A Twitter user guide for lawyers
For lawyers who aren't too familiar with Twitter, an initial foray into the space may seem daunting due to some of the seemingly indecipherable conventions the platform utilises, such as the 140 character limit, the use of hashtags, and of course the terminology. Although the glossary and conventions of Twitter may seem impenetrable to some, it still should not be overlooked as a marketing tool because Twitter allows lawyers to communicate their message to a wide audience.
As a public service, we here at FindLaw Australia will educate the unfamiliar with some of the more common Twitter conventions and terms that the platform uses.
The @reply:whether your firm is replying to a tweet or wishing to make mention of another account, the 'at (@)' symbol is essential to ensure your tweet reaches the right account, and vice versa. For example, if your firm is called 'Smith Lawyers' and your Twitter username is 'smithlawyers', then any @reply or mention will look like this: '@smithlawyers'.
Any tweets to @smithlawyers will appear on the mentions tab (look for the '@' symbol) which is located above your timeline.
# (hashtag):the hashtag (#) is perhaps the symbol that is most synonymous with Twitter. Whether you're watching a show on TV or looking at a print ad, hashtags seem to be ubiquitous. The humble hashtag is a very important component of Twitter because it allows users to find tweets related to an area of interest, and for lawyers who have tweeted something legal related, the #auslaw hashtag can be very useful in helping your tweets be discoverable for those who are interested in Australian law.
Retweets (RT):Twitter can be a repository for useful information, and it's only natural that you would want to share any tweets with your followers that may be of interest to them. Therefore, Twitter allows you to re-post tweets from other accounts and you can either affix 'RT' at the beginning of a tweet, followed by the name and username of the author, or alternatively a retweet can be done via the retweet icon.
Modified Tweet (MT):modified tweets are similar to retweets, but the use of the abbreviation of 'MT' at the beginning of a tweet signifies that the tweet has been modified by the user either for brevity, or the author has chosen to put their own personal spin on the tweet.
Direct Message (DM):by clicking on the envelope icon, you are able to send privatemessages to accounts that are following yours, and alternatively, you're able to receive direct messages from accounts that your firm follows. This would be a good place to reiterate that although the direct message option allows you to conduct private conversations, you should always keep in mind that whatever you write within a DM, can still find its way to the public domain.
Twitter can be a powerful lead generation tool and is a great place to demonstrate what makes your practice unique, and why potential clients should consider using your firm. So start tweeting to your potential tweeps (a term of endearment for users of Twitter) today!