A greater number of lawyers are taking to Twitter during the Covid-19 Pandemic than at probably any other time. Everyday, I’m seeing lawyers from all over the world starting to use Twitter for the first time.
- Lawyers appreciate the need to network online when they cannot network in person.
- With less travel, face to face social engagement and time spent on outside interests, lawyers have more time to experiment.
- Consumers and small businesses are being slammed economically. Lawyers appreciate that the market of available of clients is shrinking.
- With more available time and a shrinking market, lawyers are looking to develop a reputation in niches, even niches in which they have not practiced before.
Using Twitter for business development is an art. Twitter, itself, is not hard to use, but you need to know what you are doing to accomplish anything.
Here are eleven tips for those of you new to Twitter – and maybe a few veteran Twitter users.
- Focus on a niche. Doesn’t matter if it’s an area of the law you do work in, you want to do work in or an area outside the law. No one is going to pay much attention to a person without a strong following on Twitter who is tweeting on random subjects. You’ll likely be treated as noise. By being an AP (Associated Press) on a subject, a funnel of news and commentary on a niche, you will become a must have Twitter feed – or least someone of interest. If tweeting on an area outside the law you will at least learn how to use Twitter.
- Realize it takes time to learn how to use Twitter for business development. Maybe six months, maybe a year. That’s okay. Twitter is a gift that keeps on giving. If you know how to use Twitter strategically, you’ll be ahead of 99.99% of lawyers who have no clue how to use Twitter.
- Twitter is more about listening (reading) than sharing items. You need to have something to Tweet so you need to be listening to what is being said (written) in your niche.
- Learn how to use the news aggregator, Feedly. Feedly will serve as a funnel of news and commentary from which you can select stories to share on Twitter. You can receive sources – blogs, news publications and journals having RSS feeds as well as stories from any influential source which include words or phrases you are following.
- Learn how to use Buffer, which when integrated into Feedly or your browser, will space out your tweets. When you share tweets from items in Feedly once or twice a day, your tweets won’t be one on top of another.
- Use images. Buffer will give you the option to pull one from your news source (most often, and the easiest) or to pull onefrom your photos.
- You need to engage others to network via Twitter and to get some of them to follow you. This comes by referencing what others have said or what has been said about them. You do this by including their Twitter handle when attributing the story to them, ie, ℅ @abc or by referencing their Twitter handle in place of their name in the tweet in which they are a subject.
- Use Twitter lists. Create a Twitter list in the name of your niche. Find the most influential Twitter users in your niche. Add them to your Twitter list. The name of the list is important as the people added will be notified of their addition and Twitter will display your list when people create similar lists. Find list candidates by searching for influencer’s Twitter handles and by seeing who the relevant influencers follow – or if they have lists. Use your list to find stories to tweet or to retweet. The influencers will see you and your followers will like the news you are sharing.
- Craft a custom tweet from the stories you see. The title of the story, alone, is likely not enough. Share the gist of the story or what you took from it. Taking a money quote from the story works well – and lets the reporter or blogger know you read their story and quoted them, as opposed to the copyeditor who crafted only the title, in the case of a news publication.
- Retweet and like other’s tweets, others will see you. Retweeting with a comment is the best source of engagement as you can then add your insight and commentary, as opposed to just liking or retweeting.
- Take engagement beyond Twitter, as appropriate, into requesting a connection on LinkedIn or sending an email.
Understanding how to use Twitter is like anything. It takes time and practice.
When you do master Twitter, you’ll be glad you did. You’ll become known as a trusted source in a niche.
If you’re a blogger, you’ll have a growing audience who will share your blog posts. After all, you are sharing other’s stories, before sharing your own.
Need more help on Twitter, let me know. Maybe we could put together an online program on the strategic use of Twitter for legal bloggers.