When it comes to social media, we get a lot of questions from lawyers who are (rightfully) wary about what online platforms are right for them. Social media can be a useful business development tool but it is important to understand the pros and cons of any platform you decide to use. Every major channel (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter) has privacy settings and you would be well advised to take a look at them before you set out to “win friends and influence people.” Further, every platform changes these settings periodically which means that users should take a look to confirm the changes do not have any negative impacts.
This article shares some “How Tos” for getting your privacy settings right on Facebook and it highlights some important points to consider when using social media for business (or any) purpose. The advice “when it doubt, don’t post” is solid, in my opinion. Once it’s out on the web, there’s no going back. One option for reducing regrets or “Poster’s remorse” is to implement an internal review system for your social media material. This doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be as informal as sending the draft to a trusted colleague and simply asking them for a gut reaction or feedback on any downside. While this may reduce the spontaneity factor it can also help to eliminate the PR disaster factor. Your choice.
Aside from privacy, professional service providers should also get clear in their own minds about the purpose of using social media. That purpose will vary depending on your business goals and how much time you have to devote to the care and feeding of your online profiles.
“I think people should regularly, at least a few times a year, take a look at all the permissions, and all the privacy settings that they have in all of these apps, and think about whether they’re comfortable with them,” privacy and tech lawyer David Fraser told CBC News.
He specifically mentions Twitter’s ability to tag users in other people’s tweets or photos, as well as tagging a tweet’s location, using a smartphone’s location capabilities to share where you sent a tweet. Both can be turned off.
“We live in a busy world and a busy society, but it’s really to their benefit, a couple of times a year, to set aside half an hour and think about these sorts of things.” he advises.