The countless platforms of social media have quickly become the go-to place for businesses to find new leads, market their company and engage with current clients. The legal profession is certainly one that should not ignore the potential of social media marketing. With billions of customers using social platforms for information and listening to what you have to say, your brand needs to know the ins and outs of maintaining a positive online presence. On top of being able to reach out to countless people and demonstrate just how much knowledge you have in your given field, social media allows attorneys to learn from their colleagues about other areas of legal practice and glean more about intelligent methods of online marketing.
Below are five simple do’s that every attorney should keep in mind when traversing the social media stratosphere. Stay tuned next week for our upcoming list of social media don’ts.
Create a List of Objectives: Before even setting up a profile, you should create a list of objectives. What does your firm hope to achieve with social media marketing? This can include anything from wanting more website traffic to a simple desire to demonstrate your expansive knowledge in your field. By having a clear objective, your firm will be able to easily evaluate your social media performance.
Create a Complete Profile: When creating a profile on any of the different social media platforms, remember to complete it. This may seem like common sense, but many profiles are left without photos or proper business names. If you want potential leads to connect with you or think that you actually use the existing profile, be sure to fill out every section. To that end, be sure to always include contact information somewhere on your profile—be that a website address, an email address, a physical address or a telephone number. New leads should be able to discuss matters with you by other methods than a simple tweet. A less important aspect, but still good advice, is to always make sure you’re using the correct image dimensions when uploading a profile picture. The different platforms use different image sizes and if you upload an image meant for Twitter on Facebook, it may not display correctly. You can find the dimensions for various social media sites here.
Blog Often: We all know that writing a 140 character (max) tweet is far faster and easier than planning, writing and editing a 500 word blog post. However, a blog post can be so much more informative and engaging than any tweet. Blogs are a great way to relay your expertise to prospective clients and other attorneys who may have questions you can answer. Blog posts can also show that you’re invested in staying up-to-date with the many advances of the legal realm. Lastly, blog articles that you write should be shared on all of your social media profiles, providing a constant flow of new and interesting content for your followers who can then share and comment on your publication. By creating a conversation, your online presence and amount of website visitors will multiply.
Provide Disclaimers: As in any aspect of an attorney’s professional life, being ethical remains a constant consideration when delving into social media marketing. In order to comply with the ABA’s and the NYSBA’s rules of ethics, it is important to clearly post disclaimers on your profiles. Some important disclaimers to include are:
–Tweets/Posts are not legal advice
–Retweets are not endorsements
–Licensed in (the state(s) in which you are admitted)
Maintain Client Confidentiality: On the topic of ethics, the most common sense (but often times flouted) rule is to maintain client confidentiality. Under no circumstances should an attorney post/tweet aspects of their clients’ cases. Even though many of the explicit rules regarding social media upkeep in the legal community are yet to be determined, this one should be a no-brainer. However some attorneys can’t quite grasp the concept. If staying ethical is one of your main social media concerns, you can refer to one of these instructive articles on the topic: AmericanBar.org, NYSBA.org, Law Practice Today and Social Media Guide for Lawyers.