Share a dozen tweets, or follow a few dozen interesting people, and suddenly you look like you know what you're doing. And you do. Twitter is that easy.
Try Twitter as a business development tool
Interested in connecting with a potential client, but not sure how to land on their radar? Follow them on Twitter. Take note of the type of articles they share, what sporting teams they talk aboutwhat they are interested in. It will be far easier this way to break the ice when the time comes, because when you finally meet face to face you won't be trapped into talking about yourself; you can show sincere interest in the client and his interests.
To find the client, use the search tool I mentioned above and, once you find that individual's profile, click "Follow."
Following someone on Twitter is not a long-term commitment. They receive an email notification that you are now following them, but likely will never know if you later un-follow them. Twitter is far more fluid in this sense than Facebook or LinkedIn; people get followed and un-followed all the time without hurt feelings.
This isn't to say that your mother wouldn't be offended if you un-followed her, but, generally speaking, the attitude on Twitter is: Follow me if you find my tweets interesting, un-follow me if not, and that is OK.
Twitter has a silly name, but don't let that petty detail get in the way of trying something you might really enjoy. Twitter continues to explode in popularity, not because it is trendy, but because it is useful.
I'm not saying you have to love it, I'm just saying you should try. At least a few bites. Let me know what you think.
This article first appeared in The National Law Journal, a Daily Report affiliate. Adrian Dayton is a lawyer, speaker on social media for the legal profession and author. His book Social Media for Lawyers: Twitter Edition (Ark Group 2012) is in its second edition. See his Web site, adriandayton.com, or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.