A strong social media policy will keep you and your firm out of trouble.
According to the National Law Review article, “eDiscovery & Social Media,” two-thirds of Internet users are on social media sites. Thus, making it even more important to implement social media rules and policies for your law firm.
Law firms are just like any other business when it comes to employee conduct, and having some rules for social media is important. Sit down with your firm and come up with some formal guidelines that everyone can follow. Make sure the purpose of these guidelines is clearly defined, and there are no questions regarding the information. Whether your firm is small or large, every single person must follow these policies, otherwise, social media could ruin your firm.
Give examples of the social media sites people are using – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Make it clear about what you can and cannot say. You don’t want employees creating posts on Facebook or Twitter that discuss cases, your attorneys, or even worse – office politics. Once it is out on the Internet, it’s there to stay. Also, just to be safe, make sure all employees have their personal social media sites set on private, otherwise anyone and everyone can see what they post.
Make sure these guidelines reflect your firm’s principles, and reflect all the other guidelines already implemented in your firm. For example, anti-harrassment, confidentiality, etc.
Finally, assign someone in your firm to be the face of these policies. If anyone has questions, this is the person they can go to for answers. This person should monitoring your firm’s social media presence to make sure no one slips up at the cost of the firm. And if someone slips up, there must be a process to correct this mistake as soon as possible.
As long as everyone is on the same page with social media, there shouldn’t be any problems. The hardest part is just understanding the far-reaching impact social media can have on your firm, both good and bad, and making sure every employee is aware of, and living by, the guidelines.