Top Reasons Lawyers Should Be Using Twitter

When Twitter took flight in 2006, legal professionals were skeptical of its law firm marketing power. What kind of promotion can come from a 140-character tweet? As it turns out, a lot. Twitter has become one of social media’s most powerful tools. This mighty bird can help law firms mass communicate with millions of potential clients on a daily, sometimes hourly, basis.

As an attorney, if you’re not on Twitter yet, you should be. Here are the top 5 reasons why you should be using Twitter, and some advice on proper Tweeting etiquette.

Stay On The Radar.

In this social media world, Twitter allows law firms to be found and promoted within the Twitterverse. Let’s say someone is looking for a medical malpractice lawyer in San Diego. If you have a Twitter account, and have your content geared toward your San Diego personal injury law firm, you’re very likely to be found. In this way, Twitter acts like an online yellow pages. Further, Twitter makes it easier for previous and present clients to promote you with their tweets, and send links directly to you.

Put a Face to Your Firm.

Law firms can use Twitter to post links to their website, blogs, press releases, news stories, etc., to personalize themselves and their firm. You can also post photos of your firm, your staff, trial photos (that are permissible), and other images that are important to you and represent who you are—work at nonprofit organizations, volunteer events, etc. In this way, Twitter allows potential clients to get to know a little bit about you before they contact you.

Build Credibility.

As an attorney, you can build credibility on Twitter by posting helpful and useful content in your tweets; i.e. links to legal articles, legal FAQ’s and latest tips and trends related to your practice area(s), retweets to latest legal news stories along with applicable legal advice, etc. Build yourself and your law firm as resourceful and knowledgeable.

Even if readers don’t have a legal need, give them a reason to return to your Twitter page and keep up with you. This will increase your online visibility, and likely increase your site traffic, as well.

Build Your Network.

Twitter is a great way to broaden your network of legal professionals and leaders in not just your practice area, but the whole legal arena. As a lawyer marketing tool, Twitter can search your competing law firms and lend details on their Twitter followers, business development, and other social media strategies.

Stay On Top of Legal News.

Twitter is a great way to stay abreast of the latest legal news. By using Twitter hashtags, such as #medmalverdicts, you can receive targeted information that’s important to your law firm and your clients. By using Twitter lists, you can follow groups who are talking about legal news and trends you’re searching for.

Finally, there is a difference between tweeting and spamming. Post meaningful and interesting content that users are going to want to follow. Twitter is a social network, so don’t overwhelm your readers with continuous dry self-promotion or other spammy tactics. You’ll quickly find yourself alone in Twitterdome.

Twitter Offers Data-Backed Tips On How To Engage With Millennials

This report covers the usage habits of “millennial.” This demographic describes the generation that reached adulthood around the year 2000 and are now in their late twenties to early thirties. This information may or may not interest your practice. However, whether you intend to cater to this age bracket or not, their habits usually spread to other age groups and so they are a useful group to watch.

Report: Social Sharing On Mobile Devices Surges 30% In Second Quarter

The Twitter report above includes information on mobile access. This factor is reinforced by the data in this report on social media habits. According to this Share This report, 71 per cent of Tweets are sent from smartphones and tablets. As law firms need to shift their attorney marketing efforts towards local searches on mobile devices, this shows Twitter would fit well into any mobile marketing strategy.

Just Like Facebook, Twitter’s New Impression Stats Suggest Few Followers See What’s Tweeted

This article raises an issue that reduces Twitters effectiveness as a communication medium, compared to Facebook. That is that Tweets age out rapidly and only really reach those followers who are actually online when you post a particular tweet. Knowledge is power however, and if you take this factor onboard, you will be able to get ahead of the competition when broadcasting you law firm’s opinions on topics of the moment. Finding ways to retweet on the same topic without duplicating your posts would extend the visibility of a particular opinion. Getting others to retweet your ideas is also a recommended strategy.

