We’ve all seen how one “bad” post or miswording on social media can go viral in seconds. Many law firms are just now adopting social media into their marketing strategy and may be using the platforms incorrectly. The question to ask is, “Do I understand social media etiquette and how can my firm use it in accordance with the rules of professional conduct?”
Avvo’s Director of Industry Relations Dan Lear recently wrote an article discussing how “many lawyers are ineffective or even unethical when using social media” and shared five examples of how lawyers and law firms are “failing to understand what social media users expect.”
Here are a few of his examples:
- Following no one. Twitter is not a one-way communication medium. If your account doesn’t follow anyone, Mr. Lear states this will appear like you are not listening. “Beyond appearing unaware that the medium exists precisely to encourage engagement, it also comes off as quite arrogant — an accusation that lawyers would do well to try to minimize.”
- Using spammy marketing text. Be sure to avoid “hashtag-filled, nonsensical or repetitive posts that are unwelcome, questionably effective and arguably unethical.”
- Leaving professionalism at the office. “Social media has dramatically reduced the distance between the angry thoughts and ideas in one’s head and the rest of the world. While lawyers used to shout at the car dashboard after a bad day, the internet provides a close and dangerously powerful medium to “vent before you think.”” Remember how you respond to negative reviews or comments on social media will reflect heavily on your firm.
Take some time to review these examples and evaluate how you are engaging on all your social media channels. As Mr. Lear states, “The key, as successful users have learned, is understanding and meeting your audiences’ expectations.”
Photo Credit: Yulia Kireeva