It's baaaack! Yes, it's that time of year again -- Discovery's "Shark Week" (already? We've barely had time to recover from "Sharkando 2: The Second One") -- which of course means it's time for FindLaw's "Legal Shark Week" series of blog posts.
Because as lawyers, we are as misunderstood as the sea creatures we are often analogized to, we thought we'd flip the switch and co-opt the term.
So let's dive in by taking a look at four ways you can be a social media shark:
1. Be Sharklike, Even While You Sleep.
Sharks are mysterious creatures, and some are said to move continuously -- even when sleeping, because of the way their respiratory system is set up. While we don't need to swim while sleeping to be like sharks, we can take a cue from them, and never let our social media profiles sleep.
Using third party platforms like Hootsuite, allow you to schedule posts ahead of time, so that while you are sleeping, (or in court, or meeting with a client) you can still be active on your Twitter and Facebook. When it comes to social media consistency is key, and for busy attorneys, the ability to schedule social media posts in advance is helpful in keeping up consistency.
2. Be a Big Mouth.
The experts at Discovery tell us that "Whale sharks have mouths that can get up to 15 feet wide." Wow. While you shouldn't walk around with your mouth that wide open, you may want to be a big mouth -- in a good way -- when it comes to your online persona. That is, have valuable information to share with your followers and friends. Become a trusted source of news or advice, and the followers will come.
3. Defy Lawyer Stereotypes.
Another fun shark fact that Discovery shares is that "some shark species are pink, yellow or blue." Rather than using social media as an overt way to try to sell your services and obtain clients, defy the stereotype of the ambulance-chasing attorney. Instead, use your voice on social media to solidify your place as an expert in your particular field of practice.
4. Hunt for Info to (Potentially) Use in an Attack.
Social media can be a valuable tool for researching people your client is negotiating with, or involved in litigation with -- even for finding background information on jurors. Is an employee suing your client for workplace injuries? What about those photos you just saw on their Facebook page, showing them bungee jumping while on vacation? Hmmmm. In this age of oversharing, use social media like you would Westlaw (which, like FindLaw, happens to be a Thomson Reuters business).
Lawyers are called a lot of names, but in the grand scheme of things, being called a shark is not that bad. Embrace the name, and learn a thing or two from our fine finned friends.
Want to spend more time practicing, and less time advertising? Leave the marketing to the experts.