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Date Archives: January 2010

Does Your Company Need a Lawyer to Handle Social Media, Twitter and Facebook?

At least one company, Clorox, is looking for a full time, in house lawyer to clean up their social media policies and presence.  Is that necessary?

A marketing person (or even an astute college student) could likely develop and monitor Twitter feeds and a Facebook fan page.  But is that enough?

Developing a social media policy and handling questions about “new” issues (tech, advertising, responses to comments) is a task probably for a lawyer.

For businesses looking to enter the Social Networking sphere, I would recommend a Twitter feed, Facebook fan page, and an announcement on their own webpage (media release is optional).  I would further recommend setting up an automatic Google search for your business name appearing on the Internet as well as routine searches/monitoring of Twitter and Facebook.  Finally, you need a clear social media policy.

This is actually a fairly good task for a lawyer and paralegal working with the client.  The client could develop the content and have the law firm handle the updating and monitoring.  With a cost-effective paralegal on the front line with some concise supervision by counsel, this would be cost effective.  Moreover, it would ensure (a) the corporation has a social media policy, (b) the posts and entries are appropriate and not patently violating policy or laws, and (c) major social networking sites are monitored for defamation, copyright, unfair competition and other issues.

Depending upon the frequency of the posting/monitoring, this likely could be accomplished for a few hundred dollars a month.  A lot of PR firms could run up that tab in a week.  In good hands, this could be transitioned back to the company full time after 6-12 months.

Meanwhile, follow Clorox on Twitter to see how they are doing.  Some basic good advice on cleaning up your Twitter service is here.  Email if you have comments, experiences or questions about lawyers providing social media services.  I’m interested to see who else out there is providing that service.

“Blogging for Lawyers” at Palm Beach Bar Association

We recently offered a lunch-time seminar for lawyers interested in learning about blogging at the Palm Beach Bar Association.  This was one in a series of lawyer-technology seminars, much like our prior Tweet Meet and Eat.

Thanks to Matt Kakuk of Webmanagement.us who jumped in with some technical help on issues relating to Google Analytics, Adsense, and Google Local.pbbar

If you couldn’t make it, the Palm Beach Bar Bulletin article is here and the powerpoint is here.

Florida Paralegal Association & Internet Social Networking

Thank you to the Paralegal Association of Florida – Boca Raton Chapter for the very kind invitation to speak about “Social Networking Websites for Fun and Research” at their January 14, 2010 meeting.

This presentation grew out of the Sppaf_bw_logo40130432ring 2009 article, “Internet Social Networking Sites for Lawyers,” which was one of the first published articles to discuss using Facebook, Twitter, and others for law firm marketing as well as jury selection.  That article was published in the Trial Advocate Quarterly; it also is available under “Articles” on the right column of this website.

Since that article, there have been a number of developments including the fact that Facebook reset its community’s privacy settings to “Everyone.”  This creates greater potential researching options for lawyers and paralegals — as well as greater need for individuals to pay attention to their privacy settings.

The powerpoint for the presentation can be found under “Materials” along the right column at www.FloridaLawCommentary.com (scroll down).

At the meeting we discussed steps to secure your own privacy rights — for further discussion, take a look at this article, “8 Steps to Regain Control of Facebook Privacy.”