Most large companies and firms have a social media policy as part of their HR handbook, but it never hurts to be extra cautious about the slippery slope of social media and the lasting damage it can cause.
As for your own social media profiles, I’d like to remind you to proceed with caution and remember that anything posted online is never truly private. As you are probably well aware, the law has not caught up with the ever-changing advances of social media.
I recommend three approaches to my clients and colleagues when it comes to social media:
One approach is to not have a personal profile at all. Perhaps you have already heard this when applying for law schools. It’s easiest to fight the urge to post something controversial if you don’t have a place to post it!
Another second approach is not to have personal social media accounts and stick to only professional accounts. For example, I treat my Facebook, Twitter and Google+ (does anyone honestly use this?) profiles as strictly professional and I do not post anything about my personal life on these accounts. I do not share anything political and instead share motivational quotes, pictures and videos. I chose to do this because I am a solo practitioner and I know that people can easily find me online and my audience includes prior, current and prospective clients.
I also have seen an in-between approach, which is for attorneys to have a personal social media accounts under a slightly different name (a middle name, mother’s maiden name) and treat that as their personal account. Be sure to always stay current on privacy settings.
Regardless of which approach you feel is best for your personal and professional life, just remember that anything that you, your colleagues, and your family and friends post online is there forever, even if you think it’s deleted!
I am sure there are different approaches than the three that I just mentioned and I’d love to hear your experiences.