Monday, 24 September 2012

The Perils of Not Doing Twitter Right

Anyone can do Twitter: your ten year old brother, or your ninety year old gran; you could even set one up for your pet cat if you fancied it.

However, not everyone ‘gets’ twitter.

So yea, you lawyers can ‘do’ Twitter, but if you don’t ‘get' Twitter not only will you be wasting your time, but you could also risk damaging your firm’s brand.  

Surprisingly many of the Magic Circle and top-tier law firms are taking just this risk. Most of them have a presence on Twitter; however the reality is that their Twitter feeds are dry, unwelcoming and often weeks or months out of date.

This is bad Twitter practice, yet some firms have performed worse; some of the big corporate law practices have a Twitter account without a single post, despite having hundreds of followers.

The Law Society Gazette rightly commented on this Twitter bad-practice, available here, saying: 'not only is this a wasted opportunity to connect with a range of stakeholders, it suggests laziness, lack of strategy and lack of initiative. In many cases it would be better not to have a Twitter account rather than have one that is dormant.’

So there’s a lesson: if you’re planning on 'doing' twitter, make sure you 'get' it and do it right.

There's two things to getting Twitter and doing it right. Firstly, you need to make a plan or Twitter road map. Secondly, you need to engage and interact with your Twitter community.

On the first point: by developing and implementing a Twitter strategy that is aligned to your business objectives you can take a long term view on what you want to get out of the social network. Then you can plan your tweeting activity in a coordinated, consistent and organised fashion.That means deciding how frequently you want to tweet, who you want to follow, what you want to post about and who you want to attract.

On the second point: you should want to interact and engage with your followers directly. Don't pump out an endless feed of news; rather, ask questions, converse and have fun with your followers and others.

In a later post I’ll talk more about how to create a coordinated Twitter strategy and how to be yourself on Twitter. But, for now at least you know there’s a method behind the madness of all this Tweeting!

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