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The Dos and Don’ts of Law Firms on Twitter

Since its inception, Twitter has experienced phenomenal growth in users; however, it is no longer just the playground for those relaying their activities, such as eating a sandwich, and celebrities promoting social causes. Increasingly, new outlets are joining Twitter, not only creating main feeds but also subdividing by news topics and, most importantly, reporters.

It is, of course, the natural evolution for the media. With increased news reporting on their websites and the never-ending news cycle, reporters are joining Twitter en mass not only to report the news but also to obtain information and develop relationships.

While it is a new form of communication with the media, the old rules of dealing with a reporter still stand. As such, law firms that only tweet self-serving news and don’t offer a benefit to reporters will not be followed.

Of course, entire books have been written about how to best use Twitter. But since most legal marketing departments currently have 20 other ball in the air, we did our own research and condensed the best practices for law firms using Twitter.

While some of the advice offered in the articles and blog postings is repetitious, we do recommend reading each for their own value. To assist busy legal marketers, we have also included an excerpt from each posting that encapsulates the best practices discussed.

The Quick Guide for Legal Marketers

 Twitter for Law Firms

  • A good law firm Twitter feed keeps two things in mind: (1) it’s all about the clients, and (2) it’s not all about the firm. Updates deliver breaking news of interest to the firm’s clientele, or provide links to reports of interest and importance to clients’ industries or spread the word about upcoming events and opportunities that could deliver value to clients.

Law Firm Twitter Accounts

  • If you are Tweeting for a law firm, let us know who the voice behind the brand is. It doesn’t matter if it’s not the chairman, CMO or founding partner. We don’t really care. We just want to know there is a face behind the voice.  You’ve got 160 characters for the profile bio. Just add your names. See if it doesn’t make a difference and let us know!

 How Am Law 100 Firms Use Twitter

  • My question about law firm Twitter accounts has always been, “Who is your intended audience?” Corporate counsel? C-suite executives? Companies in urgent need of specialized complex litigation help? If the answer is all three, then most of your tweets will be irrelevant to a large part of your audience. People don’t want to have to sift through irrelevant information. By tweeting all of the firm’s content from a single account, you are forcing followers to do a fair amount of sifting.

 Top 10 Twitter Tips for Law Firms

  • Last, but certainly not least, connect as much as possible by commenting and retweeting but don’t just rely on an RSS feed from your firm’s website and don’t spam with media mentions or direct messages.

 10 Twitter Tips for Law Firms (Marketing Departments included)

  • Twitter is not 9-5. It’s 24/7, 365 days per week. You cannot expect to grow your presence and get meaningful results if you are not monitoring what is going on. Very often law firms don’t even bother to respond when they get a reasonable comment. Why? Probably because nobody is checking the stream regularly enough or they have been told not to engage. Engagement is key. Go and check out Starbucks and Ford and you will see what I mean. There are of course some excellent law firms who do respond but they are in the minority in my experience.

 6 Twitter Tips for Lawyers & Legal Professionals

  • Attribute Any Re-tweets – Attribution shows that you understand your profession and that your care about your audience. Whether it is a quote from your favorite book, a poem or retweet, always attribute borrowed information to the source author. Twitter is very specific about retweeting, and even makes the process simpler for retweets.

Twitter Tips for Lawyers

  • Adding Substance. I’ll admit that I am guilty of not always following this tip. But we should all be better at adding a little commentary on our tweets and re-tweets. Include a brief statement of why you are sending the tweet out. It can be as simple as “Found this interesting:” followed by the title of the article or post. Too frequently, I see tweets (and send tweets) that have nothing more than the title of a post and a link. Take time to offer up a few words explaining why your followers should be interested in what you are sending.
  • Repetition. When you publish a new blog post, article, or something similar, you most certainly will send notice of it to your Twitter followers. But remember that not all your followers are paying attention to their streams at the same time. Some may say it is bad form, but feel free to tweet about the post or article several times (at different times of the day) so that your followers won’t miss it.

–          Chuck Brown

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