Influential Twitter Accounts Indexed More in Google [Research]

This Search Engine Watch article discusses the factors behind Google’s indexing of tweets. Although the idea that tweeting gets you better rankings on Google is an attractive one, this article explains that there is little positive effect for anyone but the most influential of tweeters. Plan your law firms twitter strategy according to the benefits of Twitter rather than trying to manipulate the system to get Google’s attention.

Social Media Marketing Gone Wrong

If you are new at tweeting as a marketing strategy, you will find this article very useful. Although tweets should appear spontaneous and conversational, you would do well to plan out your tweets to follow a specific theme. Make sure you avoid the pitfalls outlined in this article so that your efforts don’t actually damage your law firm’s reputation.

Legal Marketing Tip: How To Build The Perfect Twitter Profile

Twitter has become one of the fastest growing and most effective marketing tools on social media. However, to be on Twitter is one thing, but to host a 5-star Twitter profile is what separates top tweeters from average birds, if you will.
Here is how to build a Twitter profile that will get your tweets spread to the masses.

1. A Good Handle

The best case scenario is that you can snag a Twitter name that’s the same as your law firm’s. This should be easy if you have an abstract name, but in the case of Smith Injury Law, this name will probably be taken, as well as combinations of it.

If your firm name is already taken, try to think of a handle that clients might be searching for; e.g. @SanDiegoInjuryCompensation, or @SanDiegoSlipInjury, etc.

2. A Good Profile Photo

A good, clear profile picture is essential to building your brand, and building trust with your Twitter audience. A stock photo, a blurred photo, or outdated photo tells your fellow Tweeters that you aren’t interested in building a good profile, because A) you don’t have enough time or B) you’re just not that into it—both reasons won’t attract or retain followers.

Tip: A firm logo is great to use on your profile, but use it as a backdrop, not as your actual profile photo. Also, use vibrant colors in your photo that will stand out in when it’s condensed to a thumbnail.

3. SEO and Tweeter-Friendly Bio

“Agressive Legal Tiger.” “Destroyer of Grave Injustice.” “Unrelenting Protector of Human Rights.” These titles are dramatic and do stand out, but not always in the best ways.

Use keywords in your Twitter bio that will get you found via SEO, but keep you sounding human, and not like a legal sales machine. A good, genuine bio of who you are and what your firm can do for your readers will build trust, and generate a healthy following.

Tip: Make sure to include your location on your profile. This is important to attract local clients.

4. Tweet a Mixture of Content

Make sure to include different forms of content in your tweets beside just 140-character texts. Upload links to your website, blog, and other social media pages, post photos, videos, retweet others’ posts and links (with due credit), etc. Hosting an entertaining and valuable multi-media Twitter account is the best way to attract new followers, and give current readers a reason to return.

5. Check Your Follower to Following Ratio

This really does make a difference to your Twitter reputation. If you follow way more people than you’re followed, you may come off looking like a spammer. However, if a lot of people follow you, but you’re not reciprocating, you can appear disconnected from your audience. Try to keep your follower to following ratio as close as possible.

What Lawyers Need To Know About Twitter’s New Profile Layout

Twitter profiles are about to turn over a new leaf, or feather, if you will.

Although the new layout is available now to a small group of users; e.g. celebrities and First Lady Michelle Obama, at some point in the next few weeks your current profile page will be replaced with the new design. Note: If you’re new to Twitter, you’ll automatically start with the new design when you sign-up.

Preliminary reviews have noted that Twitter’s new profile layout looks more like Facebook in appearance, but still retains the central tweet feed. Tweets that have the most engagement will now appear larger in the feed —making quality content that much more important.

Before the new design hits your account, here are the different features to know about to keep your law firm at the top of the tweeting chain.

Customizing How Tweets Appear

You can now customize the way your tweets appear when someone visits your page, and you can customize the tweets you want to see when you visit someone’s page.

These customization features break down into 3 categories.

1. Best Tweets

As mentioned, tweets that have the most engagement will now appear larger, so your most popular content—content that’s the most retweeted, favorited, or replied to—is easy for others to find.

2. Pinned Tweets

You can promote a favorite tweet by pinning it to the top of your profile page. This way, everyone who visits your page will see that tweet first.

