Some lawyers are hesitant to engage in social media marketing because they believe that they lack control over the privacy of their content. As a practicing attorney and social media marketing consultant for lawyers, I understand the importance of controlling who can see the content I post on social media.
Contrary to popular belief, Facebook offers several privacy options for lawyers to keep their accounts safe. For example, you can make your entire personal Facebook profile publicly available to everyone or limit access to your profile only to certain friends. You can also change the privacy settings for individual posts on your profile – meaning that you can make your marketing content public but keep you family photos private. You can even choose who can send you friend requests
Here’s how to take control of Facebook’s privacy settings so that you can achieve your desired balance of both security and marketing exposure:
To access the Privacy Settings:
Control Who Can See Your Personal Information
Control Who Can See Your Posts
Facebook’s default setting allows only a your friends to see your posts. To edit this setting:
Control Who Can See a Specific Post
Facebook also allows you to control the Privacy Settings for each individual post (e.g., individual status update or photo) your create without altering the default setting selected. After creating the post, select the downward arrow next to the post and choose from that same set of options to determine who can see that particular post. The privacy of a post can be changed as many times as you choose.
Control Who Can See Past Posts
To limit the audience that can access posts you have shared in the past, you can limit those posts to only your friends in one click. From the Privacy Setting and Tools screen, select Limit Old Posts and the audience for all old posts will change to only friends. Please note that if a past post was assigned a custom audience, that audience will not change. Further, if you want to undo this action in the future, you will need to adjust every individual past post.
Control Who Can Send You a Friend Request
Facebook also allows you to limit who is able to send you a friend request. From the Privacy Settings and Tools screen, select Edit next to “who can send me friend requests” and limit the pool of users to “everyone” or “friends of friends.” Similarly, the lawyer can limit who can look them up on Facebook and whether a link to their Facebook profile will appear in the results of a search engine search. From the Privacy Setting and Tools screen, click Edit next to “who can look me up” and alter the setting to the desired audience.
Control Who Can Post on Your Timeline
Facebook’s default setting allows only you and your friends to post on your timeline.
To edit this from the Security Setting page, select Timeline and Tagging on the left side. Select Edit next to “who can post on your timeline?” and choose Only Me. Keep in mind that your friends can comment on posts they can see including posts on your Timeline, even if you have restricted who can post to your timeline. If you want to totally block individuals from posting to your Timeline, including commenting on posts from others, you must also limit others from seeing friends’ posts on their timeline.
To help you manage what people post on your timeline, Facebook provides you option to receive notifications when someone has requested to post on your timeline. This feature means that you will have to approve a post before it can ever appear on your timeline. To turn this feature on, from the Security Setting page, select Timeline and Tagging on the left side. Select Edit next to “review posts friends tag you in before they appear on your Timeline” and select Enabled.
For additional information on privacy features available in Facebook, from the Home page, select the lock icon and select Privacy Basics or from the Home page, select More then Help and then Privacy and Security.