Good morning—I’m enjoying a nice cup of Covfefe and laughs. If you missed the President’s tweet “seen ‘round the world” before it was taken down **4 hours later **, here’s what I’m referring to.
Let me be clear that my giggles this morning have nothing to do with politics. I’m a pretty apolitical person by nature. My brain instead goes right to social media marketing and what a #FAIL this situation was on so many levels.
Let me take you back a few years…
My first experience with a viral social media FAIL from a company was #MotrinMoms. This was in the early days of Twitter when hashtags were just taking off as a way to track conversations across the entire platform.
The pain-reliever brand Motrin thought it would be clever to create a social media campaign that jabbed at Babywearing moms—you know, the ones that carry around their kids in some type of sling. They even had the trendy hashtag- #MotrinMoms to go with the advertising.
The backlash was IMMEDIATE and I literally watched a huge mess unfold before my eyes. Moms took over that hashtag with a VENGANCE, forcing a NATIONAL PR crisis for Motrin. I’m not kidding when I tell you It. Was. War. Boycotts happened. Advertising was pulled. The “tweetstorm” was born.
Fast-forward to today: social media platforms have grown ridiculously over the years, which only increases the chances for companies to make HUGE mistakes that live on forever via the internet.
It’s more important than ever for attorneys to take EXTRA CARE with their social media marketing to avoid the chance doing or saying something stupid… or even just insensitive, that goes viral for the whole world to see.
Just last week following the Manchester attack, my team was up well past midnight, going through each client’s social media feeds to ensure we had NOTHING scheduled that would have been seen as inappropriate, in bad taste or just in bad timing.
Turns out that a few of our clients were set to send out social media posts in the morning along the lines of “Parents: who would raise your kids if you were suddenly and tragically killed in an accident….”
My estate planning lawyers are in the business of helping parents work through these issues—but the day after a tragic bombing when kids and parents died would have NOT been the right time to send those posts. I worried that it could have been seen as opportunistic and insensitive.
So as many of our clients slept, we stayed up in Social Media crisis control mode. My clients count on me to protect their brand and reputation, and having someone on the team that can take the reins on monitoring accounts is part of that role.
That’s just one of the ways that OUR team works to avoid social media FAILS for our clients. Here are some other “checks and balances” that our LM2 team has in place that I encourage you to implement in your own practice:
- Most social media posts are created in advance, looked at by multiple people and then approved by the attorney to avoid putting something out there that has errors, could be an ethics violation or is just off-putting to the reader.
- We centralize all social media accounts in Hootsuite. It’s my social media management tool of choice to watch over posts in one place. That way, if I see something that needs to be removed, I have access to ALL of my lawyers accounts in seconds (Facebook, twitter, linkedin, youtube).
- As a backup, we make a centralized account as an Administrator to our client’s pages (which they can revoke at any time). My clients change their passwords everyday and forget to tell me—and I’m locked out of their account. As an admin, however, I have privileges to access, edit and remove posts using my OWN Facebook login, so this is never an issue in an emergency.
Please take the time this week to put a crisis management plan in place for YOUR firm’s social media. If you don’t have staff members that can take on this role for you, or you just need help putting a solid strategy together for your online presence, feel free to reach out. I’d be happy to schedule a call with you to discuss your needs and how I might be able to help.
The last thing you want is for your law firm to ever become synonymous with a viral joke.