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Soliciting Facebook “Likes”

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What does it mean when someone “likes” your firm on its Facebook page? Does it mean they like your firm, the people in your firm, or the artwork on your Facebook page?  I don’t know what it means exactly, but regardless of what the person intended when they “liked” your page, N.C. State Bar staff take the position that “liking” a firm/lawyer on Facebook is akin to a referral.  Rule 7.2(b) states that a “lawyer shall not give anything of value to a person for recommending the lawyer’s services….”  If a Facebook “like” is like a referral, then Rule 7.2 may prohibit lawyers from requesting “likes” if they promise anything in exchange for doing so.  What that means is that you can’t solicit “likes” in exchange for “liking” something or someone else on Facebook.  You should not request “likes” in exchange for a donation to charity.  You also should not request “likes” in exchange for entering persons in a giveaway or drawing. In sum, there can be no quid pro quo.

If you don’t have a firm Facebook page and never intend to have one, this probably does not mean much to you.  But, if you do have one, be careful how you go about soliciting “likes.” Someone at the Bar may not “like” the way you do it.