Real estate professionals are not the only ones who have entered the social media landscape with Twitter. Consider the number of lawyers who have tossed their tweets into the mix to interact with potential clients who are online. While we applaud the initiative, we have seen too many lawyers enter the scene expecting too much. Half-hearted attempts at networking are among the biggest social media mistakes some lawyers have made.
What Are the Biggest Mistakes?
1. Lack of Social Media Policy
Law is a tricky business, and clients expect confidentiality, but that confidentially is easy to breach when talking about social networking. Law firms need policies, and every member of the team needs to adhere to them. Even talking about a client and switching names isn’t enough. The other side is looking for slip-ups, and the general public is smart.
2. Ignorance of Social Media as Advertising
The law hasn’t quite caught up with social media, so we understand how even some lawyers can overlook this point, but we can’t stress enough that most social media counts as advertising. Additionally, lawyers should refrain from using client information to help those social campaigns without the express consent of those clients. Although some cases makes for great publicity, all attorneys should get written permission from current or prior clients to release any information about those cases.
3. Too Much Self Promotion
Any professional from any industry can make this mistake. Don’t just post information about yourself, your website, your clients, your services. Link to relevant businesses or stories that are pertinent to your clients. Provide valuable information about other topics to build yourself as an authority.
4. Lack of Content
You shouldn’t only post about yourself, but you also shouldn’t forget to post at all. You should log in once daily and post at similar hours. Some tools let you schedule tweets and updates, which makes this easier. If, at any time, you need to take a break from the tweeting or blogging, let your readers know how long you’ll be gone and how they can contact you in the meantime.
5. Don’t Talk at Your Readers
Be warm and personable. Hold conversations with your followers and fans. Show them that a real person exists behind the name. Don’t just talk at them, talk to them. Put the social into social networking.
6. Ignoring Networks
Facebook and Twitter are great for communicating with potential clients, especially if your firm has its own Facebook page. However, they aren’t the only social media solutions around. LinkedIn exists especially for professionals, so if you’re looking to switch firms, create a new agency or find a new paralegal, this network might be especially useful for you.
7. Failing to Give Credit
Social media does include the world of blogging, and the rules there differ. Twitter limits your posts to 140 characters, but no such limitation exists on your own blog. You can craft essays and stories as long as you’d like. With that in mind, lawyers shouldn’t post stories that are their own without crediting the author. It’s bad taste all around, regardless of industry.
8. Not Using Social Networking at All
By now, it’s clear that you should definitely do some things and not do others. However, perhaps the worst mistake you can make is to completely shy away from social media. Yes, it might take more work than you think, but clients are looking for you on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. It would be silly not to take advantage of that.
What social media mistakes have you witnessed by other lawyers in the past?
Richard works for Samuelson Hause & Samuelson law firm, as a WordPress webmaster. He works mainly with WordPress, set up, customization, optimization. Always willing to help others any way he can, that is the main reason why he likes to write about SEO, to help others understand it better.