5 zombie traits that illustrate your law firm’s death in social media

Posted on 10-21-2014 by
Tags: social media , halloween , blogging , LIT , Upgrading Your Skills

Zombies – they’re all the rage, like parachute pants in the ‘80s but not made of slick parachutes and not designed for your legs. Okay, so maybe not like parachute pants. They’re dead and hungry for brains, and … who knew? … there’s something like 350 different types of zombies.

So with 350 different types of zombies, you’re probably wondering; how do I know it when I see it? (hat tip to Justice Potter Stewart). Is opposing counsel a zombie or just pale and pasty from all that legal research? The following list can help answer your questions:

How to Identify a Zombie

Zombies aside,* this list also illustrates bad social media. If your law firm posts fit anywhere on this list, you might be the “walking dead” of Twitter / LinkedIn.

*For fun, see if you can randomly fit “zombies aside” into one of your conversations today.

Disheveled appearance

Hopefully, you've tidied up your firm's Twitter profile by adding a logo / image and a bio. But what about your employees? Have they ditched the Twitter egg and added an image / bio? 

Same for LinkedIn. Do your employees have headshots? Have they claimed their LinkedIn URL?  Are they linking to your firm website? If you answered “no” to these questions, you’re deploying zombies into the social space.

Unresponsive to communication

It's tough talking to a zombie:

You: Hey zombie, which late night talk show should we watch?

Zombie: Uuuuuuuuuuuuuu

You: Who do you prefer, zombie? Jimmy Kimmel or Jimmy Fallon?

Zombie: Uuuuuuuuuuuuuu … Conan O'Brien  … uuuuuu.

Like the zombie, are you unresponsive to social communications?  In social media, you’ve got multiple opportunities to respond, from answering questions to building social capital / good will (i.e., sharing, favoriting, following, thanking). Social isn’t just fix-it-and-forget-it. Listening, responding and socializing all create engagement, which in turn, creates success. Here’s an @LexisNexis follower who recently engaged us via Twitter:

Pale, often clammy or decomposing skin

Curated content often demands title re-writes. A great article can often have a title that’s pale and clammy, which gives your information scent the stink of zombie decomposition. At LexisNexis, we rewrite about 90% of curated titles, sometimes to optimize the language and sometimes to target a specific audience. Here’s a New York Times title that I recently rewrote:



Why’d I rewrite it? Several reasons:

  1. To immediately call out our niche audience, “Law students”;
  2. To front-end the pain point, “practical training” (even if it meant writing in the passive);
  3. To insert the action verb, “torpedoed”;
  4. To highlight the “p” / ”t” alliteration in “practical training … torpedoed”; and
  5. To personalize the post by adding “your.”

No concept of personal boundaries

You've got two possibilities here: either your social voice’s too personal, or you’re too personal in trumpeting your success. I wrote about this last week in “Who's strong-arming your social media marketing? The social or the media?” which makes the point that social voices often swing too far “social” or too far “media.” 

Too much of this, and you've gone too far "media":

"XYZ firm continues their expansion and welcomes Joe Smith as an associate to their Litigation Practice Group [link]" (i.e., in zombie-speak: “Me eat brains, me eat brains, me got new attorney.”)

Too much of this, and you've gone too far "social" (i.e., too terse):

"Latest on the @lawfirm blog [link]" (i.e., in zombie-speak: “Uuuuuuuu - brains blog - Uuuuuuuu") 

Motivation to eat the brains of the living

When you post on social media, do you only eat the brains of other authors? I mean, do you only share / curate content?

If sharing / curation is all you do, time to get off the sidelines and start creating original content. Doubt the power of blogging? Here’s 23 lawyers (in their own words) explaining why they blog.  Think blogging’s just about business? Read Kevin O'Keefe’s "Why do we still blog?" which underscores the personal growth and professional learning that accompanies blogging.

Heck, if the Pentagon can spend our tax dollars planning for the zombie apocalypse, surely you can spend an hour blogging about  zombies and the law (or anything else that might float your boat). 


Posted on : 31 Oct 2014 8:30 PM

Very nice--creative and useful advice!

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