3. Filtered Tweets

You can select the types of tweets you want to see when visiting another’s page, from such options as Tweets, Tweets with photos/videos, or Tweets and replies.

Additional Profile Changes

There are additional layout changes other than tweet customization that will affect how your profile page will appear.

Profile Header Photo

The header photo is no longer located behind your profile picture—it’s now located at the top of the page, and stretches the length of the screen (much like Facebook’s cover photo).

Profile Picture

Your profile picture will also be larger, and is no longer located in the middle of the page—it’s now positioned toward the top left, and overlaps the bottom left corner of the header.

Layout Changes

These layout changes are important to keep in mind when updating your profile, so you’ll know where things are now located on the page.

  • Your name, Twitter @handle, bio, and images are now located on the left-hand side of the page, below your profile picture.
  • The Trends and Who to Follow tabs are located on the right side of your tweet feed.
  • Tweets, followers, and following tabs are located on the right side of your profile picture, below your header image.

How To Use SEO To Boost Your Twitter Account

As with all web content, to maximize your Twitter visibility, your content needs to capture the attention of both readers and search engines.

Aligning your Twitter content with lawyer SEO will get you indexed and found on Twitter, but here’s the bonus—Twitter has a high Google search rank; so if you incorporate searchable keywords and keyword phrases into your tweets and hashtags, your content will be indexed on Google, too. This can act to kill two birds with one stone for optimum online visibility (no offense, Twitter).

Here are 4 easy ways to use SEO to boost your Twitter account.

Use Keywords For Tweets and Hashtags.

Don’t think in terms of content only, but rather the keywords people are searching for. If someone is looking for information on DUI defense in Miami, search phrases may include “defense for Miami DUI hit and run,” or hashtag #Miamiduidefense, etc. Use these keywords/phrases in your tweets and hashtags.

Hashtags are great to mark keywords and topics because they generate a lot of traffic; just 3 hashtags per tweet can give mass exposure that a personal tweet might not. However, don’t go over 3 hashtags per tweet—this becomes unreadable and can be considered spam.

Cross-Check Your Linking SEO Keywords.

Look at your content, and check that the keywords in your tweets compliment the keywords in the pages you’re linking to. For instance, if you wrote a blog titled Defense Strategies for Miami DUI Charges, include the phrase “Miami DUI defense strategies” in the body of your tweet, and an applicable hashtag or two.

Tweet at the Right Time.

With millions of tweets circulating daily, make sure that most of your tweets incorporate popular topics that are trending and generating buzz. You can use analytics tools such as Twitstant to help you find legal topics that has Tweeters reacting and responding; you can then post helpful advice on these threads and links to follow. This will boost traffic back to you.

Be Responsive and engaging.

Twitter is not a numbers game and works most effectively as a marketing and communications tool when your followers retweet and respond to your posts. Thank those who promote your tweets and ask questions to your followers. Focus on what your audience wants to read and how they can benefit from your service. For example, you can ask a question and answer with a link: “Immigrating to Canada? Big legal terms got you down? Refer to our glossary of legal terms for assistance!

Promote and Mention Others.

Strike a balance between promoting yourself and highlighting information from other sources. Look to related professional organisations— for instance, DUI immigration law is also closely related to Canadian tourism—and retweet or recommend interesting information that your own followers may find useful. Steadily doing so will help you to nourish a strong audience for your tweets and attract more people to follow you back.

SEO Your Profile.

Use keywords in your profile that will help you to be found by those looking for your legal services; Miami DUI defense lawyer, etc. And again, cross-check to see that the keywords used in your profile compliment your website’s keywords, and that of your blog.

Want more information on law firm SEO, Twitter, or both? Contact us, and let us help optimize your legal marketing.

Using Hashtags for Your Legal Digital Marketing Campaign

You may have heard about hashtags and even seen them in television ads and all over the Internet. But what exactly do hashtags mean and how can you use them in your legal marketing campaign? Here’s a look at some questions you may have about utilizing hashtags for your firm.

What is a Hashtag?

