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Social media removing professionalism?

Social media is an incredible resource for attorneys to use. Many use it for networking purposes, advertisements, and event promotions. If used properly, social media can greatly improve an attorney’s law firm and reputation. There are, however, many drawbacks. Attorneys who are unfamiliar with social media, on a professional basis, can actually hurt their business and reputation. There are attorneys who will use the firm’s page as if it were their own personal page and “share” links that are irrelevant and misleading to their practice of law.

Attorneys need to make sure they can differentiate between their personal page and the firm’s public page. I have seen attorneys who will post about their personal lives and share photos of family gatherings. Such personal information should not be shared on a public firm’s page. It is completely irrelevant to the firm and the services they provide. I strongly believe that posting about the firm’s activity would benefit its reputation; but posting about one attorney’s day trip hiking a mountain does not.

Professionalism needs to be maintained on social media. If social media sites are going to be used to draw in clients, then it is imperative to keep a professional face on the internet. Another deterrent I have seen is a firm posting pictures of the attorneys attending a “happy hour” together and they are all clearly intoxicated. All that says to viewers is that the attorneys enjoy drinking. I, personally, do not want to go to a firm where I believe the attorneys are alcoholics and spend more time drinking rather than working on my case. It’s important for attorneys to let loose and have fun, but that’s not something that would be appropriate to post on a firm’s page. That’s an example of something to post on a personal page rather than the firm’s page.

Professionalism should be something that is always kept up, whether in person or on the internet. It seems like something that would be common sense but it can be easily lost on social media. Everything that is posted should be reviewed with careful consideration. The way an attorney words a post, what links are shared, what events are created, that should all be screened and reviewed before being published for potential clients to view.

Again, social media can be a phenomenal tool for attorneys to utilize to promote their business. As long as professionalism is kept up, attorneys should absolutely use social media for their firms. It’s an incredible way to promote business, advertise events, and to connect and communicate with their clients/ potential clients.

-Jessica Nguyen