SOCIAL MEDIA, LAW FIRMS
How can law firms use Twitter for business development?
Joanna Michaels, Director
Twitter is a social networking and micro-blogging tool, that features 140-character posts, known as ‘tweets’. It has been described by some as a cocktail party, full of trivial conversations, celebrities and self-serving narcists. For that very reason many lawyers seem to approach this platform with reluctance. But while Twitter’s ambience is much lighter and less formal then LinkedIn, it is a powerful information sharing, networking and listening tool and should not be ignored.
How law firms can benefit from using Twitter:
1. Establishing thought leadership
Twitter is a great tool for demonstrating your professional knowledge and positioning yourself as an expert and thought leader within your field.
2. Gathering Real-time Competitive Intelligence
It is one of the best Social Media platforms when it comes to listening. You are very likely to get more legal and tech news from Twitter than from any other online source. This is because Twitter acts as a real-time search engine, allowing you to listen to conversations and gather intelligence, monitor your reputation, as well as obtain important insights into what your clients and competitors are doing
3. Networking at live events
It is a perfect tool for live events and meeting people, as it facilitates real-time conversations as well as relationship building before, during and after the event. Tweeting from conferences and seminars, while using relevant hashtags, is also a great way of sharing information and learning from other attendees
4. Gaining direct access to high profile individuals
On Twitter you can engage with people that you would like to connect with, a simple mention can easily lead to a conversation. You can also gain access to people with whom you would not normally interact, due to geographical or other barriers.
Top Twitter tips for law firms:
- Align your firm’s values with your voice on Twitter so your activity there builds consistent reputation
- Listen to conversations and analyse trends that affect your niche
- Be approachable as Twitter’s ambience is quite personable and light-hearted. The majority of professionals who have succeeded on this platform recommend finding a balance between sharing expertise and personality
- Initiate and join conversations with your connections. Share commentary on relevant industry topics
- Chose your approach. Twitter is a public platform; a good idea may be to run two types of accounts- one connected to your work and a personal one (that can be protected). Many lawyers chose to have one account and post both personal and professional updates, balancing their professionalism and individualism. See what works for you
- Be creative. Limited Twitter characters require catchy headlines. Example: You published a blog post on the new law of contracts. A headline like “Why your contracts may be unenforceable from next week?” is much more likely to grab attention, than a post saying “ Here is our new blog on the new law of contracts”
- Add Visual Content. Twitter, like all other Social Media platforms is increasingly visual. Research shows that visual content can significantly increase engagement on Social Media. The problem here is that law firms are not very visual and are heavily reliant on text when it comes to presenting information. You can obtain images from stock photography libraries such as Shutterstock as well as other creative resources like Canva
- Remain Professional and remember that Twitter is a public platform and therefore all your posts are public. Consequently, your conversational footprint on Twitter is permanent.
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