On The 12th Day of Social Media, My SIG Leaders Gave To Me...

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On The 12th Day of Social Media, My SIG Leaders Gave To Me...

12 Tips For Twitter!Twitter bird.jpg

(Say THAT 10 times real fast!)

Good Morning, Friends!

If you've enjoyed any part of these 12 Days of Social Media half as much as we have while preparing them for you, then we are happy SIG leaders!

On With The 12th Day!

Had I told you five years ago that I had a tool that would allow you to:

  • Listen to your clients
  • Observe your competition
  • Stay in touch with your referral sources and
  • Nurture relationships with media

What would you have thought?

If I also told you this same tool would also allow you to begin to develop relationships with all of these people without ever having to leave: 

  • Your office
  • Laptop
  • Phone

What would you think?

How about if I went on to tell you that I had a tool that would uncover information shared by:

  • Prospective jurors
  • Witnesses
  • Opposing counsel

Would you be interested?

Then, if I got really crazy (you know me), and went out on a limb to tell you that I also had a tool that would allow:

  • You
  • Your management team
  • Your entire professional staff
  • Your colleagues

...the ability to stay on top of up-to-the-minute, breaking news and developments in each of your respective areas of concentration, would you have thought I was one crayon short of a box? 

Well, it's no secret I'm talking about Twitter because I've made that obvious in the title of today's post. 555,000,000 people have discovered Twitter. Perhaps it's time lawyers and law firms took a closer look.

In my early days in Social Media (it's SO old!), I met and fell in love with Twitter for all the reasons I stated above, and more. Over the past 5 years, I've:

  • Observed
  • Used
  • Learned
  • Created
  • Made mistakes
  • Changed
  • Built community
  • Cringed
  • Been fulfilled
  • Made friends
  • Made clients
  • ...and so many other scenarios and emotions too numerous to describe in this post.

I believe Twitter has merit for lawyers and law firms, and I enjoy discussing how to integrate it into existing marketing and business development strategy.

What Can Twitter Do For Me?

Why should I use Twitter?

When asked what I like about Twitter, one of the comments I always share is:

"Twitter helps to peel back the layers of unfamiliarity that exist between attorneys and their potential, and sometimes current, clients.”

It is that unfamiliarity, those often awkward, getting-to-know-you moments, months and sometimes years, that Twitter can help peel back and minimize.

In essence, it can help accelerate the removal of those layers so that attorneys can find and get to know their clients, potential clients and target audiences much quicker, and more thoroughly, than if they had to wait for face-to-face meetings to do so, which can take a very, very long time.

My belief is obvious.

 

Let's spend a little time talking about Twelve Tips For Twitter lawyers might find useful in their business development journey.

1.  Lose The Egg.

I almost skipped this one because I had hoped we were over this by now....{{sigh}}. Before you start Tweeting, or send another Tweet if you're there already, add your profile picture to your account. Seriously, what is likable about the Twitter-assigned newborn egg placed on your account when you don't put a photo there? Why would anyone want to get to know an egg? Don't make me come over there!

2.  Use A Twitter Management Tool To Help Prioritize Your Time.

As early as possible in your Twitter career, use one of these tools to help you prioritize the time you have available to spend on Twitter. Create columns separating the followers you want to observe or interact with as this helps you find them quicker. TweetDeck is my favorite desktop/laptop tool for ease of layout, but Hootsuite is also great because it offers more advanced analytics and team-sharing tools for you. I use both, but for very different reasons. Just start with one. You can obsess like me later.

3. Set Up Search Columns Using The Title Of Your Blog Posts.

It's easy to miss kind RTs, or ReTweets, of your blog posts, which means you might miss the opportunity to find out who finds your content valuable enough to share. People don't always include your Twitter name when RTing your posts, so set up a search in the exact name of the title so you can monitor blog post activity for a few days. I do this with every blog post, and reach out whenever possible when I see someone surface in that column who has shared my content.

4. Use Conference Hashtags When Attending or Presenting At Conferences.

A hashtag is simply placing a hash mark, #, known to many as the pound sign, in front of a word, which then causes this word to become a link that anyone can click on to find all words with that same hashtag. It's a way of discovering like-minded people or issues. When you know you will be attending or speaking at a conference, set up a column in TweetDeck the conference hashtag, then begin interacting with attendees ahead of time. Hint: You don't have to attend a conference to observe or interact with those using that same hashtag. Just don't sell your services when it's not appropriate.

