At first glance you might think the best course of action is to steer clear of social media because you’re involved in highly sensitive court cases but that’s not exactly a good strategy. In our blog post about the court reporter shortage, we mentioned how using social media can spread the word about our growing and changing profession. Today we’d like to provide tips for how social media can benefit you as a court reporter.
Personal vs. Professional
It can be tempting to add clients as friends on social media but we recommend keeping the two separate. Would you want your client to see pictures of your grandkids or summer vacation? Maybe not. It’s likely you wouldn’t want to see their photos either. We recommend keeping separate accounts for personal and professional purposes.
- Facebook offers the opportunity to have a personal (“friend”) profile where people send you requests as well as pages (“likes”) which can be used for business purposes.
- LinkedIn is designed for professionals to connect with each other and with prospective clients and employers. While some are now using it in other ways, you can easily lock down your account by only connecting with people that you know, like, and trust. That includes people you’ve met in person and those you meet in social media groups. (We’ll get to groups later in this post,)
- Twitter is a bit trickier but offers a few useful benefits. Because many people are concerned about the sheer amount of content on Twitter, we recommend having a targeted strategic approach to who you follow. A private account means you have to approve who follows you. Use lists to organize who you follow — court reporters, local news, etc. to keep the noise to a minimum on your Twitter stream.
Connect with Community
Social media is an effective way to connect with your community. Whether you’re following local happenings, news, court cases, or the grandchildren, you can use social media to keep in touch with lots of people. From a business perspective, you can use LinkedIn and Facebook groups designed for court reporters and freelancers to connect with like-minded professionals.
- Ask and answer questions about the industry.
- Establish yourself as an expert.
- Share your experience.
Be careful not to talk about specific cases or clients as that can damage your reputation and/or ruin your credibility. General information about your experiences can be helpful especially to new reporters and those considering a move to this profession.
What to Share
In addition to sharing your experiences, we encourage you to share the benefits of court reporting like earning potential and working from home. Many people think we only work in courtrooms, not realizing we’re in business settings for closed captioning and other services for the hearing impaired, public relations, sporting events, and live events like webinars and seminars.
There’s a world of court reporting that you can share on social media including the benefits and your experience. Be strategic and use common sense and you will be a great asset to spreading the word about our growing industry! Who knows, you could connect with your next client!
Interested in learning more about court reporting or in need of a Chicago area reporter for an upcoming deposition? Give us a call today!