do you have a social media security policy?

Most of my readers actively use social media to market themselves and their practices. (And if you don’t, you may find yourself falling behind the curve. fast.)

So do you have a policy to manage the security of your social media efforts?

Go here, and do these things. And share with your clients, too.

InspiredLawBlog is written by Caitlin [Cat] Moon, who is a lawyer helping other lawyers to be happy and successful. (the two are not mutually exclusive, contrary to popular lawyer experience, btw.)

have you taken a break lately?

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I have. I just returned from a quite long one, actually. (See above for the view from my beach perch.) For a month (plus some), I took a break from [most] work and [most] media (including writing for this blog, Twitter, reading the 12 zillion blogs in my RSS feed, and other internet rabbit holes I frequent).

[Admission: I did spend some time on Facebook because I have family that will pester me unless they’re receiving semi-regular updates.]

I spent time with family and friends. Being truly present.

It was hard at times. Yep. I jonesed more than once for a feed — any kind of feed — on my iPhone.

But the mental, emotional and psychic break I got from disconnecting and truly breaking away? I’m still processing how important this was. Is.

I traveled some of the time. I think this is key to a real break. Get out of your daily routine. Get out of your comfort zone. Get away from what you know.

Relax expectations. This is also important. If you’re like me, you spend much of your time working to fulfill expectations. Your own, your family’s, your client’s. Someone’s. Let go of this, too.

We all know that the legal profession is filled with stress, anxiety, and too much negativity. Which makes taking a real break all the more important for legal practitioners. Not a working break. A REAL break.

I know this is hard. We are taught in law school that we can never work hard enough. The programming to work insane hours (way beyond any human’s productive capacity) continues for pretty much any law firm associate. I wager it’s worse for those in bigger firms, but I can tell you that the expectations in the small firm I worked for out of law school were the same. Stay long after 5:00 (or 6:00 or 7:00) has come and gone. Come in on the weekends. Failure to do so? Then you’re deemed not worthy. You don’t want it enough.

I’m not the only one who thinks that this is anathema to being a good lawyer. Or a healthy, sane, happy person. But it seems to be a perpetuated model.

Well, I for one don’t want to have a heart attack, develop a serious addiction, contemplate or attempt suicide, or alienate my friends and family.

So I take breaks. Long breaks. Doing things that have nothing to do with work. With people I love.

Breaks make us happier. Even in jobs that we don’t love. And especially in jobs we do. They make us more resilient.

How long has it been since you took a real break? If you’re reading this and thinking that there’s no way you can leave your work and truly disconnect, then I’ve got news for you.

You’re doing it wrong. Really, really wrong. There is no work, no legal practice, that stops you from taking a break. Create the right way to work, and the breaks happen. Because you build them into how you work.

I know this because it’s how I operate. And I’m not alone. But there are far too few of us in this club.

Come join the club. And send me a postcard when you get there.

the ideal responsible party?

I spoke to a group of professional legal assistants today about social media marketing. I deliver presentations and workshops on this topic to lawyers a lot.

This was my first time presenting to a legal support staff audience about all things social. And it got me thinking about one of the core elements of any solid social marketing plan: the responsible party. The RP is the person(s) who carry out the social marketing plan.

Today’s epiphany: support staff members are ideal candidates for the RP role. Specifically?

Give blog posts and other content intended for consumption via social media (including website content) to legal assistants and paralegals to review for you. Why? Because your content should convey information in clear-to-understand, non-legalese language that is interesting (and not boring). Your support staff is ideally situated to give you feedback on whether this goal is being achieved, for at least a couple of reasons.

First, they likely have some general knowledge about the content so know what you’re likely trying to convey — and thus can identify if you’re missing the mark. As well, they’re not lawyers. To put it bluntly, they’re probably more capable of placing themselves in the shoes of your intended audience and assessing the content from that perspective.

[This is a gross overgeneralization, but many, many lawyers, having been trained as we are trained, do a very poor job of creating content intended for an audience that isn’t other lawyers or judges.]

Assign the posting to a support staff member. Productive social media marketing requires a diligent and consistent presence. Most lawyers I work with on marketing freak out about the perceived time commitment. So? Focus on creating content and give someone else the job of posting.

Train support staff to contribute to content creation. If someone in your office is a good writer and you’ve established a clear social media game plan, then let him or her handle the Facebook posts. Tackle Twitter. Research blog post topics and start filling out the editorial calendar. Draft post outlines. Review the posts after you’ve written them for readability and likability. Note that I’m not suggesting that you have a paralegal write a post and publish it as your work. For obvious reasons, this is a bad idea.

Finally, an organized process is crucial if you’re delegating any aspect of social media activities. Use a cloud collaboration app like Trello, Tracky or Flow to manage your social media marketing process. This keeps the various responsible parties coordinated and on-task.

Someone on your staff may just be the ideal responsible party for carrying out your social media marketing plan.