There’s no escaping social media these days – as you’ll know if you are reading this blog! Whether it is Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, blogs, myspace, You Tube or any number of other sites and services, it has never been easier to engage with others.
From a personal point of view, this is great for helping keep in touch with people you rarely see, keeping others posted on what you are up to, sharing good news and swapping stories. As a business tool, social sites like Twitter in particular make it easier to engage with professionals with a common interest or with potential clients. Be it family law, Manchester United or the works of Tolkien, those with similar interests can now find each other and share information quickly, cheaply and easily.
I have always had an interest in social media and we have been using both Twitter and Facebook for some time to varying degrees, as well as giving my views on a variety of issues via this blog. It takes some getting used to and finding the best way to use these channels to engage with the right people, but I feel they are essential now to the ongoing promotion of the business and getting useful information “out there”. It seems now that The Law Society agrees. Last week, it issued a practice note on the use of social media and there is some good and sensible information in there.
Maybe they are a little slow off the mark with this, but then, at the risk of sounding flippant, that is par for the course in this sector on many issues (see previous blogs on the use of email, electronic payments etc). Some of the advice does seem to imply that just because a lawyer is using social media they forget all the training about client confidentiality etc and common sense, which is certainly not the case in our experience. Not sure exactly who put it together but there is a wealth of knowledge out there, I’m sure there are many who could have passed on some best practice or hints and tips if asked.
However, it is still a very useful document for the uninitiated, particularly about things like privacy settings and making sure you understand how Twitter works before you inadvertently send a private message to all of your Twitter followers (read this as an example of how that can go!).