Below are some useful resources for learning to use social media for marketing, and for investigation. The best way to use it for investigation is to become as familiar with social medial tools as possible. If you’re going to do that, then why not kill two birds and practice using it to market. Except that social media “marketing” is not really marketing, as much as it is general sharing of useful information.
General Recommended Reading
- ClueTrain Manifesto – the iconoclastic 1999 book that warned that the one-to-many broadcast model was in peril, and social media (they didn’t call it that) was ascendant. What Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People” was to the 1900’s this book is to the modern Internet Age.
- How to Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie’s timeless advice is especially relevant for people who strive to get a message across in a noisy world of electronic communication.
Law Specific Books On Social Media
- The Lawyer’s Guide to LinkedIn, Facebook & Twitter – Carolyn Elefant is a solo lawyer with a great weblog called My Shingle. She’s been using social media effectively, and for a long time. So unlike many of the “new social media experts” now cropping up, she actually understands these tools and can effectively advise other lawyers how to make use of them.
- Ernie Svenson’s book Blogging in One Hour for Lawyers, is a short-and-sweet guide to legal blogging for folks starting out, as well as lawyers who already have a blog but want to get more out of it. It’s available in ebook form from the Apple iBookstore ($19.99). It includes tips on avoiding ethical problems from having a blog.
- The blog OneHrBlog.com, is a companion to Ernie’s book and worth bookmarking if you have a legal blog.
- Twitter in One Hour for Lawyers – Jared Correia’s comprehensive look at how lawyers can make use of Twitter to market, and effective strategies for doing so.
- LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers – Dennis Kennedy and Allison Shields cover what you need to know in a short book that efficiently explains what you need to know about LinkedIn.
- Facebook in One Hour for Lawyers – yes, lawyers can make use of Facebook to effectively market. Dennis Kennedy and Allison Shields show you how.
- Buffer (www.bufferapp.com) – Posting several tweets at one time will quickly annoy your followers and cause them to “unfollow” you. Buffer lets you load tweets into a queue that is then time-released according to a schedule that you specify. Makes it easy to gather news-worthy tweets (typically with links to interesting articles) and then sort-of schedule them. Buffer is free
- Sprout Social (www.sproutsocial.com) – a service that costs about $10/month but provides robust management of several social media channels (e.g. Twitter accounts, Facebook, LinkedIn). Allows for scheduling of tweets and other social media posts at precise times, on a per-post basis.
Social Media for Marketing
- Ins and Outs of Social Networking for Lawyers – article by Ernie Svenson & Denise Howell published online at ABA Law Practice Mgt website in January of 2008.
- Social Media & Blogging about your cases – it is almost never a good idea to write online about cases that are currently being handled by an attorney. Ethics issues are one problem, and leading your opponent to believe they have inside information (even if they don’t) would be another reason.
- Va. Bar Says Lawyer’s Blog Is Advertising That Must Include Disclaimer – Best use of a blog is not to self-promote, and certainly not to talk about your cases. If you do this you will be deemed to be advertising, and you won’t be very effective in getting clients. Best approach is to quietly put out good information that helps people or shows them what you’re interested in (ideally it relates to your practice in some way).
- Powerful LinkedIn profile tip – short blog post that you should read if you have a LinkedIn account.
- La State Bar Ass’n – website page on Lawyer Advertising – online advertising on sites other than your own webpage are not considered advertising. Contact the LSBA’s Ethics Counsel if you have questions or concerns.
Social Media for Investigation
- Legal Ethics Opinions Related to Attorneys’ Use of Social Media Profiles for Investigation – Several bar associations have issued opinions about the ethics of lawyers using social media for investigative purposes. This article links to those opinions. More opinions will surely follow.
- Social Media Discovery – Timing is Key – Great article by practicing attorney in North Carolina about keys to getting discovery of social media in litigation cases.
- Facebook Law Enforcement Guidelines – EFF obtained a copy of a confidential document. Lesson learned? Assume Facebook will cooperate closely with law enforcement officials and more readily turn over information than it would in a civil dispute.
- Judge orders divorcing couple to exchange Facebook passwords – It’s hard to get Facebook to turn over user information, so this is one court’s solution to the discovery logistics problem.
- How to Download Personal Facebook Profile Information To Computer – a short useful guide, and something that attorneys should practice doing so that they know the mechanics.
- Facebook Doesn’t Care Much About Your Lawyerly Subpoena – Ernie Svenson’s blog post summarizing the problems with asking Facebook for user information
Social Media & Jurors
- Juror Held In Contempt Of Court After ‘Friending’ Defendant – not a good idea to have any contact with a juror, even low-impact messages. Friending a juror or being friended by one is definitely a no-no.
- The Friendly Juror and The Stored Communications Act – a blog post about a California case that highlights the connection between that Act and Facebook. Namely, Facebook will use the SCA to refuse to respond to subpoenas asking for user information.
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