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Social media marketing for law firms | Complying with attorney ethics rules

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Social media marketing for attorneys is written about more often than it’s actually done.  If done well, it can be extremely effective. But many attorneys don’t use social media for law firm marketing due to the concern that social networking can’t be done without violating attorney ethics rules. Social networking image

The notion that an attorney can’t ethically use social media marketing was thoroughly debunked yesterday by Robert Ambrogi, who is both a lawyer and media professional. Writing for Law.com’s Law Technology News, Ambrogi offers 10 Tips to Keep Social Networking in Line With ABA Ethics.

Ambrogi admits that there are ethical pitfalls, but says “staying out of trouble when using social media is not difficult, provided you are aware of the dangers, and use some common sense.” He goes on to provide his 10 tips for using social media in compliance with ethical rules.

I’m not going to cut-and-paste or summarize Ambrogi’s tips here. Any lawyer or legal marketer who is new to social media needs to go read the entire article.

Social Media for Mass Tort Marketing

Having used social media marketing for mass torts since the occurrence of the BP oil spill, I agree that social media can be used within the bounds of the Rules of Professional Conduct. But, as Ambrogi says, there are potential pitfalls. One of the biggest potential problems is that of solicitation. Simply talking with non-clients on social networking sites is not solicitation, unless an attorney actually solicits employment by the client, and a motive for doing that is the attorney’s personal financial gain.

Social media marketing is more than just signing up and “Liking” people’s comments on Facebook. It’s best to integrate several different forms of social media, blogs, press releases and other media.

For example, I’m using social media in an Actos marketing campaign to educate people about the risks of the diabetes drug, and sign-up clients who developed bladder cancer after taking Actos. I’ve got a couple of Facebook Pages, an  Actos Lawsuit website, a couple Actos-related Twitter accounts, and several other blogs/websites having to do with Actos lawsuits. Familiarity with different social platforms is needed to run a truly effective social media marketing campaign for attorneys.

If you’re a plaintiffs’ attorney who is interested in adding social media marketing to a mass tort marketing campaign, please feel free to contact me to discuss it. Decide for yourself whether to try social media for law firm marketing by taking a look at the Actos Lawsuit Facebook Page that I’ve just created.

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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