April 26, 2010 – Many law firms are turning to social networking as a means of creating a more personal, interactive relationship with their clients. While this is a great move for your firm overall, there’s also the individual use of social media sites that employers need to watch out for.
Social media offers a double-edged sword in the world of business. The social part means it’s very easy to get too personal or distracted, while the networking aspect is how we often justify our use of it at work. It’s important to remember that unless it’s related to your law firm’s marketing/PR, social networking sites should not be accessed during work hours.
The biggest danger with social networking sites isn’t so much with lost time during work hours, but more with the content posted on them. Social media means there’s all sorts of ways to express yourself. Between text, video and photo sharing it’s all too easy to get a bit TOO social in your online dealings.
Remember that every employee of your law firm, including yourself, is a representation of your business image. If one of your employees is posting photos of themselves drunk at a party, it reflects extremely poorly on your firm – especially if you’re a personal injury attorney famous for representing DUI accident victims.
On another note, employment lawyers are seeing more and more cases of employees being fired over social media interactions, while other areas of practice are seeing social networking accounts popping up as evidence in court.
To protect your firm, it is important to establish guidelines for appropriate social media conduct early on. Some examples of topics to consider in your firm’s policy include:
- Identifying what services/communications are considered “social media”
- Establishing appropriate times/reasons for social networking access at work
- Clearly expressing that social networking while at work grants the employee no expectation of privacy if on a company computer system
- Discussion of who has access to/control of company social networking profiles and appropriate interactions with such profiles
- Emphasis that internal information, especially case-related, is to never be shared via social networking
- Explanation of internal IT policy and related laws (anti-discrimination, privacy, employment, etc.)
- A clearly stated disciplinary policy for violating your firm’s rules
As with all new technology and trends, early identification of potential issues and creation of policies to counteract these issues is important. If your firm needs help in understanding social networking basics and would like to learn how to harness their positive features to help promote your law firm, We Do Web Content can show you the way.
We offer establishment and monitoring of your social networking profiles, as well as advice on how to best integrate your social media with other aspects of your internet marketing. When you enhance your website with relevant content that’s custom written for SEO, you’ll see a great increase in your search engine rankings and client relations! For affordable, quality content exclusive to YOUR website, blog and clients, contact We Do Web Content today! 1-888-521-3880