Recently I’ve seen a disturbing trend with some Criminal Law Firms on Twitter. More specifically, defense lawyers who are using Twitter to find their next drunk driving case. Most of these law firms are working with social media companies to target and spam locals who are out having a good time.
For instance, say you are out to dinner with your spouse at a nice restaurant which also maybe know for great alcoholic beverages. Maybe you sent out a tweet or check in to the restaurant on foursquare which auto-tweeted your location on your Twitter stream. All most instantly, you tweet from a local attorney telling you to “be safe, the cops are out tonight searching for drunk drivers”.
Now, I don’t know about you, but personally I find this offensive and upsetting. I have been directly targeted for potentially doing something illegal on my very public Twitter account. Even if, for some reason, this tactic works and you later land a client who was arrested later that evening (which is doubtful) you are going to offend way more people than it is worth.
Most of these social media companies use automated systems that search for people in your city tweeting about being in a bar, restaurant, a party, sporting event and concerts. These companies have actively been heavily
spamming perusing lawyers. I have seen a lot of these emails come into my clients inbox unsolicited.
In fact, one of my clients decided earlier this year to “try-out” one of these services. The law firm cancelled within 2 weeks. The company seemed more concerned with their own visibility and growth than that of the attorneys that were paying them. Now, please don’t assume that I mean that all social media companies are like this, as they are not. There are plenty of great companies that can really help you best utilize social media to grow your business and focus on long-term strategies like building a strong online presence. Make sure when you are considering a social media company, you know exactly what it is they are doing for you and how they are promoting your business. These people are speaking on your behalf and you will be held liable for the things that they say and do.
Also, if they suggest that you buy followers, run the other way. Probably a great indicator of the quality of their work. Occasionally monitor your followers. Click on these profiles and check these people out. Do they seem legitimate or look a little fishy to you? I really wouldn’t put it past some of these companies to utilize fake accounts to make it appear that what they are doing is working.
Make sure you do your research before you enter into a relationship with a social media company, your reputation is at stake.