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The hazards of Twittering


Should lawyers Twitter? For those who haven’t been keeping up with what’s going on in the “social media,” Twitter is what some call a micro-blog service that lets you post 140-character messages any time you feel like it. The Wall Street Journal’s technology blog Digits reported that Google’s Eric Schmidt referred to Twitter Tuesday as “a poor man’s email system.”

I’ve never thought anybody cared to know what I do all through the day, so I’ve never bothered to Twitter. Nevertheless, some marketing experts are now pushing everyone to Twitter, including lawyers.

The potential hazards of Twittering were demonstrated this week when the maker of the colorful candy Skittles redesigned its website to focus on what people were saying about Skittles on Twitter.  The blogoshpere started buzzing about the website’s redesign to focus on its use of Twitter.  By Tuesday, the conversation about Skittles on Twitter had turned sour (sorry about the pun).  According to a MediaPost article, pranksters quickly began writing negative and unrelated comments. These comments almost took over the Skittles site.

Brand Keys President Robert Passikoff reportedly said that the fiasco demonstrates the power of consumers. Passikoff also said the campaign also brought to light consumer sentiment about the brand based on freedom of speech on the Internet. “The good news is there is freedom of speech, and the bad news is there is freedom of speech,” he said.

The Skittles debacle serves as a cautionary tale for law firms who are considering integrating Twitter into their marketing campaigns.

About Michael J. Evans

Michael J. Evans is a personal injury lawyer who represents people with claims involving defective medicine or medical devices, other defective products that cause serious injury or death, and environmental cases. Evans also handles whistleblower lawsuits in which employees, or former employees, expose fraud or other illegal conduct by the corporation for which they work(ed), Evans organizes litigation groups of plaintiffs law firms to work with him on these cases nationwide. Evans uses social media, blogs, online video, mobile apps and traditional media to connect with clients, and help other prominent law firms connect with clients.. Evans is also an advocate for the rights of consumers. His primary areas of legal practice are mass torts, and advising law firms on the ethical rules and law governing legal marketing via the Internet and social media.

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