Articles filed under Social media

Hands on keyboard

This is the second in a series by lawyers on how they use social media for professional and personal development. Ed.

Social media is a blessing and a curse for those, like me, who use it frequently. The benefits of using social media well are considerable in terms of profile, influence and attracting work. Those that make the best use of social media clearly enjoy doing so, and that enjoyment and their character shine through in their updates. Enjoyment can be found in pontificating to an audience, participating in a community, the immediacy of social media, the (false) sense of omniscience, the serendipity of discovery and in the humour that pervades Twitter in particular.

The problem is that to do social media well is time consuming and requires either or both a natural facility and/or laser focus. If done badly, social media can cause serious and irreparable reputational damage. The more real danger, though, is that done badly social media is a colossal waste of time that could be far better spent.

This is the first in a series by lawyers on how they use social media for professional and personal development. Ed.

I confess to being rather tired of the endless articles about the merits of one social media platform over another. There is no conclusive answer to the question which is best; the best one can say is “it depends …”. That said, I think there is some merit in hearing how different people use the various platforms. Curiosity and an open mind can lead one to see things in a new light. So, without apology, here is my perspective.

I confess to being rather tired of the endless articles about the merits of one social media platform over another. There is no conclusive answer to the question which is best; the best one can say is “it depends …”. That said, I think there is some merit in hearing how different people use the various platforms. Curiosity and an open mind can lead one to see things in a new light. So, without apology, here is my perspective.

As an accountant who has spent almost his whole career building businesses – mainly start-ups – I really value good data, especially those predictive of future outcomes.

I have been active in building web-based businesses – businesses that “live” on the web, not just “use” the web – so they have to succeed on the web because there is no physical business presence.

However, in recent years I have become increasingly concerned about some of the data being collected on the web and then used to make important decisions. The reason for this is the issue I have with all data – it is easy to interpret a lot of data to mean what you want them to mean.

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This month: Reinventlaw London 2014 – the Twitter story; Delia’s legal web picks.

Legal Web Watch is a free monthly email service which complements the Internet Newsletter for Lawyers. To receive Legal Web Watch regularly sign up here.

This month: Internet law; Links and the law; Delia’s Twitter gripes

This is the second of two articles showing how social media can be used to best effect in job seeking. The first in the January issue looked at LinkedIn.

Twitter has been used by lawyers and legal professionals since its introduction for connecting with other like-minded professionals. Job seekers are increasingly using the platform for connecting with and following firms and, on the flip-side, recruiters are sourcing and screening candidates’ profiles.

In light of this, there are many things you can do to make yourself appear more employable to firms and recruiters on Twitter and to seek out your perfect firm or role. This guide outlines the dos and don’ts of Twitter for legal professionals.

Social media monitoring is the act of tracking when a certain word or phrase gets mentioned on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.

People use the internet regularly to look for recommendations and to express their opinions about the products and services they use. In addition, search engines have begun to use sentiment analysis to understand where businesses have delivered a particularly good level of service and to promote their pages within search results. As a result, it is extremely important – and increasingly possible – to be aware of what is being said about your business. Furthermore, by becoming part of the conversation about your brand, you can help to guide the tone and vastly improve how regularly people mention you and how positive they are when they do so.

Google+Google+ is Google’s answer to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Skype – and it combines elements of all of these leading platforms.

“The goal of Google+ is to make all Google services better, including ads,” says Bradley Horowitz, vice president of Google+ products. “However, Google is not just focusing on building the largest social network. It is also an important tool that helps the company identify and authenticate users across all its services, including search, Gmail and YouTube.”

Google is serious about Google+ because when it comes to advertising and search Google is the daddy. It’s unlikely to go away.

LinkedIn is the biggest social media platform for professionals but has seen only moderate uptake by those in the law industry, until now. Both legal firms and specialist law recruiters are tuning into the power of LinkedIn to find prime law candidates and to find out more about their applicants, so are you ready to get spotted? This cheat sheet contains a number of specialised tips and tricks to help you get noticed and tick the recruiter’s boxes.

Having recently spent six months teaching some delightful, articulate teenagers A-level law it really brought home to me just how embedded social media is in the lives of young people, and also for the not quite so young as well. The students laughed incredulously at tales of queuing to use a payphone to call home from university and writing letters to friends; for these 18 year-olds the ability to communicate is permanently at their fingertips via their phones. They tweet, they message, to a lesser extent they still post on Facebook, but the key point is that they keep in contact not just with friends but with acquaintances and others frequently throughout the day. This means that they are leaving electronic trails (both written and photographic) everywhere of what they have been doing, what they plan to do, who they were with, not to mention their thoughts and feelings as they come tumbling from brain to phone. It is so fundamentally different to the situation even five years ago, is it any wonder that the legal system is struggling to keep up?

As social media continues to grow at an ever-increasing rate, more and more industries and companies are tempted by the idea of “going online” and building their social media presence. It’s a worthwhile endeavour, but one not without pitfalls. Care needs to be taken; this isn’t just something you should dabble with until you get bored, but an avenue to help your business.

Most of us are familiar with reports of employees being disciplined for posting inappropriate material on social media platforms, or employers over-reacting and dismissing an employee when a warning or, even, some training, might have been more productive. There seems to be a greater awareness of the risk even if there is not any greater understanding of how to manage that risk.

Either employees hope their posts, tweets, videos and status updates will never come to light or they do not care if they do. Given the abundance of social media platforms these days, that may not be a bad bet. After all, are your colleagues on Path? Or Pinterest? What about Google+, which now seems to be gaining traction two years after launching? According to the website NewMedia Trend Watch, nearly two-thirds of UK internet users have an active Facebook account and that probably explains why most cases that come to light involve unwise status updates on that platform.