Should you, or should you not be on Twitter? That is the question. The answer is: it depends.
Like any new communication channel, your decision to invest time and money, (i.e. using your non-billable time), is a decision you should make strategically. For example, if Twitter isn’t a key source of information for you, and your clients and prospects aren’t using it; you may not need to worry about it — today.
Doing anything effectively and productively takes time. You need to invest time in understanding the benefits of using this free, social networking, microblogging service. You have to create a plan that includes what your goals and outcomes are. You have to set up your account, figure out how to use it, know Twittiquette and actually get your first tweet out there. And then, you have to measure your results and continue to evolve.
Three quick reasons it’s good for you
As of the first quarter of 2015, there were 302 million monthly active users. According to DMR, Twitter has almost 1 billion registered users.
1. Most of the sources of legal information and news have Twitter feeds. Purely for a quick way to see the most recent news in the legal industry, Twitter provides you with short headlines you can choose to click on or not.
And the biggest benefit is that it doesn’t clutter up your e-mail!
Most organizations and people that publish, put their publications on their web site, and/or on a publication aggregation service, and then tweet out a headline and link to it. This is a time-saver and allows you to quickly choose to read or just scroll by quickly. The quick headline scanning is also a great way to see the top headlines in our industry.
To test whether Twitter could replace a lot of your e-mail news subscriptions, go to their web sites and see if they have Twitter feeds.
2. Your clients and their organizations are probably tweeting and to be a good business developer, one of your key activities is to know their business.
“Following” your clients and their organizations is a great way to get to know them better. You can absorb their culture, their activities, their news, and their business quite efficiently. You will have fodder for conversation starters and be the hit of the client appreciation event. (People wonder how I do it! I am revealing my secrets now!!)
More importantly, you will start to think of more relevant ways that they need your legal services and your conversations will become more productive, engaging, and lead to more business.
To test whether Twitter might be something you need to use, take your top 10 clients and see how many of them have Twitter feeds. (Look for the little blue bird or “T” icon on their web sites or e-mail signatures.)
3. Twitter is really about social networking. We are living in a virtual, collaborative workspace and the beauty of Twitter is it’s a very quick way of being able to interact with organizations and people.
You can start getting your content out there with a few words and a link and start to reach more people with your available contribution to the legal industry. But first you need to have followers and followers who have followers who retweet your content to an even broader audience.
If you’re lucky, Katy Perry — who has the most followers at 51 million — might retweet your tweet . . . imagine that!
Twitter is growing. You might be wise to learn it now because even if you think it’s not a high-priority communication channel for you now, it’s not going away. It is also not something most people launch into and are immediately popular. It is something you start slow with and grow.
If anything, give it a whirl, set up an account here https://support.twitter.com/articles/100990-signing-up-with-twitter and follow some legal news accounts. See if you find relevance and business building potential . . . I bet you will!