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If anyone understands the potential legal liabilities of social media, it’s an attorney. After all, confidentiality and discretion are the cornerstones of the legal profession. However, despite the perceived threats, social media offers a host of opportunities for legal professionals to engage potential clients, offer answers to simple legal questions, and add some personality and warmth to what some consider a cold, close-lipped career.
The following five tips will help small businesses optimize opportunities while mitigating risks.
Social media is a powerful way to engage your market in meaningful conversations that boost credibility and build relationships. However, these interactions must be just that — interactions, not consultations or anything considered an attorney-client relationship.
Facebook is more intimate and personal. Twitter is all about brevity and impact. LinkedIn is designed with professionals in mind. Don’t blast the same message across the board. Lewisville family law attorneys, and other lawyers for that matter, should tailor the message to the market.
Confidentiality and discretion are a lawyer’s legal obligation. While checking in on Yelp or FourSquare is great fun, these GPS trackers could also put lawyers in an actionable position. If lawyers use location-based marketing on seemingly personal times like lunch or dinner, they might be unwittingly putting the locations of clients online in situations where devious individuals could use the information to find sensitive information or spy on the lawyer’s meetings.
Talk to and with people, not at them. On the other hand, don’t ask questions and start conversations that won’t be followed up with and engaged. Listen and respond thoughtfully, authentically and within 24 to 48 hours. Failure to respond in a short period of time can make a firm look lazy or inattentive.
Social media poses risks to any small business, and law firms are no exception. Create a comprehensive and clear policy on social media and educate employees, associates and partners accordingly. Monitor and enforce them regularly and thoroughly. Like any other tool out there, in the wrong hands, social media can become a weapon.
Social Media Mondays is a CaseDetails.com series covering different topics in the social media world on a weekly basis. Check back every Monday for more news on social media and useful information on how law firms can use social platforms to their advantage.