Sunday, 23 September 2012

So Mr Lawyer, What is Twitter?

That Twitter is so hot right now.

Yea Twitter is the big thing these days and is enjoying massive growth. However a lot of people still don't know what twitter or tweeting is - including seemingly pretty much most of the legal trade.

So in this first post of the Twitter For Law Firms blog I want to keep things very simple and offer an introduction to Twitter; exploring what it is, what it does and how it can bring value to your service and product line.




It is: Created in 2006 Twitter is essentially a public space available online where you can air your thoughts in 140 characters or less. Think of it as a giant networking event; you can mingle and find people of similar interest and interact with them. That's why it's called a social network, like facebook or LinkedIn.

But Twitter is different from facebook, LinkedIn and other social networking channels. Facebook is rather personal, LinkedIn more professional and rigid. Twitter is an entirely different beast.

It's a world of news and views where you can follow, speak and interact with everyone from Adele and Lady GaGa to the New York Times and the Guardian, and for you lawyers: Allen and Overy, Herbert Smith and Slaughter and May and many many more.

But what do people actually do on Twitter? A person's Twitter feed is the medium through which they can express their voice, face and personality online in a large community of like minded peers. So people may tweet what they're doing that day, where they're going or what they're eating. They may also tweet an interesting article that they've read online, they may break news, update their followers on the football, talk about politics or discuss topical issues. Generally it's about being part of the debate and contributing to that debate in a meaningful way.

That's the essence and true purpose of twitter.

So if you let you and your personality shine through on your twitter feed it's likely you'll be tweeting engaging and eye pleasing content. And naturally if you're coming off with interesting stuff people will be drawn to you and hopefully your number of followers should increase.

These elemental rules of Twitter apply just as readily to the small or corporate law firm. And yes I understand the initial reservations, but there is big value in a well maintained and savvy twitter account. What can a law firm expect to gain then?

Firstly, Twitter is a strong marketing tool that can help build brand and service awareness.

Secondly, Twitter done right is a fantastic business development tool that has the potential to bring in clients and stir business growth.

Thirdly, Twitter is a great way to build a reputation as an innovative and leading firm. It can also allow a law firm to show thought-leadership and to develop a name for being a source of specialist knowledge.

Fourthly, Twitter is a great client care and customer relationship management tool. Doing Twitter correctly can be the perfect way to show current and prospective clients that you're thoroughly client-focused.

Fifthly, Twitter can also be good for conducting market research and even for pitching ideas.

So there you have it: Twitter done right can bring a big return on investment. All you have to do is relax and let your personality and character come through. Engage in the debate, don't spout off boring business chat; show that you're not some boring suit, but a genuinely nice guy or gal.

I hope this post has made things a little clearer and has provided a few basics. Next time I want to talk more about taking the plunge and starting a Twitter account for your law firm. I'll be here for when you do. So go on get out there and start tweeting and networking!

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