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4 Tips for Attorneys when using Social Media and Facebook to Market their Firms

4 Reasons You Need To  Remain Ethical When Posting On Social Media

Social media is an excellent way to promote your law firm and build a positive reputation. There are a number of platforms, such as Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and Twitter, which can increase exposure in addition to your own website.

For example, when posting on these sites, it may be tempting to share personal opinions, memes or political propaganda, but that can do more harm than good. What you may think is just a joke, could totally offend someone. Once that happens, they will spread the word about how much they dislike you and your reputation will become tarnished.

 

As an Attorney, Keep these 4 Things in Mind when posting to Social Media

 

Risk Of Losing Attorney License

An article on the American Bar Association website reports that legal ethics regulators across America are skimming the various social media websites for attorney violations. Each jurisdiction has its own set of laws and regulations, and all attorneys need to check for the specifics in their area to avoid any accidental violation.

There are limits on attorney advertising and if the rules are not followed properly, lawyers can end up losing their license.

 

You Could Accidentally Create An Attorney/Client Relationship

There is a fine line between providing general knowledge of the law and giving advice. When attorneys post on any form of social media, they need to be careful of the information they are providing to the public.

You are never to give someone detailed advice on a situation. You can provide the laws that surround the issue, but once you ask for further personal information or lay out a plan of action for them, you are then bound by an attorney/client relationship.

 

Avoid Embarrassment

When posting off-color comments or memes, chances are, someone you know will be offended eventually. This looks unprofessional and will end up giving you and your law firm a bad name.

You should also refrain from posting personal rants and opinions. These angry outbursts can be shared by many people and will reflect badly upon your reputation, causing clients, judges and other attorneys to think of you with disdain. Just look at ESPN and Curt Shilling for a perfect example of how not to be professional.

 

Accidentally Exposing Confidential Information

The detailed information that can be accidentally exposed when using social media on a mobile device could present a problem with current cases if not managed properly. Some sites will include the location from where the post was made. These may also include photo posts, so be sure to disable that feature if at all possible.

Another concern is that once connections are made via social media, personal details become more visible to others if proper settings are not put into place. All of these issues could be detrimental to a case. The attorney needs to take great care to avoid exposing the private information of clients.

Learn how to set up the privacy settings on your Facebook Page.

 

Conclusion

As an attorney, following the guidelines set up by the Bar Association and the legal regulations of your local area will keep you from risking your reputation. Never post anything on social media without looking it over and making sure it doesn’t violate any rules.

Be sure to not disclose any personal information about you or potential clients.

Being knowledgeable about what is acceptable to post on social media is of utmost importance. Be sure to stay up to date with any changes that may take place. Keeping your name clean will create a sense of trust from your followers and will help your law firm to grow.

For more information on how to have an effective online presence for your law firm, please read: How Lawyers Can Use Social Media Without Giving Advice and 4 Tips For Creating A Successful Attorney Website.

How Lawyers Can Use Social Media Without Giving Advice

Due to ethical concerns, attorneys know that setting limitations on social media interaction are a must.  There is a fine line about what can legally be posted and what cannot and each state has its own laws which govern this.

Giving specific online advice to an individual can create an attorney/client based relationship. You can provide a general answer, but you should not give exact advice on the details they provide. You can suggest recommending that they consult with a local attorney in their area, to avoid crossing any ethical boundaries.

 

Let’s take a look at some beneficial ways lawyers can use social media:

 

Regular (High Quality) Blog Posting

Attorneys that post regular content to their blogs, have the potential to grown their client base by leaps and bounds. Provided that optimal SEO and content are applied, viewers will be able to easily find the law firm on search engines.

A recent survey states that 8% of attorneys currently post on a blog for their law firm and 39% of lawyers have gained new clients by using a blogging platform.

Regular blog posts on interesting topics will make visitors want to return to read the latest news.

Article content can range from industry news, recent law changes, or information about the particular niche that your law firm specializes in.

