Social Media Do’s & Don’ts for Lawyers
Social media has made it easy to stay connected with not just your family and friends but also clients and customers. It is the place to be if you want to make a name for yourself. Earlier, in the name of online presence, companies would only have an email address. Today, they have a Facebook profile, an Instagram page, LinkedIn identity, Twitter presence, and whatnot. The point is everybody realizes that to succeed, you need to be an active participant in the social media presence. Even lawyers need to be there for social media does not discriminate. It is important for everyone.
The main concern while on social media is that of behavior or etiquette. Lawyers need to be especially careful as they fully comprehend how fast things can backfire legally. A lawyer in a legal soup will never be looked upon favorably by anyone. Therefore, today we shall learn about the social etiquettes or social media do’s and don’ts for lawyers.
Social Media Do’s For Lawyers
1. Keep Personal And Professional Identities Separate – As a lawyer, you are both an individual with friends and family and a corporate entity or a brand with clients and customers. Keeping these two identities separate is vital. With people we know and who fall in our close circle, we are casual. Nonetheless, with clients, you can’t risk being casual. With them, your tone needs to be polite, firm, and professional. Hence, the choice of words and how you use them will differ in your personal and professional life.
2. Connect With Like-Minded People And Entities – A legal firm that stands separate and has no connections will seem to be either lofty or prejudiced. Both qualities portray a negative brand image, and prospective clients will perceive you as hostile. The right way to go about this is by connecting with people who are either in the same profession as yours or are interested in the services you provide. When on social media, you have to make an effort to reach out to them. Only once you are able to build an image of being approachable will the clients contact you for legal help.
3. Network – Networking is all about setting up your brand or legal firm as an expert. You need to become a member of all popular legal groups and ensure your firm is listed in all the legal directories. Additionally, you should also work towards networking with all those firms and businesses aligned with yours. Therefore, don’t restrict your professional relationship to just those lawyers in the same line of business as yours. Extend it beyond that realm. If other professionals think of you as an expert, the clients will also think of you in the same terms.
4. Post Consistently – The people on social media have short-term memory. If you don’t post for a few days, you will become old news and be forgotten. Thus, it is necessary to post consistently on all your social media handles.
5. Share Information – You can’t post randomly about any topic. You are a legal professional and need to maintain that image. The best practice is to share relevant information. You should also comment on the social handles and blogs of legal groups, other law firms, etc.
6. Remain Ethical – At all times, remain ethical both in action and in words. A true professional does not look down upon anyone even if they disagree with the other’s way of thinking. If it’s a direct challenge and you must refute a point, do it with utmost dignity without being derogatory.
Social Media Don’ts For Lawyers
1. Don’t Sell Only Your Service – It is considered bad practice to sell only your service on social media. It will put across your firm as money-minded, which is not an image you would want people to associate with your business. Follow the 80/20 rule. It means 80% of your content should be informative and only 20% the product or service. With this mantra, you can never go wrong.
2. Refrain From Talking Politics – You are a lawyer and not a politician. Hence, refrain from talking about politics. Politics is murky waters where it is best not to invade. If you have political aspirations, use your personal profile for it and not the company profile, else it can hurt your legal business. Talking politics using your business handle will turn off people who don’t agree with your political views or inclination.
3. Don’t Post The Same Things Verbatim Everywhere – It is necessary to share information, but you can’t just copy-paste content. It will make clients think you are not serious and personally involved. Your content needs to be original every time, even if each time you are talking about the same thing.
4. Don’t Overshare – There is sharing, and then there is oversharing. Sharing is good, but oversharing is a big No-No. Oversharing makes your brand look like it lacks in being new and original as if it can’t think on its own. This negative image is not suitable for any business. If you don’t have anything new to say, it’s better to move on to another topic than drag the same one along.
5. Never Discuss Or Share Case Details – As a lawyer, you know the importance of client confidentiality. Hence, do not discuss any new or old cases on social media platforms. Extend the same courtesy to your competitors. It is not for you to decide who is right or wrong. Your duty is to provide the service to the client to the best of your capability. The court of law will decide the rest.
Social media platforms need to be used with utmost caution as they can make or mar your business reputation. Your contemporaries and clients expect you to be active on social media, so it is a necessary evil. If you must jump in the waters, it is best to learn to swim. Following the correct protocol will help you shine and make a niche for yourself. In contrast, the reverse will become the cause of your downfall. The only thing to remember is to be polite, precise, and professional in all communications. Use social media to pull your business up the ladder of success. If necessary, work with social media experts like Oamii to start on the right foot.