Interacting with other people on social media platforms–responding to comments, posting on forums, etc.–takes social media campaigns to the next level. The direct feedback and personal interaction with clients and consumers is powerful. But for attorneys in general and estate planning attorneys in particular, it’s a bit trickier. So what can the progressive estate planning attorney do to engage with the online world, without crossing any ethical boundaries?
Share your knowledge without providing specific advice. General information, rather than advice to a specific situation, is valuable to your audience and to Google searches. The goal is to make the information useful and relevant, but not so detailed. Leave your visitors wanting more, and include a call to action to discuss their family’s situation.
Know your state’s rules on lawyer advertising. In some states, social media posts are considered attorney advertising. And these rules are updated often, as bar associations work to keep up with a changing landscape.
Don’t make misleading statements. A car salesman can say they have the best prices in town. You can’t. Bragging about getting results for clients that are flagrantly untrue, or overstating a victory of some kind will mislead people reading your statements and could land you in hot water with the local bar association.
Remember you are never an expert or a specialist. Never use the words “expert,” specialist” or say that you have a “specialty.” This is a basic rule of legal marketing that has been around for years, and it remains with social media today.
Respect privileged information. When a prospect shares their personal information with you, even if they do not become a client, respect their privacy and do not use them as an example of what happens when things go wrong –even if they retain another firm and things do go wrong. Client information is completely off-limits. Testimonials are fine and a great way to show off your skills while letting other people talk about you.
Write articles and share those that are published. Just be sure that you retain copyright ownership so that there won’t be an issue with the articles appearing in other places. This engages people in your community and boosts your SEO. You might also write an e-book or white paper that users can download from your website.