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Getting Involved with Social Media
I entered the legal industry when Firefly Legal hired me at the end of last July. Let’s just say it’s a different kind of industry, and it very quickly became overtly apparent that this industry is still pretty hesitant to get involved with social media. And while some trailblazers have gotten involved, many are still pretty green with what accounts to use, how to use them properly, and why they should use them. Though there is always something to learn, the basics should be evident. This week, I’m going to focus on three social media outlets and provide reasons why civil process servers, lawyers, and the like should be involved with them. Today we’re going to focus on Twitter, but stay tuned this week to find out what other social media networks are worth being a part of.
What is Twitter?
Twitter is an online social networking site that allows users to send “tweets” or messages of 140 characters or less. Since a lot of you are business-minded folk, here’s “The Real History of Twitter,” as presented in The Business Insider.
Why should civil process servers be on Twitter, anyway?
There are a myriad of reasons why Twitter is a beneficial social media outlet, but here are three that are worth paying attention to:
There is a tremendous source of news! Staying informed and on top of regulation changes, new laws, and trends in the industries civil process servers serve is important. It’s impossible to keep your civil process service company up to date if you don’t read the news. Follow sources who will provide you with great information on the topics you’re interested in. For example, we follow @DSNewsDaily and @jhkarotkin. DS News provides great news on the housing/foreclosure industry through their Twitter account, and similarly, Jeff Karotkin is always tweeting relevant information and news on the civil process service industry.
By being involved with Twitter, you gain access to other individuals in the industry. This can help you to gain new business prospects, learn more about the industry, and make business connections. We’ve gotten new clients from Twitter, and we’ve gained some great colleagues. We share news, updates, and other changes in the industry. Twitter is a social environment. It’s important that you be social an interact with people. Bottom line: you can meet new people in the industry, gain advice, and learn a lot. You can also share news- which is great for your company. The world is changing, it’s important to embrace it.
3. SCHEDULED TWEETS!
While Twitter is a fast-paced network, civil process servers need not fret. We know you’re out there serving papers and don’t always have time to Tweet. You can create your tweets in advance- research the recent news, and take care of a day’s worth of tweets in a short amount of time. This is great for law firms who are undoubtedly buried in paperwork. By using social media dashboard applications, like TweetDeck, you can schedule tweets to fill up the entire day without having to be physically at Twitter all day. Keep in mind that you don’t want to be a robot, though; make sure you do take time to catch up and respond to those on Twitter who have responded to you. Additionally, make sure you leave room for people to comment and RT (retweet) your tweet.
As I mentioned before, social media is all about being social. Whether you’re a civil process server or an attorney, it’s important to stay up to speed with these changes. Are you on Twitter? If so, please let us know what you think of this article and about our tweets. Do you think we’re worthy of ServeNow’s Top Process Servers on Twitter of 2013?
Summer solstice has arrived, the fireflies are out, and we’re ready to get served!
We want to get served! Show us what you would serve up on the grill on a perfect summer night. Tweet us a picture of yourself in the Firefly apron for a chance to win a free service or Firefly swag! Be sure to use #ffsummer13.
Don’t have Twitter? Email us: email@example.com Don’t have a Firefly apron? Request one by sending a DM to @fireflylegal on Twitter or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and address. We’ll send you one so you can participate. Need a recipe? Check out a McMaster favorite below! Just like always, we’ve got you covered!
Ken McMaster’s ready to serve up some food Firefly style!
McMaster’s Grilled Pork Chops
- Put on the Firefly apron. Now you’re ready to get cooking!
- Cut all the fat off the pork chops
- Take a fork and pierce both sides of the meat
- Rub black pepper on the chops
- After dry rubbing the chops, take a bottle of Wishbone Robusto Italian dressing and coat the chops heavily
- Place the chops in a bag/bowl with additional seasoning, refrigerate to marinate overnight
- Cook the chops over low-medium heat for about 5 minutes on each side
- Turn the heat to high for 3 minutes to cook further (but make sure the meat doesn’t dry out)
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Social media: it allows people to connect and communicate online, on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Linked In among others. Where does it belong in the legal world?
Today, many people live their lives on social media. It easily provides a snapshot of their life. It tells their story, and for many, it’s a part of who they are. It’s very public and yet very personal. So, as social media permeates much of our lives, our news, and our way of life, why should we continue to eliminate this powerful source of communication as a viable means to communicate legal information, to be involved in the legal process, and be part of the legal industry? Read on to find out about some recent examples of how social media is beginning to invade the legal industry.
After the terrorist attack at the Boston Marathon in April, the Boston PD jumped on to Twitter, informing the public, and in a sense, controlling the conversation. Without joining the conversation, they couldn’t have any iota of input- it was going to happen with or without them. They chose to be involved. Twitter isn’t just for kids anymore. It turned out to be an excellent form of communication and it allowed for real-time updates about the situation as it unfolded. It was definitely appropriate, worthwhile, and it served as an excellent example of how social media can be positive, even during a terrible time, and even for a police department.
Recently, the Chicago Tribune reported that Illinois introduced legislation that would offer stiffer penalties for individuals convicted of using social media to organize flash mob attacks. Social media is in the law books. While the safety of this law is what’s at heart, the public has questioned whether or not this is allowing the government to be too intrusive, as it also allows law enforcement to have access to location data from Internet Service Providers without a subpoena or a warrant. With social media, privacy is an incredibly fine line that gets blurred, especially from the government. What is personal, what is public? Does this law go too far?
Social media is something that is happening all around us; a phenomenon that is now a part of our culture. But where do we draw the line? As a member of the process serving industry, (and as an individual in marketing) I can honestly say that though I am a big fan of social media, it just can’t replace personal process service. Recall that we identified just reasons why service via social media might not be the best option for superior service by highlighting the challenges that could arise from civil process service via social media. Check out the link in case you missed it.
Again- it’s about choosing where social media is appropriate. The only problem with that is the public can’t seem to unanimously agree. To many in the civil process service field, social media could never replace civil process service the way that we know it. Though clearly, some attorneys are a fan as they are working to introduce it into legislation, and already have in states such as Texas and Utah. However, that is not to say social media can’t be of any assistance in our industry; many firms that also do skip tracing will use social media to try and locate individuals. Process servers use social media to exchange ideas, to get updates on the industry as legislation is always changing. So, though we don’t want it to take over what we do, it’s intrusion into our industry isn’t wholly unwelcome.
Social media can also serve as a legitimate medium for legal notices in other arenas; for example, legal notices that would otherwise be published in newspapers could potentially be found on Facebook. An example of this appeared on April 2, 2013, the SEC announced that social media is OK for company announcements, so long as investors are alerted. Forbes highlighted in the May 15th article, “The Impact of the SEC’s Social Media Pronouncement” that the impact of this announcement is remarkable, though some companies, such as GE, “would continue to rely on news releases to communicate material information.” And though they may rely on news releases, it doesn’t mean that they won’t include social media as a viable platform to disseminate information. This is a situation where social media can no longer be excluded, yet it definitely can’t replace the current media.
No matter which way you turn, social media is in the process serving industry, in the legal industry, and in the general public. More and more instances are going to come up where social media’s legitimacy is questioned- whether or not it should be legislated, utilized, or even considered a valid source. It’s definitely a trend that commands attention as it is gaining serious momentum.
These were just a few examples; where else have you encountered social media in the legal world and how do you feel about it? Join us on Twitter @fireflylegal to discuss.