Many lawyers are nervous about getting on social media outlets and who can blame them — it can be an ethical landmine. But, it can also be a huge opportunity since only 3% of lawyers are actually on and using Twitter. Breaking in now and becoming an early adopter of what is sure to become the norm seems like a good idea.
There are many benefits for lawyers to use Twitter including: using as an RSS feed for news, conducting admissable research, networking, staying abreast on clients, and referrals. In addition, all tweets are in the Library of Congress and admissable in litigation.
Bottom line: The conversation is going to happen on Twitter whether you are there or not, so here are 5 best Twitter practices for lawyers:
- Filling out your Bio – have a photo (no one wants to follow an egg) and a disclaimer that the opinions expressed on Twitter are your own and that you are not dispensing legal advice.
- Tweeting– don’t ever dispense legal advice, don’t claim to be an expert (some states frown upon this) and try to keep it to 120 characters or less by using url shorteners such as bit.ly or ow.ly – that way you can be easily retweeted.
- Gaining Followers – gain more followers by adding yourself to Twitter legal directories such as: LexTweet or Justia Legal Birds
- Utilize Lists – use lists but make them private to categorize the people that you follow. But don’t label your list “Clients” for example – because nothing is really private in social media.
- Listen – follow the conversation on Twitter by either using Twitter Advanced Search or sites like Kurrently.com or Kosmix.com that allow you to follow topics or people real time.
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