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To run a successful business in today’s world, it is nearly impossible to avoid having an online presence. Social media is now one of the leading avenues for marketing your business and expanding your client base. However, improper practices can end up backfiring and causing more damage than good.
According to XSocialMedia, there are approximately 214 million Americans on Facebook, representing 81% of the population. When your marketing efforts go well, this presents an incredible opportunity to reach out to potential clients. Unfortunately, if you make mistakes, it also means you will make them in front of a huge audience.
Law firms need to be aware of these potential pitfalls, like copyright infringement, when using social media to promote their firm.
Things You Should Not Do
Our world is dominated by social media. Whether you use it personally or not, it affects your life in myriad ways. Those who are trying to run a business need to learn how to use social media to build their client base and help them to thrive in their industry. While it is important to know what to do, it is even more important to know what NOT to do. Here are six things that law firms should avoid in order to thrive in the social media world.
Don’t Violate Copyrights
Photos play an important role in social media. However, you must be careful when choosing online images to use on your social media platform. It’s in particularly bad form for a law firm to infringe upon copyrighted material. Law firms violating any laws on social media are not going to look very competent.
Other Image Issues
In addition to avoiding copyrighted images, it is vital to use high-quality images on your platform. Poor images are more likely to deter clients rather than attract them.
Hashtags have become a critical part of social media and making sure that your posts reach as much of your targeted audience as possible. However, you might want to do a quick search involving any hashtag that you wish to use. Hashtags don’t always refer to what you might think, so you may inadvertently make a statement that you don’t wish to make with a wrong hashtag.
You should also remember that you are a business that wants to portray a professional image to your clients so that you are taken seriously. Using too many hashtags on your post can shatter this image. Limit yourself to two or three relevant hashtags per post.
Good reviews on social media can be a big boon for your business, while bad reviews can hurt you greatly. You should be wary of soliciting feedback on social media, as you are generally unable to control what people see. When you have a website and ask for feedback, you can control what you publish so that only the good things show. On social media, you usually just have to take what you get.
Before beginning a feedback campaign on social media, make sure you are confident enough in the satisfaction of your clients that you don’t think there will be any responses that will hurt your firm.
Poor Content Choices
A law firm may feel it is important to comment on relevant laws and regulations, especially when new laws are enacted or are up for a vote. It is fine to do this, but you need to be careful to try to stay neutral in your discussion of these laws. Writing about your personal views may end up alienating current or potential clients who don’t see eye to eye.
You should also avoid posting anything about ongoing cases that your firm is handling and be mindful of what you post about closed cases. You could very easily end up violating lawyer ethics rules and undermining a current case.
Forgetting to Switch Accounts
For those who manage their firm’s social media account, as well as handling personal accounts, it is extremely important to make sure that you are signed in to the correct account when you put up a new post. There isn’t much that can make a law firm look more foolish and unprofessional than a photo of you and your friends drinking during a night out that is marked #wasted.
Things You Should Do
As long as you avoid the mistakes listed above, your law firm’s presence on social media should not really hurt the firm. However, there are still many other important tips to learn about how to optimize your company’s potential on these platforms. If you need help making your company’s social media presence all it can be, don’t be afraid to call in the professionals.