Posted On: March 26, 2012 by Susan L. Sipe

5 DOs and DON'Ts for Attorneys Using Twitter

A day in the life of a lawyer is never finished; there is always something that needs to be done. Who has time for social media?supreme_court_7104014.jpg

It’s true that social media is time consuming, but it’s more about remembering to stay active on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and Avvo, just to name a few, and implementing these platforms into your daily routine when you’re already online anyway checking email. It pays to spend time on social media, especially for lawyers, since most social media platforms don’t cost you anything and are easy to use – think of it as an opportunity for free advertising! And, with most social media sites having mobile accessibility, using these platforms is all the more convenient for your on-the-go schedule.

While it’s quite common for an attorney to brush off social media, underestimating its power may leave you at the end of a competitive race. To emphasize this point, let’s take a closer look at Twitter.

Most of the time, lawyers don’t know what they should tweet about on Twitter or they are afraid how Twitter will affect their reputation. It’s not about being shy more than it’s about liability. Of course, you’re not going to tweet about confidential information, but even if you are simply expressing your opinion, social media is publicly available and you don’t want to offend anyone. A good rule of thumb is that if you wouldn’t say something to a current or potential client in a meeting, don’t tweet it!

So, how can you be interesting yet responsible on Twitter?

A recent HubSpot blog shares that from a survey of 1,443 Twitter users who rated 43,738 tweets during a 19-day period, only 36% of tweets were considered to be worth reading, 39% were thought to be mediocre at best, and 25% of tweets were not worth reading at all. With this in mind, here is our Twitter attorney DOs and DON’Ts list.

What You Shouldn’t Do

  1. Share Private/Confidential Information

  2. Tweet inside jokes

  3. Talk only about yourself

  4. Document your every move throughout the day

  5. Complain constantly

What You Should Do

  1. Respond to tweets directed at you, even if controversial/negative

  2. Ask your followers questions

  3. Retweet or tweet at others to start conversation

  4. Share links to content of interest

  5. Promote events, community involvement, offers

What Types of Results Should You Expect?
Twitter, and most social media, is all about keeping a balance. There is definitely a way to overuse Twitter if what you’re tweeting isn’t interesting or of importance to your audience and your followers. Twitter is a platform where you can build relationships, such as finding another law firm or attorney that will participate in guest blogging. It’s possible that Twitter can get you clients, but it can’t be used with that as a goal – followers will see right through you!

Gaining followers on Twitter takes time – be patient, be considerate, be intentional, and have fun!

If you’d like to learn more about how to leverage the power of Twitter for your law firm, the legal Internet marketing team at SLS Consulting can help. For over a decade, we’ve assisted attorneys and law firms throughout the country obtain successful search engine results through content development, search engine optimization (SEO), custom website design, and social media marketing. Call (323) 254-1510 today for a free growth assessment.