 

Twitter, LinkedIn & Facebook

The blog posts mentioned above should be tweeted or posted on Facebook or LinkedIn to gain new visitors to your website. Sharing your knowledge with others will help you obtain more followers and some of those will hopefully turn into clients.

The ability to follow other experts on these two platforms will give you the opportunity to discover new content that may spark ideas for your own posts. You may also connect with others in your field with whom you can develop a referral system.

Consider Twitter and Facebook as tools that will help you grow your client base. There is unlimited ability to expand your audience. Make your tweets and posts sound interesting so more people want to click and read more of what you have to say.

 

Add A Personal Touch & Break the Internet Barrier

You don’t want to come across as just a lawyer, you need to present yourself as a “real person” as well. Doing so will make your audience feel like they know you better and will feel more confident in you as a person, as well as an attorney.

Avoid posting updates on your family details, but instead mention your favorite local businesses, restaurants, or local events that are happening in your area that you may be interested in. This not only promotes others, but they may return the favor, which will benefit you as well.

It is not recommended to combine your personal and legal accounts, but give a peek of your true self on your professional page.

 

Conclusion

By using online platforms, you can help build your credibility and become more familiar to potential clients. Integrating and cross promoting on all of your social media accounts will create a strong online presence.

Consider hiring a professional to improve your site’s SEO and maintain your blog updates and plug-ins. Concentrate on practicing law and leave the technical details to someone else.

If you don’t have the time or patience to write the content to include on your blog, there are resources online that can do that for you. At LuckyFish Media I work with a team of excellent content writers who can ghost write articles for your blog.

You can eliminate adding something to your to-do list and build your credibility at the same time by providing interesting articles and information.

Check out these articles to read more on how to use the internet to expand your law practice: How To Get Your Law Firm Optimized On Google Maps and 3 Of The Best Search Engine Optimization Tips For 2015.

3 Content Ideas for your Facebook Business Page

If your business isn’t yet on Facebook, it probably should be. It’s no secret that Facebook is the most used social media by Americans and many others around the world. As far as mobile use goes, Facebook far outranked all other US mobile apps in a recent comScore study.

The bottom line is this: Facebook is a tool your business can use to leverage new leads and customers.

Once you’ve setup your Facebook business page, what exactly should you post about? Here are three content ideas to help you connect with your followers.

1. Interactive Media Posts

Use rich media and interactive posts to stimulate “Likes”, “Shares” and comments on your Facebook posts. Rich media refers to videos, photos, music, and graphics that are compelling and often involve an interactive component.

Never post a photo, graphic, or video alone. Always be sure to include an interactive text component such as a question, poll, or call to action. For example, a photo or video of your latest product may be posted with the text, “What would you do with this great new product?” or “What should we name this model of product?” When you receive comments, click “Like” or reply with a polite comment of your own.

2. Share a Customer Story

Depending on the nature of your business, there are different methods to sharing a customer story on Facebook.

If you’re primarily a B2B company, your business page may “Like” the business page of one of your customers. When they post a positive story on their page, click the “Share” button to post it on your own business page. This boosts your customer’s confidence in your genuine interest in their business and likely encourages repeat purchases.

If your business is retail, then you may host a giveaway to inspire your followers to submit stories of how they use and enjoy your product or service. When they enter the giveaway, be sure to include a legal waiver giving you the right to publish their story on your Facebook page if they win.

3. Use the 70/20/10 Rule

The 70/20/10 rule is a guiding principle to help inform your posting options. Seventy percent of posts should be valuable information for your customers (not self-promotion), twenty percent should be posts you “Share” from carefully selected sources, and the remaining ten percent should be self-promotion pieces about your products and services. This principle provides customer oriented content making you appear to be an expert in the field and not just self-interested.

Have you tried any of these Facebook business page content ideas? Which have you found works best?

If you need help marketing your Facebook business page, get in touch with me for a custom tailored social media plan to help you reach your goals.