The following is a summary of the main points of an article written for the Spanish blog Inkietos, the full text of which can be found here
Good manners and behaviour have always been key to building networks, especially now our reputations are exposed in so much detail online. We have never been surrounded and connected with so many people as we are in today’s virtual communities, which we access more and more often through phones, tablets and laptops.
Demonstrating good behaviour online is even more relevant for professional advisers such as lawyers who, due to the high level of trust required in order to build successful client relationships, have always had to build strong personal brands and carefully manage how they present themselves to the rest of society.
Social networks offer undeniable advantages for lawyers, including valuable opportunities to engage with relevant contacts, at a time when lawyers are facing so many challenges such as the economic crisis, increased competition and the emergence of disruptive new business models. Developing a personal brand through the use of online tools also allows lawyers to free themselves from an over reliance on more ineffective and traditional law firm business brands and in the long run enables them to better monetise their talent.
When building a personal brand, lawyers need to be original and able to differentiate themselves, while at the same time maintain and uphold the strong values and ethics of the legal profession. Lawyers should therefore be prudent when communicating online and carefully analyse what they’ve written before posting any content. Finally, a lawyer needs to demonstrate emotions, but should temper negative feelings such as anger and also not use crude or offensive vocabulary.