5.  Check Out The New Twitter Customized Columns.

Twitter just launched these. There are so many uses, but let's say your firm hosts an HR conference, and the hashtag you've established is #ILNHR13. Let's say you then want to showcase certain comments from a particularly profound speaker.  You can then send specific Tweets to their own customized column that you name whatever you want, and share that feed on your website, blog or Twitter. Again, many uses....

6.  You Have To Earn The Right To Promote.

Don't jump on Twitter and start promoting yourself. I tell my clients they have to earn the right to be promotional. This is no different than walking into a Business After Hours talking about all the wonderful things you do. You might get punched in the chops as this is pretty obnoxious. You first need to spend time getting to know people and promoting them. This then prompts others to want to help you promote your news when it's time.

7.  Use Your Head.

For most of you who have been around for a while, you know how important it is to think before you go off on somebody in a public forum. Remember that you can't take back what you Tweet. In essence, you are what you Tweet. The personality you show when Tweeting is how others will come to know you. Don't attack others. Don't say anything you might want to delete later. Be better than that. Don't jump to conclusions. Also, don't cause client conflicts. Understand your words and location are discoverable. 

8.  Set Up Search Columns, or Lists, Of Your Clients.

Twitter is one gigantic search engine. Find your clients, their staff, alumni or anyone else you've identified in your Business Development Plan, and place them in a List marked Private all of their own so you can check in on their activity. You can then add this List as a column that is easy to check. You can even set alerts if you'd like. Share their content. Talk to them. Comment about something they've said. Ask them a question. Introduce them to others you think are important to them. Tag them if a news item might be of interest.

9.  Use Visuals.

One recent study suggests a 200% increase in engagement when photos are added to your Tweets. Human beings are becoming more visual by the day, and the sites and people that cater to that appetite will catch the eye of others. Post photos of speakers at your seminars, photos of your staff cleaning up a local park, photos of moving-in day for a lateral, photos of a firm event such as the costume contest at Gail Lamarche's firm, Henderson Franklin, photos of me (just kidding), etc. 

10.  Create Separate Twitter Accounts For Teams With Fast-Moving Developments.

Let's say you have a Government Affairs Team. There's a lot going on during every session of the legislature. You can't send out an enewsletter 10 times a day with current developments on HB2014, but you can Tweet developments from the Statehouse that are important to your clients, right? What about an account called @BakerGovUpdate? Then why not also place that feed on the Government Affairs blog, team page on your website, etc.?

11.  Add Value To What You ReTweet.

It's easy to ReTweet others' content. If the original Tweet contains a link, first make sure you read what is beyond the link to make sure you are sharing something you approve of. Then add a few words of summary or a short comment to what you are RTing to make it easier for your followers. Tell them why you are sharing someone else's content. Is it timely? Is it controversial? Is it breaking news? Is it surprising? Tell them this in your RT.

12.  Remember That Twitter Is A Contact Sport.

Twitter will never make sense if you only worry about yourself and what you have to offer. It's not a one-sided sport. It takes at least two to make Twitter work because it's all about building awareness, relationships and community. The best way to build relationships on Twitter is if you follow people, get to know them, spend time on a regular basis nurturing your relationship and looking for ways you can be helpful. Don't overthink this. There's no magic sauce. Just be human and get to know people. Before long, this unfamiliar territory will begin to feel like a community you like being a part of. Just like any new experience or relationship, it takes time. 

Thanks To All Of You! 

Have you enjoyed The 12 Days of Social Media? Please let us know in the comments section below!
These days have been our gift to you for being a part of our Social Media community. We do this not only because we love working together, but we also enjoy bringing this information to you on a regular basis. 
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You may also want to check our 2012 12 Days of Social Media. You can find them right here!

The 12 days of Social Media are a sliver of what you get when you're an LMA Social Media SIG member. We host regular Social Media webinars with experts inside and outside of the legal profession. As a member of the Social Media SIG, these posts and invitations will be sent to you automatically via the Groups ediscussion Forum.

To get full benefits, and advance notice of our events, please join:

Your Social Media SIG Leaders truly hope you enjoy the rest of your holidays!

Missed any of our 2013 12 Days of Social Media? Here they are!

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