When “Friends” Over-Share — How to Juggle Client Confidentiality and Facebook
Facebook is a terrific forum to publicly share random thoughts, funny pictures and quick questions. It's also a great way for lawyers to set up a business page to attract new clients and boost their virtual and real-world profiles. However, those two practices don't always blend well together, particularly when clients and would-be clients start posting intimate details about their cases on your firm's Facebook page.
With a few simple steps, attorneys can find a happy balance, boosting their online business and outreach while ensuring that all Facebook communications remain above reproach.
- Set up your page so that no one posts without your approval. Facebook allows administrators to choose not to show posts until they have been reviewed, along with several other simple tools for moderating content. Learn how at the Facebook Help Center.
- Explain the rules to clients and would-be clients. When people contact you about retaining your services, explicitly describe how you want to be contacted. Be very specific about how inappropriate it is to post questions or details about cases on Facebook. If you want clients to recommend your services on your Wall, be sure to check with your state or local bar association. You don't want a glowing recommendation to lead to sanctions.
- Don't use Facebook for any type of client communication. As tempting as it may be for social media-savvy attorneys to shoot a quick note to clients or potential clients via Facebook, resist the urge. Pick up the phone or send an email instead.
- Keep your profiles separate. Don't mix business and pleasure on Facebook. While it's fine to let friends and family "like" your firm's page, be careful to keep all communications to and from your business page strictly professional.
To learn more about creating or managing a Facebook business page, contact a LexisNexis Law Firm Marketing Specialist.
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