Many lawyers (and other business people for that matter) I talk to immediately tell me they don’t use Twitter. Not in the ‘I don’t know how to use it’ kinda way, but in the ‘I won’t use it/it freaks me out’ kinda way. At first blush, I totally get it. They see it as a risk, something that leaves them wide open for criticism, misstepping or exposure. However, I encourage attorneys to rethink this. I understand that the medium makes them uncomfortable. But the reality is that Twitter is here to stay and it isn’t something that anyone should be afraid of when they use it properly. Following a few simple guidelines will help to quell the discomfort and show you that positive, relationship building visibility is at your fingertips. Here are a few thoughts:
- Baby Steps: Share other people’s content to learn how Twitter works. Once you gain a comfort-level with retweeting other people’s content, you can consider sharing your own thoughts.
- Be Social: Social media is all about relationships. (sound familiar??). Don’t just broadcast your own stuff. Give shout outs to people, give out helpful information and share news.
- Put on Your Listening Ears: Find out what is happening with your clients, referral sources, within the industries you serve and other areas of interest. Educate yourself and share what you learn.
- Find People: Actively search out people you want to connect to. This could be your target markets, mentors, colleagues, friends and relatives. It could also include people you want to get to know. Introduce yourself through Twitter and start the connection.
- Work the Tool: It is very important to use the tool routinely. This doesn’t mean being on Twitter 24/7. It means taking time to build your visibility consistently. Reach out to people when you are on Twitter to let them know you are there. Everyone loves to be retweeted, direct messaged or given a positive shout out.
- Be Smart: Think before you act. Don’t retweet things from people who aren’t reputable, who have questionable ethics, post pass-word protected stuff or appear overly aggressive. Read everything you post/retweet so that you know what you are saying. Be positive as much as possible… no one likes a whiner or negative person.
- Have Fun: Everything you post needn’t be all serious. Show personality carefully– humor can be tricky but when it works, it’s great! Use pictures whenever possible to make your posts stand out.
Twitter can become part of anyone’s personal branding effort or marketing initiatives if used wisely. In a nutshell, start out small and build momentum. Be smart and have some fun. My final thought…now that you have read this post, go ahead and tweet about it!