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Should Lawyers Ever Use Memes in Online Marketing?

If you're in charge of your firm's marketing, and that includes social media marketing, as it should, you've probably seen quite a few memes. And if you don't know what a meme is, or haven't used one, you should definitely read on.

A meme, simply, is one of those images with sarcastic or satirical text superimposed over it that gets shared on social media. Sure, there might be a bit more to it, but that's the gist. If you're good at social media marketing, you probably already tried to jump on the meme bandwagon yourself, as memes can really rack up the social engagement, leading to more followers, more visits to your website, and hopefully more clients and more money. Below, you can read about three best practices for using memes in lawyer marketing.

1. Don't Steal Copyrighted Images

If you're going to post a meme on behalf of your law firm, you need to recognize that law firm meme speech is commercial speech. Where fair use and parody might be able to save an individual social media user from prosecution, if you use copyrighted images, you could find yourself on the wrong side of the copyright infringement case. Just because you stole the image from someone else who stole the image, it doesn't mean you can't be prosecuted by the copyright holder.

2. Stay on Topic/Brand

While you may have thought up the funniest lines to fit a meme that's going viral, if you stray too far from your brand, you might build the wrong reputation. Though you might want to ride the high of a particular meme, keeping it on-brand is important. After all, what's the point of a law firm's meme going viral if it doesn't make a viewer want to ask in disbelief: "A law firm made this?" Then, find out more about those awesome lawyers.

3. Don't Be Offensive

Lastly, before you post any meme, you might want to double check to make sure it won't be seen as offensive. Humor has a tendency to do that. You probably don't want to go viral as that law firm that accidentally posted up a racist/sexist/homophobic meme. And even if you think it's not offensive, getting a second opinion before posting any meme is generally recommended to at least make sure it makes sense, doesn't have spelling errors, and is LOL-worthy.

Want information on effective marketing? Let the experts at FindLaw's Lawyer Marketing give you a hand with FindLaw Integrated Legal Marketing Solutions.

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