As I sat down, took out my laptop, and was preparing for my first day at Get A Life 09 in Chicago last April, I overheard Allison Shields, Gwynne Monahan, and Niki Black chatting:
“Did you hear what Larry Bodine said about Twitter?”
“What did he say?” I asked, inserting myself into the conversation.
Larry had basically come out saying that Twitter was not an effective business development tool for Lawyers.Â While I couldn’t find his original article, you can hear his thoughts in this interview I had with him on the subject last Summer.Â Larry was not alone in his negative view of Twitter as a marketing tool, his thoughts were echoed by many others, including this post by the infamous Scott Greenfield (in this context “infamous” means “more than famous”).Â While I obviously disagreed with Mr. Bodine and Mr. Greenfield at the time- I was able to appreciate that Twitter would never be for all lawyers.
In addition, at the time Twitter seemed to many like no more than the latest amalgamation of Friendster.Â Every month there was a new article predicting the demise of Twitter, yet here we are almost a year later, and it is still plugging along.Â Twitter has not seen the same geometric growth pattern of Facebook, yet the significant presence on Twitter of journalists, business executives, and now attorneys can’t be ignored.
There has been a growing body of lawyer success stories from Twitter as well, and that has played a large role in winning attorneys over.Â In reality though, these are likely to be just the tip of the iceberg.Â If any large clients have been landed using social media tools- lawyers are most likely keeping those techniques, and clients, to themselves.Â Twitter is not the silver bullet for law firms to bring in more business, but as these stories demonstrate, it can play an important role in helping lawyers identify, qualify and engage new clients.Â Twitter has proven itself to be a valuable tool for law firms to add to their marketing mix.
I’m not sure which of these factors finally convinced Mr. Bodine that Twitter works for lawyers, but he was gracious enough to write yesterday about his new thoughts on Twitter:Â “Lawyer Gets New Business Using Twitter.” I predict that in the next few months big law will follow Larry’s lead.Â This is only the beginning.
So what is next for Twitter?Â Will it eventually merge into another platform?Â Will it ever have the same broad appeal as Facebook?Â Nobody can predict the future , but right now Twitter is making a measurable difference for many attorneys.Â Â Right now it is helping lawyers brand themselves, spread content, find new business, and stay at the top of the mind of clients and prospects.Â If your firm hasn’t taken notice of Twitter yet, now may be a good time to start.
Adrian Dayton is an attorney licensed to practice in New York and the author of the book Social Media for Lawyers: Twitter Edition. Thanks to Larry for his positive write-up of the recent conference call “Think Twitter’s for Kids?Â Think Again.” You can read his summary of it here “Lawyer Gets New Business Using Twitter.” The podcast of the call was also the featured podcast by Lawyers USA.Â You can join us for the next free conference call by CLICKING HERE.