A hidden goal in every social media dabbler’s life is to post content that will make them go viral, but there are unexpected ways to reach this goal and it might not always be the best for your business.
Going viral on social media can be so beneficial to your personal growth online and even for your firm, especially if the content that went viral is revenue producing. However, it can be quite frustrating when the content is overshadowed by trolls in the comment section, challenging your content’s validity.
In this episode of #FollowAttorneyAmanda, Amanda talks about her frustration with controversial comments on her Facebook Post about the Covid-19 vaccine and new immigration protocols.
Follow along with the video below and leave a comment on how you deal with comments on social media.
Hi, welcome to #FollowAttorneyAmanda, where you follow me on my quest for more likes on social media and ultimately more business. I am attorney Amanda Shaffer. Today I want to talk about going viral and particularly the ethical implications that can surround certain things. So, yesterday I put up a post that USCIS, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that starting October 1st, anyone who wants a green card has to get the COVID vaccine. This was announced on the CDC website. I saw one of my colleagues posted about it a day or two before, and I was like, “Oh yes, that’s a good thing to post about. It’s important and it has a lot of implications for my immigration clients.” So I put up a post that was very – that literally just said exactly what I just said. And I put a little QR code that people could scan to go directly to the CDC website for more info, plus I put the CDC link making the announcement. I have posted about the vaccine before. The last time I did, it was just to say, “Pass along the message that USCIS has said they will not – ISIS will not be arresting people who go get COVID vaccines. They won’t be at the vaccine sites waiting to arrest people.” I’m sure that some people – I know I got quite a few likes and stuff, but nothing crazy.
However, yesterday when I posted it, I honestly was shocked at how many people reacted to it. So in one group alone, there are over 350 reactions as of right now and like 50 comments and the comments range from “thumbs up” to “this is the worst thing ever.” Obviously, there’s a part of me – so there’s a lot to unpack here. So first of all, there are ethical issues involved. And what I mean is you have two conflicting interests. The interest of making money and promoting yourself and getting out there versus the interests of staying neutral and just presenting basic boring facts. So you have that issue to deal with. When you get that many likes and comments in that shorter period of time, I don’t know exactly what going viral means, but that’s essential, you know, it’s similar, not similar. I’d say probably Megan’s going to work her magic and you’ll see at the bottom of the screen, what going viral actually means, but you’d get a lot of people paying attention in a short period of time.
Now, the number one thing is, does that translate into business? That’s the only reason I’m doing all this. I want to get positive – good information out there to the public, but my underlying goal, of course, I’m a private attorney is to make money. So the first thing, when people make comments, whether you react or not. And generally speaking, what I’ve learned in my research is that it’s good to interact. You want to show people that you’re interested, you’re answering their questions. So if someone said like – people were like, “Oh, do I need the shot to become a US citizen?” And I answered them, “No, this is only for people who are applying for their permanent resident card.” So just very basic information. And then there was this – there was a thread of people trying to say that this is not an official announcement, so they’re going to wait until USCIS makes an official announcement.
Now that one I felt compelled to respond to because I didn’t want people to think I was giving this information. I don’t jump the gun like a lot – I know other attorneys post about immigration reform, potential immigration reform once in a while. I do too. But for the most part, I try not to post about anything that is not final; that is not going to happen. A lot of that has to do with then you get calls and we don’t have the ability to handle it, but it also gives it the best information. Even when you just say, like DACA Dreamers might have a path to citizenship. Now, all of a sudden people think that, and I’m not going to get into all that right now. Point is, my only concern was that this person saying, or these people saying that it’s not an official notice. I was like, “Actually, this is an official notice. CDC is the government agency in charge of regulating vaccines.” And then there was more pushback. And then I took a screenshot of the CDC website and I showed it and still, the person did not want to believe me. And I was a little concerned because I don’t want people again to see this and think that this person’s right when this person is not right. But then at the same time, where do you stop? I don’t want to get into a fight with a random person. May even be a bot, who knows. But not just that. I don’t want – like I was making it very clear that I wasn’t taking a stance on whether or not you should get the vaccine. I was just passing along the information and it was hard at times not to respond to things and not to take things down. I still don’t know if I should, because I don’t want misinformation spreading. I am for the vaccine and it’s really, really, really hard for me not to like comment back to these people. And at a certain point, I do feel that not saying anything is as big as a problem as saying something.
So I didn’t really know what to do. I’m kind of going back and forth. Everybody has different opinions about those of course. But the bottom line is if there’s any real ambiguous information like I tried to correct it if I can neutrally. Other people go in there and correct it themselves, so that helps. But it’s an issue when you do have a post like that unexpectedly, a lot of people are drawn to, and then start making comments and things that aren’t true. I don’t know. This is the first time I’m dealing with it. So that’s why I’m kind of talking in circles. I’m trying to talk it out myself. But all I can really do is continue to inform the public with real facts and information and politically speaking, try not to fall onto one side or another so that people go back to me. I want to be a source of information of solid fact-checked information for people. So that’s why I don’t want people to be like, “Oh, well, if she said that this is an official announcement, it’s not really official.” Well, I’m only going to – I don’t want people to think that I’m not being sincere, I guess. And that was the issue I ran into.
So at this point, I don’t think I’m going to respond to that person again, because it’s not worth my time. I do have a very good response. She wrote back something like that I don’t understand the difference between instructions and regulations. I’m pretty sure she’s not an attorney. Pretty sure I am, but point is, obviously bothering me, but I can’t – I got to also just kind of bite my tongue and that can be incredibly hard sometimes. But that is all that today for #FollowAttorneyAmanda. Hopefully, I go viral for something else positive and I’ll be back next time. See you then.