Twitter – what is it good for? (More to the point: what’s it good for … for lawyers and legal professionals?)
Like a bad rash that won’t go away, the Twitter value debate continues – given new life this week in the legal space after a post by Larry Bodine titled Twitter Not Effective for Law Firm Marketing.
I’m not going to rehash the many responses to the original post here. If you follow me at all, you know my position. You know that I am online and talking to lawyers and law firms every day – on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, by email, even – gasp – sometimes by telephone. I’ll use whatever communication tool is available to me, even smoke signals (if only I knew, re: the latter, how to say something other than "Fire!").
What I do want to say is this:
For a while now JD Supra has delivered one value to lawyers and legal professionals that involves Twitter, and you might not have considered it. But you should, because you stand to benefit from it.
Twitter as News Channel: An Audience for your Expertise
Last year, we saw that Twitter is not only a terrific conversational tool (and boy is it ever that) – it also serves as a robust and engaging news channel.
We’re not alone in that thought – which is why traditional outlets such as the New York Times, NPR, the BBC, and many, many others started streaming links to their stories via Twitter. And why new news outlets used the platform to either expand their reach (Global Voices) or define their model (BreakingNews).
We began streaming legal information posted to JD Supra via subject-specific Twitter news feeds: Employment Law, Securities Law, Real Estate, Taxes, Bankruptcy, Intellectual Property, Energy & Environmental Law, Law Practice, and numerous others.
For every subject or practice field represented on JD Supra, we created a Twitter news service, aggregating all of the work and feeding it out to a willing audience. (In fact, each feed is now included in its respective Law Center on the site.) And the willing audience found it.
We noticed, from the start, that a considerable number of professionals in any given field (the very audiences many lawyers and law firms hope to reach) started following those feeds.
For example, readers of our Real Estate Law News Twitter feed (currently surpassing 2,600 people) are mostly professionals within real estate: agents, landlords, real estate investors, property managers, media services, and the like.
Our Labor and Employment Law Twitter news feed is read in no small part by human resources professionals, recruiters, and others within that field (including HR associations and, again, media outlets).
Environment and Energy Law feed? Read by numerous professionals in the green-tech, sustainability, and environment and energy space. All of the feeds are also read by fellow lawyers; a frequent source of referrals in this profession (I don’t need to tell you that).
How do we measure the value? Just look at the numbers. Some of the older and more active news channels number followers in the thousands. Every day we witness the audience and exposure grow as readers "retweet" the links to their own followers – and in this way even a feed with just a few hundred followers can become an audience of thousands.
And we watch the engagement (the retweeting) daily.
What does this mean to you?
As to the conversational aspects of Twitter, that’s for you to decide. Don’t let anyone else tell you what to think about it – jump in and evaluate for yourself. You’ll find plenty of us in Twitter ready to connect whenever you are…
– Twitter Not Effective For Law Firm Marketing – Not So Fast! (Nancy Myrland)