It’s no longer acceptable for law firms to shun social media only because it’s a new and foreign concept. I can accept not using it because your clients aren’t there, or you’re so busy with work that you don’t want anymore (tell me your secret please), but please don’t tell me you “don’t get it”.
Before you roll your eyes and give me that look, I will let you in on a little secret. It’s a lot easier to start incorporating social media into your firm’s marketing and business development initiatives if you have a social media policy in place. I read an article with some great tips on how to create an effective and comprehensive policy on the Entrepreneur blog. Here’s the five most important points:
1.) Clearly define what social media is. This will help alleviate any confusion. Your list should include LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Blogging and any other relevant platforms.
2.) Explain why the firm is using social media. Lawyers and professional staff are curious creatures by nature. Clearly define goals and strategies. You are bound to get questions, but this point will help cut them down.
3.) Describe what’s allowed. Define who is allowed to speak on behalf of the firm online (and who isn’t).
4.) Define how you will enforce the policy (or if you will enforce the policy). Address what will happen to those who don’t abide by the policy. I’ve heard this can be quite tricky. Being as specific as possible will help.
5.) Disseminate the policy. Make sure every employee at your firm gets the social media policy. Include it in your orientation binder and consider giving it to finalists for new job openings.
Creating a social media policy for your law firm will help remove the incorrect perception that social media is confusing or irrelevant. Most HR departments will already have one, or will be busy putting one in place. Check to see what the status is at your firm.
Have you created a social media policy for your firm? What does it include or not include? Let me know in the comments below.