One of the facts that many lawyers find difficult to accept about social media is that it has a “Wild West” quality. Just about anyone with a keyboard and an Internet connection can post comments on Facebook, Twitter, and blog sites, and many of these comments are cruel, uninformed, insulting, or just argumentative for the sake of argument. And if, out of a general sense of outrage or a desire to defend the reputation of your firm, you address these “trolls” head on, you will sadly be doomed to failure.

Let's say a blogger on Gawker has just posted an article about a case you litigated, in which you won a $1 million judgment for someone who was injured in a slip and fall. No matter the content of the article, or the writer's opinion of your talents, there will inevitably be vicious comments to the effect that you're a bottom-feeder who exploits the American legal system for your (and only incidentally your client's) gain.

It may be hard to hold your tongue, but the worst thing you can do is to respond to these provocations, posting that you are actually a force for good and that your client deserved to be made whole for his injuries. You're only one person against an anonymous army of dozens (or even hundreds), who will pile on when they smell blood in the water and try to drown out your even-handed message. By trying too hard to counter their perception, you have come off as insecure and defensive, and therefore ripe for the kill.

At Great Legal Marketing, we know that you have to carefully pick and choose how you respond to detractors on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, as well as the larger blogosphere—and that sometimes a lofty silence is the best strategy of all. Want to learn more? Call our innovative legal marketing experts at 888-791-2150 to find out what we can do for you!

Ben Glass
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Ben is a nationally recognized expert in attorney marketing and the owner of Great Legal Marketing.
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