There’s often the misconception that social media is only for millennials or hotshot corporate lawyers, but regardless of your age, practice or ranking, social media such as Twitter is a useful tool that should be harnessed. You’d be surprised by how you can benefit as a lawyer from typing 140 characters and sending it off into the “Twitterverse.”
Twitter is a great way to disseminate information, demonstrate expertise and build relationships with lawyers and existing or potential clients who are active on social media. Regardless of your practice, your potential and existing clients are most likely looking into your social media presence, and it is important to show that you’re up-to-date on the most recent laws and regulations and showing an active interest by engaging in conversations about hot topics and trends in your industry. Twitter is also a great way to make connections with other lawyers: A few tweets back and forth, and before you know it, you’re at the same networking event or grabbing lunch and you’ve secured a referral source.
Keep in mind that social media isn’t necessarily intuitive, and there’s certainly an ineffective way to approach Twitter. So, we’ve compiled some tips for using Twitter below, including a few from attorney and co-author of “Social Media for Lawyers: The Next Frontier,” Nicole Black.
Here are some tips for using Twitter:
- Take it slow – Don’t jump in and start tweeting 20x a day. Lie low for a while, start following people and learn the customs of other users.
- A tweet is a 140-character message/statement sent out into the Twitter universe, often called the “Twitterverse.”
- You can share photos, videos, articles, or just make a statement.
- You can start a conversation by replying to another user’s tweet, or you can simply share a tweet by retweeting.
- Your profile consists of all of your tweets, replies/conversations and retweets.
- Your news feed consists of all of the tweets and retweets of the users you follow.
- Searching for hashtags like #SCOTUS can be a great way to either join or stay abreast of the conversation being held in the “Twitterverse,” and a great way to find people worth following.
- Follow other attorneys, journalists and publications that write about the law and organizations you are or want to be involved in.
- Follow ideas as well – search for specific areas of the law you’re interested in and you’ll be able to find great content and the people who share that content.
- Provide news about your field, such as breaking news in cases, published decisions, your own successes at the firm, seminars/events you’re attending, etc., but try to avoid merely echoing content with a string of retweets.
- Join conversations related to your field, but focus on the critical issues – remember you only have 140 characters in each tweet.
- Download Twitter’s mobile app – You’ve finished reading the paper and there’s still 8 minutes left in your morning commute on the train; that’s plenty of time to check your news feed, share an interesting tweet and maybe even start a conversation.
- Try the 50-30-10-10 formula: 50 percent sharing other people’s content, whether that’s retweeting or posting a link to other articles; 30 percent interaction with other Twitter users; 10 percent your own promotional content; and 10 percent your personal interests, which makes you more approachable and relatable.
- And remember that anything you tweet is public and hard to erase, so be mindful of who your clients are and who will be viewing your posts.