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ILN Marketing Roundtable: Social Media Policies

The last two weeks, we’ve been looking more in-depth at the ILN Marketing Specialty Group roundtable, which focuses on what mid-sized firms are doing in social media.  Today, we look at question three, which asks “Do you have a social media policy in place? If so, how are you handling training on both policies and proactive use of social media and tracking of results?” 

Do Kim Dung: Leadco does not yet have a social media policy.

Simone Fell: Not yet, but it’s in development. We already have policies regarding employees’ use of technology and some of the issues would be covered under that. We used to track social media as a firm but we now have a number of lawyers with individual accounts who tweet/blog about a combination of personal and work-related issues, which why it’s even more critical that there be a formal policy in place. We have done some training on how to use social networking tools, which highlighted best practices (eg be conscious of who’s in your audience and don’t broadcast every thought you have without considering the impact) and have offered pointers at our business law and litigation department meetings. We expect lawyers to take a common-sense approach to their online business development activities and consider the same Law Society guidelines that govern other mediums.

John Buchanan: Almost.  We have a set of “guidelines” that are in draft form, which describe the firm’s attitude toward social media and provides suggested strategies about how our attorneys should approach social media.  Whether firms like it our not, having a clear Social Media policy or set of guidelines is important.  Without policies or guidelines, “www” more nearly stands for “Wild, Wild West,” where anything goes.

Jeffrey Hild:  We do have a social media policy in place within our Arnstein & Lehr Manual for Attorneys.  We have provided significant training in classes and individually for approximately 1.5 years on the benefits of LinkedIn and regularly work with attorneys to promote their LinkedIn presence. We do not have a tracking program currently in place to monitor results.

Miriam Hackmey & Kobie Rafaeli: Currently, we do not have an office policy in respect of the use of social media.

McDonald Hopkins: We do have a social media policy in place and it is included in our employee handbook and is posted on our intranet. We have taken a proactive approach to social media by not only stressing the importance of having a policy but we have also done two roundtable programs and selected alerts on the subject for our clients and friends of the firm. Our attorneys are encouraged to participate in social media networks, especially LinkedIn. In the coming months we will be conducting an in house training for our attorneys on participating in LinkedIn.