Last night, we were checking one of our social media channels and discovered that someone had been using our own original designs as their own without our permission. When we looked into it deeper, we discovered it was a law firm who probably wasn’t too sure of how to use social media. And it got us thinking that even among attorneys who know the law, social media isn’t an intuitive medium. In fact, if you’re using social media as a part of your attorney marketing, you’re likely farming it out to someone’s kid or to another firm because it isn’t easy. We’ve decided to put together some common social media don’ts, or fails, that can undermine your attorney marketing in the hopes that you’ll learn what not to do and avoid problems of your own.
Social Media Don’ts that Can Harm Your Attorney Marketing
Social media has the power to put your law firm in front of millions of unique internet visitors, crossing boundaries of location, language, and culture. However, if you’re using it incorrectly, your attorney marketing may not experience these benefits. Instead, you may find yourself on the wrong end of a lawsuit, a cease and desist letter, or alienating potential clients. Don’t make critical social media mistakes and undermine your attorney marketing. Learn from the following failures what not to do:
• Copyright infringement. On visual marketing sites like Pinterest, this can be a very tricky subject. The fine line between giving credit to an original picture and stealing it as your own can often feel faint. On sites like Pinterest, if you change the links out to make it look like it is your own original work, you’ve just infringed upon someone’s copyright. To avoid this, don’t change the links, and don’t write what can be perceived as endorsements for your law firm. Instead, strive to make relevant comments to your business that won’t land you in court.
• Flying off the handle in forums. Attorneys who may not understand social media sometimes get swept up in it all and can find themselves attracting negative attention due to comments they made online. Keep your comments inoffensive and strive to be the consummate professional so your law firm and its attorney marketing isn’t impacted negatively.
• Neglect. When consumers have questions for you in social media, your law firm wants to be there to answer them. But if you’re not actively monitoring your social media, this inattention can lose you a client. Just when your attorney marketing was working, your inattention has turned a positive into a missed opportunity. Be present in the places your fans hang out, be willing to answer their questions. Don’t just set it up and walk away from it.
• Making wild promises. We are all bound to market our law firms ethically or face the wrath of the Bar. Some attorneys seem to forget this and hold themselves out to be experts who can win every case. This is a rookie mistake likely caused by trusting your attorney marketing to people who don’t know the ethical boundaries within which attorneys must operate. Don’t just trust your attorney marketing to charlatans. Take some control and exercise authority over the content that gets pushed out.
When it comes to attorney marketing, the key is to attract positive attention to get the clients in through the door, not to attract negative attention for your law firm’s misdeeds. If you’re unsure of how to accomplish your attorney marketing goals and want some help, call eLaw Attorney Marketing and we’ll help you to avoid these mistakes.