While eminently true, the most frequent, obvious and least useful “tip” on how lawyers can succeed on Twitter is “Post great content,” followed closely by some variation on:
- Choose a focus and become an authority (aka “thought leadership”);
- Transparency is key in building and maintaining a strong reputation (aka “authenticity”); and
- Humility and kindness (aka “Follow The Golden Rule” aka “Be nice”).
It reminds me of the SNL retro training film spoof from 2005 featuring Tom Brady as the model for how to appropriately approach female coworkers for a date:
- Be Handsome…
- Be Attractive…
- and Don’t Be Unattractive.
(At one point the video was available on YouTube, but alas, no more).
Given the vagueness of this type of guidance, it’s not particularly surprising that there’s been so much debate lately about whether lawyers should incorporate Twitter into their marketing mix.
The Shorthand Version of My “The Untold Story of How to Succeed on Twitter: Lawyers Edition” Presentation
Twitter was designed for and works best as a platform for broadcasting short messages to both mass audiences and specialized communities of interest. While it can be adapted for marketing purposes, IT IS NOT NOW NOR EVER WAS PRIMARILY A LEAD GENERATION PLATFORM. For professionals like lawyers, Twitter works best for 1) professional networking and 2) reconnaissance and research.
Put another way, don’t dog Twitter if you’re not getting as many new business inquiries as from your blog or other sources; you’re using it wrong.
If you get some business leads out of your Twitter activity, consider it a bonus.
Step 1: Based on your overall marketing objectives, decide what types of people you want to engage with and — most importantly — what topics you want to follow and conversations you want to participate in. This will inform and shape your following and follower acquisition strategy, as well as your content strategy.
Step 2:Create a complete profile before sending a single tweet. The first thing tweeps check out when considering whether to follow you is your profile. Samantha Collier’s recent post is an excellent primer on writing an effective Twitter bio. Even if it’s lame, include an avatar; you can always change it. No one will take you seriously if you’re operating under the default “egg” graphic.
Step 3:Create an inventory of useful/interesting tweets before you start following anyone. Right after potential followers read your bio, they check out your tweet stream. Even if you don’t have many — or any — followers yet, tweeps that you try to engage with are more likely to give you the benefit of the doubt and follow you back if you demonstrate you’re serious about Twitter.
Step 4: Maintain an average of at least two tweets a day. Several services that rank the “quality” of Twitter accounts use two per day as their benchmark for serious engagement.
Step 5: Approach follower acquisition methodically. Identify one or two “influentials” — individuals with high authority/followship in your target segment — and go through the inventory of who they follow and their “lists” to identify prospects.
Step 6: If you want someone to follow you, first let them know you’re listening to them. Retweet one of their posts with your comments added, then follow them right on the heels of that retweet.
Step 7: Don’t continue to follow people who don’t follow you back. Give them a few days to deliberate after you’ve started following them, then unfollow. Don’t extend the courtesy of following to the ungrateful, the uninterested or the lazy. The few exceptions would be news feeds — which don’t follow anyone back — and some “influentials” who tweet content useful to you.
Step 8: Don’t accept every follow request. Block the obvious spammers, and ignore the off-topic “experts” and vendors. A well-curated list of followers makes you more interesting and valuable to potential followers.
Step 9: As your follower and tweet inventory grows, go back to the “influentials” who didn’t reciprocate your initial follow. They might look at you in a different light.
Step 10: Evaluate and adjust your strategy and tactics quarterly. That’s enough time to see what is/isn’t working. Waiting longer means you’re missing opportunities for improvement.
What practical advice do you have for Twitter success?
No related posts.