How Attorneys Can Use Social Media Responsibly for Marketing

    December 15, 2015

    Lawyers and law firms should follow these essential tips for using social media responsibly.


    Lawyers’ personal and professional identities intersect on social media. They are not mutually exclusive domains. Lawyers’ personal lives and activities will undoubtedly contribute to their reputation and be attributed to their firm. What lawyers say and do on social media is also governed by advertising ethics rules. As a result, they should follow this general rule: If there is anyone, anywhere, who should not see certain information, lawyers should not put it on the Internet.


    Use judgment. Outside the workplace, privacy rights and free speech may protect certain activity conducted on a personal social network with a personal email address. However, information published on social media sites by an individual lawyer will ultimately be attributed to the firm and therefore must comply with lawyer rules of professional conduct.


    Some tips for posting responsibly:


    • Be a team player. If lawyers choose to list their work affiliation on a social network, they should regard all communication on that network as they would in any professional network. Even if they do not mention their firm in personal online networking activity, they should remember that online lives are ultimately linked.


    • Be respectful. Refrain from posting about controversial or potentially inflammatory subjects, including politics, sex, religion, or any questionable non-business-related subjects. Keep the tone of any comments respectful and informative. When in doubt, leave it out.


    • Be mindful. Whenever contributing to any online social and professional network, lawyers should remember that everything posted on social media can be seen by clients, colleagues, and other members of the bar.


    Setting the right social media strategy, tone, and voice is critical for generating new clients on social media. Learn more about how you can train your attorneys on responsible social media use.


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