Legally Awkward: The Downside of Social Media for Law Firms

In today’s world, every business needs social media.

And that includes your law firm.

But what are some common mistakes lawyers make on their accounts and what can you do about it?

In this post, we’ll give you a quick primer on social media for law firms. Read on to ensure that you’re luring in customers with your platforms, not scaring them away.

Don’t Even Think About Linking to Your Personal Social Media

Yikes. This one gets awkward really quickly.

Perhaps your law firm’s name is your name. Perhaps you’ve finally made partner and your name is now part of your firm. Congratulations! It’s time to celebrate!

But that doesn’t mean you should now add your own personal social media to your law firm’s social media.

You need to keep your branding separate so as not to confuse potential clients. You also want to ensure that your personal drama and opinions stay off the Internet.

You may think it’s a good idea to link your personal Twitter to your law firm, but what happens when you drunkenly update it with something totally inappropriate?

While you want your clients to find you relatable, you don’t want your clients to find you unprofessional.

Tweeting or Instagramming something bizarre or super-personal isn’t going to win you any clients. And it may lose you some too.

Posting Unprofessional Pictures

If you have social media for your law firm, you’ll want everyone who works with you to be represented. Not only that, you want them represented well.

This means, don’t put a photo of yourself up from your last vacation to Hawaii. This isn’t going to enhance your public image, and it certainly isn’t going to garner trust from your clients.

People want a lawyer that appears authoritative and in control. Get professional pictures taken of all of your employees wearing suits or professional looking tops. Use these on all of your social media.

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You can click here for more about examples of great professional photos for a lawyer’s social media.

Don’t Get Into a Twitter or Facebook War

There have been companies in the past who have had this issue happen. A customer complains and then instead of addressing the issue privately, they decide to go to battle via the Internet. In some cases, this has even made the news because they’ve berated a potential customer so badly that they look unapproachable.

Now, Wendy’s often jokes with customers on their social media, but that’s their MO. Other establishments may do this as well, but they’re often those that sell burgers and clothes. Burgers and clothes aren’t in charge of people’s futures like you’ll be when you take on a client.

Instead, keep all tweets civil and professional. If you have an issue with someone on social media, keep it offline. Speak with them privately instead and try to resolve the matter. Going back and forth can only serve to make your and your office look bad, instead of addressing the issue at hand.

Don’t Ignore Your Social Media

Many law firms, particularly those run by older lawyers, may underestimate the importance of social media. They may register on all social platforms and not even give them a second glance.

You don’t have to be fully trained in social media, or even really know how to use it, to ensure that it’s up and running. Instead, you can hire someone to operate it for you. You can do this by either outsourcing or hiring someone to come on to do your company’s PR.

Not updating your social media is almost as bad as not having one at all. This is especially the case if much of your clientele is under 40. That demographic specifically will be researching you online before taking the plunge and retaining you. If they see you have social media but not update it, they may erroneously think that you either don’t care or don’t have the time.

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While the latter may be the case with your busy schedule, you want to give the appearance that you have taken the time to update your social media. Otherwise, potential clients may see you as uncaring or someone who won’t pay attention to them or their case. How can you if you don’t even update your social media?

Don’t Share Too Much Information

Not everyone has yet learned the lesson that what you say online is basically etched in stone. Even if you delete it, it’s technically there forever, on one server or another.

Because of this, lawyers should be cautious with what they say on social media, particularly regarding cases and clients. Anything you say can be used against you in the court system. You should also remind your clients of this before they enter into proceedings.

As a lawyer, you should remain tight-lipped about your clients and your case.

If there is a lot of public interest in your case, that can sometimes be impossible. But that doesn’t mean you need to totally spill the beans. Be prudent about what you share.

Using Social Media for Law Firms

There are many more tips for keeping your social media looking great, and we’ve only covered the basis on social media for law firms.

But you should remember that if you don’t feel comfortable with something on a billboard advertising your law office, don’t post it online.

Click here for more tips and tricks for making your law firm’s site show up in search engines, so you can get the clients you deserve.