I have a friend who has been a personal injury lawyer for decades. He’s a solo practitioner with enough cases to keep him comfortably in business. He was my lawyer after I was involved in a car accident and he did a wonderful job settling my case. He has a great reputation and gets the majority of his business through word-of-mouth. He has a website and occasionally writes a blog. He recently asked me why he should be on Twitter if he doesn’t need it to drum up business.
I think my friend doesn’t see any value in sitting on Twitter all day reading and responding to others’ tweets. I think he’s right on that point, but I don’t think he sees some of the other benefits of having a Twitter account. I’ve been pondering his question for a few weeks and I’ve come up with the top three reasons why a lawyer in his position would want to have a Twitter presence.
- Promote Your Blog – I love that my friend writes a blog, but if no one knows when he has something new posted, who is going to read it? I have a lawyer friend who mostly uses his Twitter account to announce when he has posted a new blog. I love when he writes, but he doesn’t publish on a set schedule. I appreciate the notice when he has something new for us to read.
- Stay On The Radar – By using a Twitter account, a solo practitioner remind others that they exist in a non-intrusive way. It also makes it easier for people who promote you within the Twitterverse. For example, I recently had a friend ask me for a recommendation for a real estate lawyer in Arizona. I didn’t know any lawyers who practice in this area, so I put the question out on Twitter. (Note – I only put the question out on Twitter.) I received two recommendations within 24 hours. I appreciated the response that provided a name, a Twitter handle, and a website more than the response that just gave me a name. It gives people a way to get to know you before they initiate a conversation with you. If you saw a tweet where someone mentioned you, you could post a thank-you tweet and continue to build goodwill for your firm.
- Stay Abreast of Legal News – I get multiple legal magazines every month and I don’t have time to flip through them all. Instead, I follow various entities on Twitter who post links to articles and blogs on the latest legal news. It’s a more efficient way to know what’s going on in the legal world.
When it comes to social media like Facebook and Twitter, it’s important for lawyers (and any professional) to look at it as a tool, and evaluate it whether it can assist them in their business. With Twitter, it’s about having public conversations in an online community and people can engage where they are comfortable. In the big picture, I think it’s better to be partially involved and engage a little bit, than not to be involved at all.
- How Often Should You Tweet? (ereleases.com)
- Creating Connections with Twitter (internetmarketingformommies.com)
- How Will Lawyers Use Social Media in 2011? (nylawblog.typepad.com)
- Jimmie Johnson On Twitter: I Regret I Didn’t Start Tweeting Sooner (sbnation.com)