Is Social Media a danger to your firm?


Reading "Social Media and the Law Across the British Isles" on Defero Law this morning reminded me of the recent BBC news article where a car driver was tweeting she'd knocked down a cyclist and that she didn't like cyclists (yes the police did get involved). 

Social Media creates a lot of discussion among professionals, some pro and some anti. I know is that it (or a variant of it) is here to stay and that you can use it to promote your firm - but many lawyers have reputation concerns.

The cycle article made me think about the concern many professionals have about using Social Media to promote their firm. "How do I protect my firm's reputation" is a common worry, so here is one action you need to take regardless of whether you use social media for marketing your firm - or not.

It can be easy to over express things on Twitter, perhaps for effect, or perhaps because one is feeling emotional at the time of tweeting. This can be one of the dangers of using social media in business.

Social Media for business: Using it to grow your firm

Social Media can be very powerful in helping to grow your firm:

  • Developing new relationships
  • Keeping in touch more often with clients
  • Using it to extend your face to face networking

Social Media for business: Protecting your firm

The tweet causing the issue in the BBC news article was a tweet created by an individual, on her personal account. It didn't mention her employer, so in a sense isn't about Social Media for business. But it typifies some of the common concerns:

  • Staff may bring the firm into disrepute by their personal social media activities. Think about it - Your decision not to use social media to market your firm won’t change this! In fact, by embracing this way of working may ensure you provide suitable training for your staff and reduce the likelihood of problems.
  • Staff making comments about the firm, on social media. They can do this whether or not your firm is represented. Training, monitoring and a clear social media policy are needed. 
  • Staff making an inappropriate comment on the firm’s social media account. A clear strategy, training and policy are essential. Beyond that it’s about trust and appropriate delegation.
  • We're worried about managing our reputation online: Remember, if you're not online - others can still be talking about you.

One ESSENTIAL action to take

If your firm isn't on social media at all, you're much less likely to detect comments made by staff or the general public. You may choose not to use Social Media for business, but at the very least set up some monitoring of the internet. Check for mentions of your firm. Although Google reader is being withdrawn there are other ways of doing the same thing.

If you want to download a free help sheet on developing a social media strategy to...

What do you do to ensure that your firm’s reputation is safe?

Written by Jon Baker, of venture-Now. The 5-50 Coach, who helps professionals to grow their practice from 5 to 50 employees, profitably, sustainably and while they still have a life.

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Tags: marketing, media, social

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