Twitter is one of the fastest-moving social media platforms on the Internet today. The site’s unique presentation style has made it one of the leading places on the web to find up-to-the-minute news and information on a virtually infinite number of topics. With over 1 billion accounts and more than 300 million active monthly users, no other social platform can offer the kind of instant, easy and free exposure that Twitter can deliver to your law firm.
If you want to take your law firm’s marketing to the next level on Twitter, there are two key factors that you will need to understand — hashtags and followers. If you can master the concepts of using hashtags and attracting followers, you’ll be able to tap into an almost unlimited audience that will give your firm exposure, notoriety, and most importantly, a rich source of new leads and clients.
To start growing a loyal following on Twitter there are two very basic things you need to do. First, of course, you need to tweet. You need to be sharing interesting information and content that your target audience will want to see. Second, you need to follow other people, but not just any people. You need to follow accounts that you believe will fit into your specific target audience. Following high value targets is a great first step towards getting their attention and building awareness of your firm.
The content you share through Twitter should come from several sources. Overall, there should be a mix of content coming from:
- Your own firm’s blog
- Your firm’s news and events
- Your firm’s partners and employees
- Other news sources relevant to your particular practice area
You’ll want to include as much of your own content as you can, but the majority of what you share will most likely be coming from third party sources.
Twitter moves fast. If you want to be seen, you have to stay active, and that means doing a lot more than posting one update a week or per day. Ideally you should be tweeting 5 to 10 times per day.
The key to content sharing is to send out something that is truly useful and valuable to your audience. Self-promotional content is not going to win you any favor with anyone. Show knowledge and authority and build trust. Try to share a variety of things that would interest your audience.
Pro Tip: To make finding and sharing content easy and painless, use a site like Feedly to find content you’d like to share, then take advantage of a free social media scheduler like Buffer, Klout or DrumUp to automatically post your updates all day long. Fill your scheduler once a day with a mix of content from your firm and other sources and you’re good to go.
To get the content you share in front of as many eyes as possible — and hopefully attract new followers —make use of hashtags. You don’t want to overdo it, but each tweet you send out should contain one or two hashtags.
Hashtags help you to categorize and callout your tweets, making them easier to discover by everybody else in the Twitterverse. The easier your tweets are to find, the more likely they will be, drawing new eyeballs to your messages. Hashtags can be of immense use as well to measure activity, interest and trends across Twitter; learn more about hashtags in our earlier blog post.
A great site to find and research hashtags is hashtagify.me. Try searching #lawyer, for example, and you’ll get plenty of other closely related hashtags that you can use to widen your tweet’s reach. Just make sure the tags you use are relevant to the content in your tweets.
The easiest way to gain followers on Twitter is to follow other people. Not everyone will follow you back, but many will, and that is the key. By repeating the following process regularly, you can consistently grow the size of your audience with targeted, interested followers.
How do you find these prospective leads? The first thing you need to do is seek out a few Twitter accounts that your target audience might follow. These Twitter accounts could belong to your competition, or they could be news outlets that share information regarding your practice area.
For example, if your target audience is people looking for help with corporate law, search for other corporate law firms, high-profile corporate lawyers, and websites and magazines that publish news on the subject. You can also search for hashtags like #corporatelaw to discover those accounts with a high number of followers posting under that hashtag. As you run your searches, make note of accounts with several thousand followers.
Once you have a few accounts on your list, pick one and bring up that account’s Twitter page. From there, click on the “Followers” number that you’ll see along the top of their feed. This will bring up a list of everyone that is following that account. You’ve now found your target audience! These are the people you want to follow.
Go through the list in front of you and start following people. Start with somewhere between 100 and 300 people. That might sound like a lot, but you can accomplish this in just a few minutes. Results will vary each time you do this, but within about 48 hours, somewhere between 30% and 60% of the people you followed will follow you back.
Keep tidy your roster of the accounts you follow. Once some time has passed, unfollow the people who haven’t followed you back. To do so, go to your own Twitter page and click on the “Following” number at the top of your page. This will show you everyone you are following. For those that are following you, you will see the words “FOLLOWS YOU” next to their name. Simply unfollow anyone who isn’t following you to clean up your account.
You can perform the unfollow routine a few days after you do each round of following, or after several rounds of following, unfollowing at regular intervals like once a week or once a month, whatever works best for you.
Putting It All Together
If you stick with this process of regularly sharing useful content and connecting with relevant followers, you will end up with a highly targeted, highly active, loyal audience on Twitter. In turn, if you provide real value to that audience, you will gain their trust and their patronage.
Just remember, social media is a two-way street. Don’t forget to engage and interact with your audience. We’ve shown you how to find them, now it’s up to you to make the most of it!