The Light and Dark Side of Twitter

Here are the things I love about Twitter, that I don’t seem to find anywhere else.

1. Twitter is incredibly dynamic. If I post a good blog post with a great title, I will get 200-300 unique visitors within an hour or two. There is nothing that matches the speed at which people react to good information posted on Twitter.

2. Twitter is searchable. This seems so obvious, but none of the the other social media platforms are matching the power of Twitter to search any conversation going on anywhere in the world.

3. Twitter is where connected PR people live. Journalists, anchors, and all sorts of big time press. Since your comments are searchable, this increases the chances that your ideas will be picked up by major news outlets if you are on Twitter. You may be able to talk to more lawyers on Legal On Ramp, but if you want free press, and thought leadership, Twitter is great place to be sharing ideas.

The dark side of Twitter:

1. The name itself, and the names of all the various tweets, retweet, tweet-ups, and etc. Here I am trying to help professionals take Twitter seriously, and I am met with giggles by the sound of the network’s name.

2. The learning curve is brutal. Most people don’t make it past their first few hours on Twitter, frankly most people don’t have the time to learn it. Twitter is very simple and easy to use, but it is not at first glance intuitive HOW you use it. I am hoping Twitter will figure out a way to make the experience of getting started better.

3. Twitter has not gained widespread acceptance in law firms or in many professional circles. Fortunately, information that first breaks on Twitter soon migrates to Connected, LinkedIn, Facebook, and the blagosphere where a much larger population of lawyers reside.

The bad aside, the breaking news comes through Twitter. As much as other platforms try to mimic Twitter, none have been able to spread information as quickly and effectively as Twitter. Twitter has stumbled upon something that will permanently change the way we communicate. It will be interesting to see where things will go in the next few years.

(This is my comment added to a Marindale Hubble Connected discussion regarding which social network is best for lawyers. It can be found HERE.)

Comments

4 Responses to “The Light and Dark Side of Twitter”

  1. Like you, I think Twitter has many great positives, some of which you touched on and I love the service. I have learned a tremendous amount and connected with some great people (like you).

    However, the biggest problem with Twitter for most lawyers it is a poor tool in obtaining new clients directly through the service.
    I am limiting my argument to that specific point.

    As lawyers, we are limited in obtaining clients to the state where are admitted. In my case, that is New York, more specifically nyc and long island. Recently I culled through my 2000 plus followers and created a list of people who live in my geographic target. Only 175 live in my targeted area.I have spent hours looking for business and individuals who could be potential clients and there aren’t many out there using the service.

    Of 175, only a handful have the potential of being a client.Most I follow for other reasons, such as @jeffpulver and @skydiver.

    There is a report out today that the biggest reason people follow brands on Twitter is because they can receive discounts. What works for Dell Outlet does not work for laywers. We are not in the business of offering discounts.

    We all know the phrase “build it and they will come.” Twitter is still in the building stages. Hopefully in time they will come.

    • I really should have mentioned that point in my post. For practices that are geographically bound (which admittedly is a high percentage)- Twitter is still in its infancy, but the potential for the future (as Twitter grows and links up with other networks) is bright. Thanks for the comment.

  2. Social media, and specifically Twitter, are bigger than trolling for specific clients in a particular geo area. If you’re adding value to the Twittersphere, you’re going to get the attention of the media and other influencers who can bring you to the attention of a larger pool of potential local clients than you can do yourself. The beauty of being an early adopter is that you can get a direct line to these influencers before they are inundated by all the usual noise of a lot of people clamoring for their attention.

    As far as the names of social media services go, I think the silly names are a great reminder that the old rules of engagement are dead. Lawyers (yes, I am one) often take themselves far too seriously and that is not a “plus” in the new order. The fact that I’m “tweeting” is a great reminder that footnotes are not available.

    Yes there is a learning curve, but social media is here to stay, so it’s worth the investment of time to get involved. And more and more sherpas are emerging to guide lawyers through the new social media maze, with Adrian being one of the early movers. Lawyers can snicker and scoff at social media, but it’s at their peril.

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