A hashtag starts with the # sign and is followed by a word or phrase. For example, #guiltyplea or #lawsuit may be common hashtags for a law firm. These hashtags can group together various social media posts about the topic. So if you tweet #guiltyplea following a popular criminal trial in the news, you will create a feed of similar posts using the same hashtag.

Why Use Hashtags?

The use of hashtags can put you in a much larger discussion than simply tweeting or posting alone. Those interested in the topic and participating in the discussion can see what your thoughts are. This can be a networking tool and advertising opportunity as you can establish yourself as an authority on a particular subject.

How Can You Create a Hashtag?

It’s simple to create a hashtag. You basically choose any word or phrase preceded by a # symbol. However, you will want to give some thought and create a hashtag that others will use and look for. Or you could simply browse around and select an existing hashtag.

What Shouldn’t You Do With Hashtags?

Don’t get carried away with hashtags. You should stay away from two or more hashtags in a post or tweet. It can look like spam or just be overwhelming to the reader. You also will not want overly long hashtags. Ideally, your hashtag should be short, simple, and easy for users to recognize and remember.

Why Research is Important?

Now that you understand the basics of a hashtag, you should take a step back and research your potential tags before incorporating them. For example, you may be surprised that a clever hashtag that you choose is actually associated with another unrelated and negative topic. So it’s a good idea to spend five minutes looking into your hashtag to ensure that it represents what you want it to represent.

Twitter Fights Back

Twitter had a difficult 2014 – newer social media platform outstripped it in terms of membership and page impressions and the company’s share price tanked. Inevitably, the stream of bad news about the company caused SEO experts to reassess the importance of Twitter as a marketing tool. The company was in danger of sinking into obscurity. The threat of oblivion seems to have focused minds and this week, a number of developments have come to fruition. These developments may put Twitter back in the race and so it is worth looking at ways you can use the platform to win and retain clients for your law firm. This review includes articles from Search Engine Journal,Search Engine Land and Search Engine Watch.

Official: Twitter To Give Google Access To “Firehose” Of Tweets

All the SEO news sites covered this story this week. Search Engine Land actually brought out two items on this development and this is the second. Tweets will become more accessible to Google’s discovery and indexing programs and will appear in search results much faster. This factor could be a game changer for Twitter because it makes it a quick route to improving organic search rankings. This means that any tweets you post for your law firm will be visible to the general public even though they are not following you on Twitter.

Tweets to Appear in Google Searches

The Search Engine Watch version of the Twitter/Google tie up story also gives some information on the Syndicated Promoted Tweets program at Twitter, of which, the Google deal seems to be a part. This program enables tweets to appear on other platforms. The early adopters mentioned in this report – Yahoo Japan and a social media aggregator, called Flipboard – aren’t really the ideal outlets for law firm digital marketing. However, if this is the start of a much wider distribution network for tweets, then Twitter could return to being a key marketing tool for US lawyers.

Twitter Launches Quick Promote, A Faster Way To Promote Tweets

Another facility to promote your law firm became available on Twitter this week. The Quick Promote scheme helps you select the most important announcements you tweet and make them visible to users similar to those following you, not just your followers. The Quick Promote utility is accessed through the Twitter Analytics dashboard.

Twitter Sucks At Dealing With Abuse And Trolls, Says CEO Dick Costolo

Although Twitter has been reassessing its services to try to win back its position in social media, it is not quite there yet. This Search Engine Journal article discusses a leaked memo from Twitter’s CEO. It seems the company recognizes the risks of negative comments to its business users and intends to address the issue. As reputation is of key importance in the legal sector, the damage caused by trolls could seriously hamper your digital marketing efforts.

Search, Social, and Content Convergence: Developing Hybrid Marketing Skills

If you are comfortable with a blogging strategy for your law firm’s digital marketing plan and unsure how social media marketing can complement it, this article would be a useful read. There is not much practical advice in this piece, but it gives an overview of how different strands of digital marketing can work together to boost your marketing return on investment. If this strategy interests you, follow up by reading through the related articles listed in a feature box on the page.

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