Fourth post: Module Seven: Social Marketing Brands and Risk

In your industry, discuss the challenges and risks experienced with taking the brand social, or not taking the brand social. Include current examples to support your conclusions:


The legal industry has many general issues concerning with conflicts, risks, sensitivity and that is no exception with social media brand marketing. You have to be extra careful with that type of information you put out for the public to read and you also have to be aware that your competitors will be reading your posts too. Utilizing social media outlets to promote your brand is a great way to share your services and skills to a wide range of audiences, which is also great for self-promoting and to quickly spread the word about something innovating your company has just released. Of course there are going to be both pros and cons to taking your brand social. There are a whole bunch of legal issues and liability risks involved with a company using social media, but not using social media at all could put your company at a disadvantage when it comes to brand recognition.

According to a white paper article authored two attorneys from Venable law firm, some issues to be cognizant about when using the power of social media is:

  •  Trademark and Copyright Issues – Protecting your company’s brand and intellectual property is very important and also not abusing other company’s trademarks and copyrights when posting online is also important.  A company should always closely monitor what is being posted on their behalf and what others are saying about them. Many companies have been impersonated and that sort of thing can ruin your brand and reputation and even if you decide not to use social media, someone else not affiliated with your company can create a fake account and start posting on behalf of your company. If you are not monitoring, you would have no clue what damages have been done.
  •  All social media outlets (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn…etc.) should have their own terms and conditions when creating an account and a company should have their own when it comes to how their employees are using social media outlets. Having these terms and conditions can prevent your company and their employees from using social media in an “unlawful” manner. Keeping your employees updated on social media usage do’s and don’ts is one factor that will make your social media efforts successful, knowledge is always key.


Jan Hertzberg and Matthew Thompson (2013), authors of “Managing Your Company’s Social Media Risks,” lists some tips on how companies can manage the risks and liabilities of social media:

  1. “Understand and assess risks” – In order to manage and monitor the risks in using social media, a company must know what they are first and to understand what is at risk.
  2. “Define your strategy” – Once a company knows all the risks, the next step is to create a plan on how to assess the risks and the issues that may come up. Have a plan on as many situations that may arise and the steps to take on how to resolve those issues.
  3. “Involve all the right people” – Make sure that not only the human resources and the marketing department is involved in social media efforts, but that the IT department, communications, internal audit and legal/compliance departments are also involved too. Each department has an integral role in protecting a company’s brand and making sure that everything is in compliance with the firm’s policy and laws.
  4. “Monitor and manage feedback” – Make sure you have a monitoring system in place, know who is saying what, who to reply to and how to reply. Also make sure that negative comments and feedback to tended to in a timely manner. Once negative feedback spreads, it can be hard to stop the groundswell.


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Second Post: Module Five – Social Media in the Legal Industry

Discuss the current state of social media within your industry. What tools does your industry use or should use to improve their standings in the social media environment?

As we all know, social media is booming! It is everywhere and now it is very rare to find someone who doesn’t use any form of social media at all. The industry that I currently work in is Legal Marketing, which is working in the Marketing Department at a law firm. The law firm I work for focuses on Intellectual Property work (i.e. patents, trademark, etc.) I have heard that law firms that only focus on one main type of work often fail, but it seems like we are doing great!

Our law firm implements many different social media tools to stay in the game and make our accomplishments known. The marketing department has created a Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn company account. We also have a PR specialist who is actively contributing to our America Invents Act (AIA) Blog and always writing press releases. Our attorneys all have LinkedIn accounts, which the marketing department also creates for them. We try to post at least once a day on each of the social media platforms about events we may be hosting and where our attorneys will be giving presentations or webinars. Our company also is very active in creating mobile phone apps and have released a new patent app available on iPhones and Andriods. To keep track of our international clients in Israel and China, our offices use CRM tool Salesforce along with our main CRM database LexisNexis InterAction, so that we can strongly manage our client relationships. Since the most important aspect of social media is about the relationships people have with each other, those tools are a must in any industry and especially in the legal sectors.

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Our firm has about 150 fans on Facebook, over 2000 followers on LinkedIn, and about 1600 followers on Twitter. For a law firm, it makes sense that we have more followers on LinkedIn than any other social media outlet. Although I do believe that our firm is ahead of many of the other competitor law firms, the legal industry needs to get involved in social media all together. What is also great about department is that we are always looking for new tools and are always open in trying something new. Taking this social media class, I plan on bringing my ideas to one of our next staff meetings!

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