As a result of a Twitter-based conversation at the end of last week, I had a sudden crisis of confidence: should I, as a solicitor, be Tweeting?
This arose because one of my followers felt it inappropriate for a solicitor to be Tweeting about (in this case) pub quizzes. I had thought doing this showed that I was not just a solicitor, but had a life outside work – albeit, if that life is merely taking part in pub quizzes, a very limited life outside work! I felt this was a Good Thing: solicitors generally tend to be perceived as aloof and stuffy, and I want to show that I, at least, am not.
My challenger modified her comment to, “If I already had a solicitor, I’d think it was cool but if I was looking for one, I’d think it was tacky”
Horror! I don’t want to seem aloof or stuffy, but to appear tacky would be even worse! Also, bearing in mind that the marketing purpose of my Tweets is to reach out to new potential clients and engage in conversations with them, this seemed disastrous: far from drawing in potential clients, was I repelling them by being “tacky”?
To be fair, the suggested solution was to have two Twitter accounts: one for work and one for play; but that gets us back to being stuffy on the work account – and, worse, being perceived as constantly selling – while the social account risks being lightweight and pointless. I had hoped to achieve a balance between work and play in one Twitter account, showing me as a (reasonably) rounded human who happens also to be a good lawyer and an approachable one.
I genuinely believe that it is not wrong to Tweet the way I do – that the question is not “To Tweet or not”, but only whether I should split by Tweets (which I would prefer not to do) – but that may just be wishful thinking.
What do you think? Is it a forlorn effort? Should I have separate work and social Twitter streams? Is it “tacky” for a lawyer (qua lawyer) to Tweet about non-lawyerly things – or to Tweet at all? Let me know in the comments – or by Tweeting me, if you prefer: twitter.com/JustinNelson_