What You Think About Twitter Doesn’t Matter

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Blue Bird Shouting at LawyersIn 3500BC when the Mesopotamians first started using the wheel to move heavy objects there was probably some resistance to making it a commonplace tool.

And when Henry Ford was motoring around Dearborn, Michigan in his car people probably thought it would never catch on.

The same is probably true of the television, and it was definitely true of the Internet.

Marketing for lawyers is no different.  Something new comes along and people are naturally resistant. People are resistant to things they don’t understand.

That’s the reason why I smile when I hear people say that Twitter is useless.
Here is a newsflash:
Twitter is here to stay.

You may not be using Twitter, you may not see a need for it, but many attorneys are using it as a marketing tool and it works.

What is Twitter?

Twitter is a service that allows you to communicate directly with a group of people who have an interest in your thoughts and ideas.  This communication is in sound bites – specifically 140 character sentences – like text messaging.
People must “subscribe” to your Twitter updates (called “tweets”) in order to receive them.  Subscribing is called “following” in Twitter language.  If you are following someone and they are following you, you can have a conversation via Twitter.  If you want other people to “overhear” your conversation, you can direct your comment to one person specifically and let everyone see it.  This is like being in a public chat room. Twitter also allows you to send private messages to another user who is following you.

Why is Twitter powerful?

Twitter is a powerful tool because it allows you to have an ongoing conversation with a specific group of people.  Conversations are how relationships begin.  This is the essence of good marketing.

Here is an example:
If you are a plaintiff attorney in a personal injury practice and you receive most of your matters through attorney referrals, you can easily identify other attorneys on Twitter and communicate with them regularly.
This communication will eventually lead to the development of a relationship and possibly some referred clients.  If you want to develop the relationship quickly, you can send your Twitter friends links to articles you have published.  You can point them to case records that are relevant to something that they are working on and you can update them on relevant news in a related filed.  All of this can be done from your personal computer or from your mobile phone.  It takes a few seconds.

Isn’t Twitter a Waste of Time?

I have heard this question from many people.  They usually say it as a statement and not as a question that they expect to be answered.

This comment comes mostly from people who do not understand how to use this tool.

You will consider Twitter a waste of time if:

  • You think going to a charity dinner to meet influential people from your local area is a waste of time.
  • If you think sending out a thank you letter to a prospective corporate client is a waste of time.
  • If you think running writing a magazine or newspaper article is a waste of time.
  • If you think being on a television show is a waste of time.
  • Twitter is just as powerful and in many cases more powerful than all of these “traditional” aspects of attorney marketing.

In the end, it doesn’t matter what you think about Twitter.  It is a technological application that allows you to build relationships.  And relationships lead to more business for your law firm.  If you are not using it, someone else is probably attracting clients that could be coming to your firm.