Communication breakdown: The two things you can do on twitter

Everybody's telling you to 'engage' on social media, I'm sure. And, that's good advice. Marketing a small business, like a law practice, is different now than it used to be. It's no longer just about publication anymore; it's more about engaging over your published matter, and others'. But, then, I haven't told you what I think engagement means, either. At least, not yet . . .

At least on Twitter, I think that 'engagement' falls into one of two, admittedly broad, categories: Aggregation and Collaboration. When you're churning out microblog posts through Twitter, you're generally corralling your own or others' content (tags and linked blog posts, useful articles, events of interest, etc.; even statements, thought leadership-style posts and tips can be classified under this head) or you're directly or indirectly engaging another user/other users via conversations (through replies or mentions). @ Replies and @ Mentions are the engines of conversations on Twitter; and, RTs (retweets) are generally the mode by which others' content may be repurposed = forwarded. But, those are simple tools to learn; the theory is the more important takeaway.

Many lawyers and law firms are reticent to use Twitter, because they think it takes up too much time and/or because they have no idea what to post. Thinking in terms of this double-barreled approach makes it easier to formulate a plan (you can generally identify the two sorts of posts you're going to be making, and can line up those types easily enough = your own content pipelines, candidates for retweet and direct post) and to save time (if you can conceive of lining up your posts, you can use scheduling tools (like those available through HootSuite) to release them; and, you can block periods throughout the day, or even once a day, when you engage directly or indirectly within the construct of Twitter conversations). Furthermore, when you recognize the value inherent in content aggregation, where you are also viewed as the expert because you're passing along a running collection of vetted tips in certain categories, the idea of 'content production' becomes less daunting, because it's no longer all on you. Twitter, then, becomes the perfect venue for promoting your expertise (and so marketing yourself effectively), whether through the reproduction of your own content or through the warehousing/cataloguing of others'. And, ideally, you'll use both methods in combination.

For more Twitter tips, you can now purchase my new American Bar Association book, 'Twitter in One Hour for Lawyers,' at a 15 percent discount.

Tip courtesy of Jared Correia, Law Office Management Assistance Program.

Published October 4, 2012


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