How to avoid being part of a social media horror story

Halloween divides the population. There’s the group who live for it: loving the excuse to dress up, spending hours or even days preparing for their big night. There’s the half-hearted: a ripped Primark t-shirt and a dousing of fake blood and they’re away – they look ridiculous but they don’t care because they’re only in it for the party. Then, lastly, there’s those who couldn’t care less, barricading themselves indoors away from the trick-or-treating rascals.

Social media divides lawyers in a similar fashion. Plenty embrace it, many half-heartedly attempt it and others ignore it completely. There’s no need to go overboard like that person who is overly competitive at the best costume awards every year. But having a basic social media strategy in place can be hugely beneficial for you and your firm.

Make sure you avoid these howlers when using social media.

Not being human

Appearing like anything other than a human is ideal for Halloween, but not for social media. Take off your scary corporate face-mask and show a bit of personality. Don’t be afraid to be engaging, maybe even crack a (non-offensive) joke or two. Clearly in the legal sector, whacky, crude or unprofessional posts are not going to be appropriate but a more relaxed approach can work.

Not responding

Ignore the trick-or-treaters at your peril, ignore the comments and replies on social media and you risk damaging your reputation. Being ignored on social media is one of the top complaints for users who are interacting with professionals – particularly now as people expect company accounts to act as customer service. Make sure you’re monitoring your accounts and mentions on social media – online monitoring platforms such as Hootsuite make it straightforward to do so.

A skeleton profile

If your social media profile is woefully out of date then it may as well not be there. Make sure you’re regularly dusting down the cobwebs and maintaining a profile that gives an impression of you as a professional, as opposed to just the bare bones of what you’ve done. Keep your connections updated with awards wins, promotions or even articles you’ve written.

Whether you take Halloween seriously or not is unlikely to affect your reputation. But when it comes to social media a half-hearted approach isn’t going to work and ignoring it could see your reputation fall behind your competitors.

You don’t have to shout the loudest to win on social media – you just need to have a voice, so invest some time in honing your own to see almost-instant results.

If you need guidance on the dos and don’ts of social media, get in touch to request our social media guides.

About us

MD Communications are experts at boosting the reputation of law firms and suppliers to the legal sector- whether that’s enhancing your legal directory submissionsraising your profile in the media, or improving your social media presence.

Melissa Davis is the managing director of MD Communications, the international legal PR agency.

She is also chair of the IBA Law Firm Management Committee Business Development Working Group and a member of the ABA Transnational Legal Practice Committee.

MD Communications is on Twitter @mdcomms

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