In 2009, I began my Twitter odyssey scared I would not be able to figure it out and nervous I would do something wrong and look like an idiot. I persevered with the help of some online friends and began an ongoing love affair with my favorite social media channel. Over the years, as my understanding, usage, and following on Twitter all grew, most lawyers I knew remained indifferent to social media and in particular Twitter.
Many lawyers use LinkedIn – most have Individual Profiles and some have Company Pages for their law firms. Most lawyers use Facebook – everyone from judges to our own clients has Facebook Profiles on the massive social media juggernaut and many law firms have Facebook Pages. But with Twitter, lawyers remain reluctant to adopt. These days, world politics appears in full effect on Twitter all day everyday, causing more people to use the social network now than ever before. If 83% of world leaders have Twitter accounts and can drop their opinions and thoughts in real time, we lawyers certainly can too.
Twitter Tips For Lawyers: It’s Always Better To Be Overdressed
When using social media, I often think of a saying my mother used on us when we were younger, “It’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed.” Southern euphemisms not withstanding, when a business professional creates an account on a social network, he or she should build it out completely and make it look nice. In order to look polished on Twitter, a lawyer should use care when creating his or her account to utilize a professional account name, preferably in the name of the law firm or using law/lawyer/attorney and some combination of the lawyer’s name or primary practice area. The new user should utilize all or most of the 160 characters available for his or her biography, including at least one personalizing item (for example, I mention that I am a popcorn addict). A lawyer’s Twitter design should utilize the logo and branding standards of the law firm and incorporate the look and feel of the website for digital consistency (and including contact information doesn’t hurt either).
A few additional Twitter tips for lawyers:
- Use a high quality photo, preferably the same professional headshot as your website biography and other social media channels
- Link to your law firm website to obtain a high value backlink and to drive traffic from the social network to your main digital asset
- Complete the information on your location so people know where to find you in case they want to hire you
Ten Ways Lawyers Should Use Twitter
Lawyers have always written as a way to show their expertise, and writing on social media should be no different. Five hundred million tweets are sent each day, so the noise is loud; but, while real life opportunities to get published may be hard to come by, sites like Twitter give lawyers new ways to communicate. Twitter is one of the easiest social networks to use, and with 328 million monthly users, it allows users free access to a broad audience. Whereas Facebook can be used to reach potential clients, Twitter helps increase a lawyer or law firm’s brand profile. Good options to achieve these goals include:
- Content promotion
- Media coverage
- Sharing news of interest to you and your followers
- Getting a little personal
- Engaging with hashtags
- Sharing images and videos, as tweets with images get 150% more retweets than those without.
- Live tweeting events
- Joining in conversations
- Analyzing your competitive landscape