You are likely wondering in what possible way it could benefit your law firm’s blog to be connected to Twitter-after all, how much good can a mere 140 characters possibly do? Well, let’s talk about how it works before getting into the why you care. After you sign up and create a user name on Twitter’s web site you can post short messages, called “tweets,” which appear both on the law firm website and on cell phones and other applications. Once you are a member, you can choose who you want to follow, whether it is someone you know, or merely someone who sounds interesting. Others can do the same to receive your messages, and if you prefer to be a bit less public you can control the visibility of your messages to only those people you approve. Okay, simple enough, now the “why” of connecting Twitter to your legal website’s blog pages.
Expand your Contacts
Through websites, blogging, speaking, or being a part of bar committees, most attorneys are pretty well networked, yet you may be pleasantly surprised at how many new contacts you can make—many of them with incredible potential value to you and your firm. Like everyone else on Twitter, you will have a profile page with links to your firm’s website or blog. Just as you may click on other blogs that sound particularly interesting, so will others do for your blog.
Our own first impression of Twitter was simply “way too much information.” Perhaps that was due to the fact that I was reading tweets belonging to my elderly aunt and several of my cousins in New York. While Twitter can provide a glimpse into the lives of others, it doesn’t have to be an inappropriate glimpse which can tarnish your image as a professional lawyer. If your posts show you writing a brief, preparing for a deposition, this only increases the image you want to portray as a hard-working attorney. If, however, your posts tell others you are going out for drinks with the guys, or taking a nap, think twice about how this information appears to your followers. In other words, Twitter can enhance your image or degrade it, and you know which one you’re aiming for.
Many lawyers and law firms already use Twitter to send out news and press releases by posting a headline with an accompanying web link. Think about how often most people check their cell phones, even when at work. You can get out the news that is important to your firm, quickly and easily to a multitude of people—what could be better?
Bring More Traffic to Your Website
Any time you post something new or different on your website or your blog, mention it in a tweet with a link to the full post. There are some tools you can download (such as Twitterfeed) that will let you do this automatically, anytime you post to your firm’s blog. This is an almost sure-fire way to bring more people, most especially potential clients to your website. Once there, they are likely to take a look around, and, if they are not in the market for an attorney, they can tell a friend who is. A California blogger was threatened with a lawsuit over comments he made online, he immediately turned to Twitter to find an attorney—you can find clients and they can find you. This sounds like a near-perfect setup!
Talk to Colleagues
Some lawyers ask questions via Twitter, comment on pertinent news, or share articles; you can reply to others either publicly or privately. You can send a direct message to anyone on Twitter, which is visible only to them; kind of like instant messaging if you need a quick question or answer from a colleague. By monitoring the tweets among your circle of colleagues, you will be able to get a handle on the current topics, or see what people are saying about your firm, your client, or your services.
Get Court Updates
Although your particular city may not have jumped on the Twitter bandwagon just yet, courts in Philadelphia recent launched a Twitter feed which contains news and announcements relating to the court. We expect more courts to follow suit shortly. You could quickly find out if a judge is out for the day, affecting your own schedule, or other items of interest. Not only federal agencies and members of Congress are using Twitter, but the even the White House! You can find a list of federal government Twitter feeds at Twitter Fan Wiki.
Twitter can be a great asset to your law firm and your practice, as long as you always consider the consequences before posting. In such a casual setting, you can unwittingly create an attorney-client relationship or overstep an ethical rule, so to avoid getting yourself into trouble, be very aware of the results of your posts.
Want FREE HELP and ADVICE concerning your law firm Twitter and social media marketing? Call (769) 218-6099 for more information today by speaking to an expert, not a sales person.