Twitter for Lawyers: The Source of Your Next Legal Article

[File under: quick tip – using Twitter in your professional outreach and marketing efforts.]

Among its other benefits, Twitter can be a terrific editorial resource for lawyers who understand the value of sharing useful content (aka: "writing") as a way to showcase expertise and market professional services. Here’s one way:

Listen to the crowd: let the Twitter conversation help guide your next piece of writing.

We all know that Twitter is a terrific tool for connecting with people across vast distances, conversing in real time, networking with peers and colleagues, expanding your circle of influence, making yourself available, finding new friends, engaging with clients, letting the world know what kind of sandwich you just ate, etc.

One additional value is that all of the conversations Twitter facilitates are available to us with mere clicks of the mouse.

In other words, Twitter gives us a rich stream of data (call it " What lots of people are thinking about, right now") that is available for us to mine, for free, whenever and however we like. An editor’s dream.

Here are three tweets I found this morning after searching for instances of "H1N1" and "workplace" in the Twitter conversation:

Should an employer notify employees about potential H1N1 exposure? What can an employer ask a sick employee to reveal? What are best-practice guidelines for H1N1-related workplace policies?

All worthwhile topics to write about, with broad interest. In just three tweets, real concerns expressed by real people that a labor lawyer can use as editorial fodder, the basis for a new client alert, an article, a blog post, what you will.

The phrase "Think like an editor" comes up again and again in discussions about the online marketing landscape – it’s exactly the way to think when undertaking to showcase your expertise by producing a regular supply of legal content. (Hat tip to consultant Jordan Furlong, whose early use of the phrase was one of the first I read.) 

Content marketing requires thinking like an editor, which requires putting yourself in your audience’s shoes. What are their interests? their needs? their concerns? They don’t care about you; what do they care about?

The answer? I don’t know, but if you search the Twitter stream you’re bound to get a new angle on it.

Don’t just think like an editor, also think like a publisher:

Once you have written your new article, post, alert, newsletter, etc. make sure it finds an audience. Follow up with the people who asked the question in the first place; show them you have crafted a thought-piece as response. Tweet about it; I suspect some of your early retweets will come from the people who inspired the article in the first place. And put your work on JD Supra where we think like a publisher on your behalf: it will hit the Twitter stream in our subject-relevant news feeds.


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Are you showcasing your legal expertise on the JD Supra network? Post your legal content today: upload articles, alerts, blog posts, newsletters, filings, and other documents on JD Supra.