The Tweeting Lawyer presents five Northern Ireland Tweeps who do Twitter exceptionally well and who you could do well to follow.
But there's a reason for doing this: by highlighting the best Tweeters in Northern Ireland and explaining why they're good, law firms and lawyers can begin to understand good Twitter-practice and how they can improve their Twitter performance.
I've rated these Northern Ireland Tweeters based on the following criteria: level of interaction and engagement, frequency of Tweets, aesthetics and qualities of Twitter page, humour, the informativeness of their content, their consistency and the overall experience they give you.
So here's a run down of the top 5:
Jim Fitzpatrick is BBC NI's business and economics editor. Jim's Twitter feed consistently produces strong content that is fresh and engaging. First impressions of his page are ok, his bio is also ok and his pic is welcoming. However a lot of work could be done here. He could improve his format, put in a background pic, make his bio more interesting and put in a blog or website.
All in all a standard Twitter page that does the basics well.
Twitter for Law Firms Twitter Score: 6/10
This is the Twitter account for the much celebrated Newry-based international financial firm First Derivatives plc. This is a firm that has been consistently recognized and awarded for its foresight and innovation and its ability to beat the downturn.
Straight away we can see that First Derivatives' strength in innovation and creativity has transferred onto the Twittersphere where it has a strong Twitter profile and news feed. The first impressions and overall look of the FD account is strong and certainly draws the browser in. It has a number of pictures available and a strong, welcoming and open backdrop picture. We know that FD is a big jobs creator, especially for graduates. This is a strength that FD plays to on Twitter and Tweets a lot of student/graduate related content. It also Tweets about graduate stories and also Tweets FD vlogs. It's also clear that they engage quite well with their community and ask questions and provide good information. However they don't do many direct '@username' replies.
Furthermore its Twitter pic is a little dull and it hasn't got the latest Twitter format: so it's not at the vanguard of Twitter best-practice. The firm could also play to its strength more and provide analysis on local, national and international economics. Also the consistency of Tweeting is a little shakey. They need to create a Twitter game plan and stick to it. You can do it but it's not good Twitter practice to Tweet 6 times one day and then not Tweet for a week. Furthermore because the FD '@username' isn't just First Derivatives it can be a little hard to find on Twitter; you really have to go looking for it, it doesn't come to you - so they could work on that.
All things considered FD provides a great Twitter experience for the young graduate or student. However, because it doesn't engage fully outside of the graduate community it has lost out a little on its Twitter score.
Twitter for Law Firms Twitter Score: 7/10
Mr Ramsey is an economist based in Belfast. Mr Ramsey's Twitter pic is interesting and certainly draws you in: he gives the macho, real man look with arms crossed and his serious economist face on. His content is very strong and covers international and European economics. He engages with the top authorities in his field such as @zerohedge, which shows he is open and looking to show thought leadership. He also covers national and local economics and engages with local commentators such as @jimfitzbiz. His content, reporting, commentary and statistical reporting on the Northern Ireland economy is strong and he often discusses the corporation tax issue and youth unemployment.
One example of an interesting Tweet: "
@LisneyNI Belfast still faring better than Athens. Nearly 1 in 3 businesses in central Athens closed due to recession http://dlvr.it/2ChLvq "
However the @Ramseconomics Twitter experience isn't without criticism: we at Twitter for Law Firms think that Mr Ramsey works for Ulster Bank, however we can't be sure. He should add this. Also his '@username' and headline name are the same: we think his first name, nickname or something different would make Mr Ramsey come across as more personal. His bio could also do with a little work and could be improved if it was tailored to come across as more open, personable and welcoming. He could also follow more Twitter people as he only follow 297. Mr Ramsey should also look into putting a website or blog on his Twitter bio.
@Ramseconomics is placing himself as the go to voice for strong content on the Northern Ireland economy and for that he is to be commended. All in all he consistently offers a strong Twitter experience.
Twitter for Law Firms Twitter score: 8/10
Barra Best is a BBC journalist known for his weather presenting. He is a particular favorite not only of ours at Twitter for Law Firms but among Northern Ireland Tweeters. He has a following of over 3,500 and he engages regularly with his Twitter community with '@replys'. He provides a steady stream of weather news, headlines, warnings, interesting weather facts and friendly conversation. First impressions and aesthetics of his page are pleasing: he regularly changes his Twitter pic and has the latest format which tells us he's a man on top of his Twitter-game.
However Barra Best's Twitter account doesn't go without criticism: his Twitter bio is a little short and dry. If he spent a little more time on this the total @barrabest experience could be improved. Further to that, Barra Best doesn't have an outside link to his website or blog. But then again does he even have a website or blog? He's a popular character and engages well so if he doesn't have either he could improve the total Barra Best brand and @barrabest experience with a personal website and well run and informative blog.
Overall a great Tweeter though!
Twitter for Law Firms Twitter Score: 8.5/10
Stephen Nolan is a big man with a big voice on radio and is well known for having the biggest show in Northern Ireland.
First impressions: Stephen's Tweet account is open, personal and welcoming, he has a number of photos and his headline and Twitter format is up to date and very strong. Like his radio and TV shows his content is fresh, engaging, topical and at the forefront of everyone's minds. He Tweets often and consistently across a range of topics and mediums, with pics, audio clips, news clips and general commentary. His Twitter feed is also well integrated with his TV and radio shows and allows for listener/watcher interaction which is fantastic. During a recent TV broadcast his show was trending on Twitter in Northern Ireland.
However while he has over 40,000 followers, he only follows 400 which shows a little self-interest. We also get the impression he interacts more with Twitter heavyweight personalities and less with the little guy. If he upped this it would be good. Further, his bio could be livened up and we would like to see a Stephen Nolan blog.
All in all a consistently great, but not infallible, Tweeter.
Twitter for Law Firms Twitter Score: 9/10
@netforwiseowls: a social media trainer who does Twitter exceptionally well. One to follow for tips and advice on how to up your Twitter performance.
@TheRowYouKnow: a community and family welfare focused Twitter account that does great work.
@AlexKane221b: ex-politico with an interesting voice that provides a quirky slant on Northern Ireland life and politics. Great commentary and analysis.
@Seamus_deFaoite: interesting and up and coming political type that consistently posts strong content, opinions and analysis. Engages well and one for the future.