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Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Social Media and Lawyers - how is it for you?

A recent report has praised the use of Twitter by major City Law Firm, Pinsent Mason –

Now it is fairly obvious that anyone reading this has at least some knowledge of Social Media. But which is the most popular and of the most use to lawyers? 

I use the four most obvious platforms although each seems to contribute something different.

Twitter is what I have tended use the most for business and marketing. Its 140 character limit can be a bit frustrating but it can also be a great discipline to say something meaningful in just a few words – especially for lawyers! You only have to look at the response to SeƱor Suarez’ latest dental adventures to see how quickly a message can spread –

So if you want to get something across briefly and quickly then it has to be Twitter. It is certainly the most effective way of presenting and promoting blog posts!

Facebook, on the other hand is more personal and homely. You tend to know who are interacting with, at least in a social media sense. So I would expect more dialogue on Facebook; more chat about culture and sport but less about business. So, I probably use FB the least for business. By the way I bought a great fridge magnet in France last week – ‘Facebook is like a fridge – you know there is nothing in there but you still check it every 10 minutes’.

So what about LinkedIn? I have been on there for about 3 years and I do like the way it tells me that my connections potentially link me to 15,259,305 people which is approaching twice the population of Austria! I have found it very useful to join its interest groups and have probably made more direct business contacts on here than anywhere else. But isn’t very ‘friendly’ to use. I find myself looking to see who might be on there but will then see if they are on twitter or even email. And I do find it disconcerting to see that someone in the USA has endorsed me for Estate Management or Attorneys!

But the most interesting platform, at the moment, for me is Google+. To be honest I am still getting my head around it. But I find it is user friendly, lively and useful for both business and personal contacts. I am as comfortable posting holiday photos to my circles as I am looking for business contacts or posting links to this blog. This has definitely been helped by the UK Connect: Grow Your Own Network started by Donna Beckett of @beckettandco . If you haven't yet signed up I would recommend you give it a go. The sheer scale of it is a bit overwhelming at first but you soon get used to it.

So I will still instinctively go to Twitter but G+ is closing in.

I would be interested in hearing your views!


  1. Personally I like the lawyers I work with to use LinkedIn, blogging usually on a Wordpress platform and Twitter but mainly as a research tool. I tend to only work with B2B lawyers so facebook isn't mush use and like you I haven't got the hang of Google+ yet.

  2. Interesting comment on Wordpress - I tried it and ended up with Blogger. Still have the WP account...

  3. I have great fun with Twitter (is that the point?!), blog with Wordpress, enjoy the discussions on Linked In and have no idea how to use Google+ but will now explore it inspired by your comments.

    Facebook I avoid for business purposes, having cringed as too many PI firms attract harsh feedback. I can see how it might work for the big corporates wanting to engage with students, but "Get off my timeline, you parasites" isn't what any of us are hoping to achieve...

  4. I agree Facebook is great for photos, jokes and Everton but doesn't do it business!

  5. Hi Steve,

    Interesting report. I wonder who compiled it and the extent of the research. There is a growing community of solicitors and law firms on Twitter but as the report said, not everyone gets it.

    We are a law firm that loves to tweet! We find it is a great way to build relationships. I would call it PR rather than marketing. People, I think, are more likely to do business with people they know than not and it seems to be working for us! Our attitude on Twitter is 'it's not about us, it's about you'.

    I use our Facebook business page for longer posts but mainly use it to engage with our local community.

    Google+ going around in circles and hanging out is an interesting platform that I am still getting used to. It all takes time, but an enjoyable pursuit. I think it has a lot of scope. By accident I have two G+ accounts. A personal one where I tend to post about issues that affect work and one for the firm where I tend to promote the firm, but I am still to work out my strategy. That would help me to be clear in my mind who I am trying to reach and engage with and where I want to go with it. #todolist

    The lovely Donna Beckett is certainly the Queen of Google+ and is so encouraging. I couldn't possibly give up now!

    LinkedIn makes me feel uncomfortable. I don't like it that you know who has looked at your profile. I don't want people to think Im checking them out when I just want their contact details.

    As well as 'marketing', social media is a great platform for speaking up and taking on some of the issues that face the legal profession and our clients. Like when the lenders culled their conveyancing panels or the proposed changes to the Land Registry or the legal aid reforms.

    High Street Lawyer also has a platform called HSL Workshare. It is a growing community of lawyers who share ideas, concerns, best practice, marketing ideas, even jokes! As a small high street firm, we really value being part of the community. It's free to join and has lots of benefits. Gary Yantin is the genius behind HSL Workshare.!about-us/c20r9

  6. Thanks Joy - really useful comments. Will check out HSL.