worked, and they determined that they would get started using the tools and build on their knowledge as they went.

Do you see the value in using these tools (Twitter, Facebook) for job search, specialized industry groups, or to let others know about special training opportunities?


  1. Henway on September 30, 2010 at 4:08 pm

    Twitter is definitely useful as a job search tool. I find whenever I communicate to someone who works at a company, and chat with him, I can use him/her as a referral when I apply for a job in that company. And of course once u have a referral, chances are much higher you’ll get that call for the interview =)

    • Julie Walraven on September 30, 2010 at 4:14 pm

      Thank you! Referrals are definitely a huge help to get you in for the interview!

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