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Don’t Even >Think< About Doing These 5 Things on Social Media - shinklje

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Don’t Even >Think< About Doing These 5 Things on Social Media

Oct 01, 2013 11:26 AM by
John Shinkle
John Shinkle
Performance Development Consultant Ask a question
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Attorneys have been hearing a lot about how they should "do" social media, and for good reason. Social media can be a cost-effective way to reach your target audience.

However, law firms play by a different set of rules than other businesses. That's true in the real world and the virtual one. It can be a challenge for lawyers to know what they can and can't do through social media to avoid running afoul of the marketing Rules of Professional Conduct or their state bar jurisdiction, or engaging in activities that could lead to malpractice lawsuits or complaints.

Here are five things that attorneys should never, ever do on social media:

  1. Never talk about clients, other attorneys or judges online;
  2. Never use social media to communicate with your clients;
  3. Never answer specific questions online;
  4. Never ask a third party to "friend" a witness in order to gain information to impeach the witness; and
  5. Never solicit business directly, and never troll other postings looking for cases.

 Although this may seem like common sense, you can never be too careful about what you post on the Internet. Anyone can read it. And there should be no expectation of privacy and confidentiality for anything posted online, regardless of privacy settings.

Social media is changing the way we communicate and the way law firms attract new clients. The fact that your message can be distributed to thousands of people with a single click is the most powerful reason to use social media, but also can be the single most reason for caution.

In upcoming posts, I'll talk more in-depth about each of these areas. In the meantime, to find out if you are using social media effectively and appropriately, contact a LexisNexis Law Firm Marketing Specialist.

Also check out these previous posts:

Comments (2)

# Sara D said on 01 October, 2013 11:44 AM  

Great advice, John. Social Media can work wonders, if done correctly!

# Kymeshia Morris said on 01 October, 2013 02:08 PM  

Great advice. I particularly like #4. I have read several stories about lawsuits being dismissed as a result of attorneys using social networks (and asking their clients) to obtain information about witnesses and jurors. This is definitely something to watch out for.



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