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U.K. Lawyers Use Twitter to Mangage Reputations and Build Relationships

by on August 13, 2010

“What do you have when a lawyer is buried up to his neck in sand? Not enough sand”.

This is one of the tamer lawyer jokes I’ve heard. Lawyers are perceived in a negative light. I’m not sure whether that’s because of how they are portrayed in the media and especially in movies or whether most of them really are “negative”. But, the negative perception of lawyers as aggressive, shark-like, slick-dealing ambulance chasers has surely taken root—hence the plethora of really good lawyer jokes out there.

Now to the point of this post, lawyers in the United Kingdom have turned to Twitter to manage their reputations and build relationships in order to reap professional benefits. The best strategy for success of lawyers using Twitter can be summed up in two words: personal conversation. Personal as in “personality”. Conversation as in “conversing”. You know… the kind of tactfully self-promoting conversations that one has when making the rounds at a cocktail party–except the cocktail party is online. Lawyers, tweets should show your personality in a favorable light; and you should tweet @ others and Re-tweet to converse—this is how relationships are built and reputations are managed.

Silverman Sherliker is a rock star U.K. lawyer on Twitter with more that 10,000 followers. Other lawyers should look to his Tweets to get an idea of how they should be using Twitter. Sherliker tweets the perfect blend of personal, funny, and a tiny bit professional. Not only does he frequently reply directly to other tweeters, his tweets are engaging and display his
personality in a favorable light. Here are some examples:

   Sherliker’s tweets display his personality in such a way that he seems like someone many people would definitely enjoy having a cup of tea with at least, if not hiring him as a solicitor. This should be the goal of lawyers using twitter: Display a personality that makes readers want to know you; this not only enhances your reputation, but it builds relationships. Individual lawyers should decide on the best blend of personal, funny or professional they want to portray in their tweets based on how they want to be perceived. Sherliker clearly wants to be perceived as a witty personality amongst lawyers, but someone who wants to be perceived as an expert would probably tweet more professional opinions/tips than funny remarks. This is fine as long as they stick to the personal conversation strategy.

As with any professional, lawyers still have to abide certain guidelines related to confidentiality and codes of conduct. Here are some great tips offered by U.K. based Solicitors Search.com:

1. Don’t treat these communications any different from typical client communications – always maintain your professional integrity.

2. Always remember when marketing your law practices online that you should still conduct yourself in a professional manner, and adhere to the Solicitors’ Code of Conduct…

3. It is no more acceptable to discuss and disclose a client’s business online than it is anywhere else.

4. Assume that anything you say in an e-communication will be disseminated and read
widely, so ensure that you govern yourself accordingly.

5. Be yourself and let the people with whom you interact with online learn to love you as much as the people you see on a daily basis. Building these types of relationships for law practices and other businesses have never been more important as they are now.

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From → United Kingdom

2 Comments
  1. Very interesting that lawyers are taking to Twitter to save their reputations! Great post, Shinnette!

  2. I really liked the topic of this post and you found a great example of a lawyer who is actively using social media in an engaging way to connect with people and demonstrate a different point of view from most others in his field. Remember the general rule of thumb about trends, though … if you are going to use this example as a symbol of how this is a TREND in the UK market instead of just one charismatic lawyer, you need to find at least two other examples. On its own, this just seems like an isolated example of something that has not really caught on yet. That is a perfectly acceptable conclusion as well, but it might lead you to title your post as something more along the lines of “1 lawyer tries to lead the UK legal community towards social media” or something like that instead of using this as a proof point of a greater trend. If indeed you think it is a trend, we need more description from you on how that trend might continue to grow or whether it may have plateaued and why. The tips that you shared in your post were good, but that point also needed a bit of your own take on the tips and what you might add (or subtract) from them so that your point of view on them comes through more clearly. (4)

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