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All he is saying is give tweets a chance
The National Law Journal
A lot of lawyers had to be dragged, kicking and screaming, to LinkedIn.com. Now that they are there, many realize not only that is it an effective tool to connect with old colleagues and new prospects, but also that it is dead easy to use.
"I will never use Twitter, though," one such lawyer convert to LinkedIn told me a couple of weeks ago. "It just doesn't seem to serve any business purpose."
I want to ask you to give Twitter a chance, just for a moment. Set aside your preconceived notions and just take these three simple steps.
Try Twitter as a search engine
The most common reason people give for not wanting to try Twitter is that they have no interest in hearing about what some stranger had for lunch. What they mean is that they have no time for irrelevant information. But Twitter has a search feature that allows you to go straight to what you are looking for. You don't even need a Twitter account! Just go to https://twitter.com/search.
Look familiar? It's just like searching Google, except that now you can search all of the conversations about a specific topic in the entire world in this very moment.
Look for "Affordable Care Act" if you are a health-care lawyer; "payroll tax increase" if you are a corporate lawyer; "death tax" for estate lawyers. You find out what is being said and reported about these issuesand which articles are generating the most buzz.
What are your clients talking about? What is keeping them up at night? Try the Twitter search, and you may find the answer.
Take 15 minutes to create an account
Have you Googled yourself lately? If you have a LinkedIn account, it will show up as the first or second result when you Google your name. Twitter will likely show up third. If you have a decent firm website it will show up first.
The great thing about a Twitter bio is that it doesn't take hours to write, like your LinkedIn bio does; it really only takes a few minutes, because the key to Twitter's success is brevity.
All you need to create a complete Twitter account is six things: a picture to upload; a 160-character bio (about two sentences); a Twitter handle (or @johnhancock) that you want to go by; a link to your law firm bio or website; and what city you live in. With that you are done.
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.