Social media has radically altered the way people network in all industries. For many lawyers social media has changed not only the way they engage with their clients and colleagues, but has also the way they meet and initially interact with new connections. For this reason alone, Twitter should be a part of your office’s marketing strategy, plain and simple.
Here is why Twitter Can Be Valuable For Your Practice:
1. Discover new and useful information.
Twitter is only as valuable as you make it. When you first create your account you won’t be following anyone and no one will be following you. If you aren’t a famous celebrity, there is no better way to get followers than by following other people first. Once you follow them, many people will reciprocate by following you back. As a result, you are expanding the reach of the messages you posted on Twitter.
But that isn’t the only reason it is important to follow people on Twitter. When you first create your account you’ll probably feel like you don’t understand the appeal of the site. That is normal. That is because part of Twitter’s value comes from the stream of information you receive from the people you follow. The more people you follow, the more information in your stream, and thus the more useful Twitter becomes.
I’d suggest that at first you should seek out at least 100 people to follow. These people can range from famous celebrities, news hosting services, politicians, brands, bloggers, industry leaders, colleagues, family, friends, The Sociable Lawyer, Rocket Lawyer, etc. Once you find some people who share similar interests, it couldn’t hurt to take a look at who they are following as a way to discover more people with similar interests that you’d also benefit from following. If you are doing it right, you’ll eventually probably find yourself following far more than 100 people. If you are following people involved in your industry then you’ll discover that the information they are sharing is often extremely useful.
2. Demonstrate your professional competence and knowledge.
The second reason Twitter will be valuable to your practice is because it gives you an opportunity to simultaneously communicate with many people at once. Your normal messages on Twitter are public, and everyone who follows you can see the information you post on Twitter. In fact, they can take that information and share it with all of their followers by “re-tweeting” your messages. In other words, Twitter is a great way to network with a large number of people simultaneously. If your Tweets demonstrate your knowledge and competence as a professional and a participant in the industries you represent, it should be easy to see how that can help you market your legal services.
3. Basic tips for getting started.
So what is the best way to market your legal services on Twitter? If you are a solo practitioner you should have a single Twitter account. Create an account name that is simple and straightforward. I recommend just using your name or the name of your practice. Your bio should also tell potential followers about you, a few topics you are very interested in (legal and non-legal) and what practice areas you are engaged in. Don’t be afraid to let your personality come through in your bio and your messages. People want to follow real people on Twitter and are more likely to connect with you if you seem genuine and engaging.
Meanwhile, if you are an office with 3 or more attorneys, it makes the most sense to have multiple, individual accounts for each attorney to use to promote the practice. As Adrian Dayton, a lawyer and author of the book Social Media For Lawyers, explains: “social media shouldn’t be 100% of one person’s job, but rather should be 1% of 100 people’s job.” This is because it will provide each of the individual attorneys the opportunity receive new information while simultaneously demonstrating their competence. I’d even argue that the enlightened approach recognizes that your associates can play a big part in promoting your practice through social media. If you trust them to attend cocktail parties, client meet and greets, or other networking events, then you can trust them to promote your practice on Twitter. It demonstrates to your clients that you have smart, thoughtful attorneys working with you on their cases.