It’s easy to use Twitter poorly, especially as a law firm. Admittedly it does play a more supporting role in your social media strategy. LinkedIn will probably take the brunt of your work with its professional networking capabilities, but Twitter is one of the best platforms for audience engagement, and should not be simply passed off as a luxury.
Law firms, generally speaking, are pretty lousy on social media, especially so on Twitter. Reviewing both small and large international firms, you’ll generally find some pretty consistent blanket content that doesn’t captivate quite how it might on other social or digital channels. It’s normally something along the lines of:
- Copied and pasted headlines from some PR, press releases, newsletters or blogs
- Some form of award or designation that the firm or someone internally has received
- Some form of news central to the firm about appearing on a local site or media outlet
- A successfully completed client engagement post of some description
Now some of these posts contain some media attached, whether it be a screenshot or a photo, but all of these posts lack a little bit of inspiration to your audience. There is certainly benefit in sharing and celebrating your content. The main problem however, is these posts are all exclusive to you and your firm. Whether they’re your biggest client, or just a passerby, no one wants their Twitter feed to be filled with what is essentially self promotion. There’s not as much value to be derived from a social media profile that features just one programme all the time.
Some of this content might fly on other channels, but on social media there’s a few things to remember. Firstly, it’s all about your clients, and secondly, it’s not all about you. Posting only firm sponsored content massively restricts the scope and reach of your content, as well as restricting the value to your audience. Social media doesn’t work as efficiently when your scope and content value is restricted. It’s about the open exchange of news, ideas, opinions, and sharing and deepening knowledge with your audience, regardless of where it comes from. If it’s your news and opinion, great! If it’s someone else’s news and opinion, also great! It’s your goal to enrich your audience.
The fundamental lessons for Twitter here are really, don’t purely self promote your own content and firm, and don’t be just a publishing house for everyone else. A fine balance is what you want. Similar to how when you’re watching the tele you’ve got ad breaks every now and then. You want to be sharing your repurposed content as your main regular programme, and the ad break is filled with engaging sharing of third party ideas, polls, and conversation starters as an exception to the rule.
There are plenty of law firms on Twitter, who aren’t doing a great job, but here’s a few examples of some law firms who are utilising Twitter well!
Gordons LLP are a UK law firm based in the Bradford and Leeds area with a general focus on SMEs and quick growing businesses in their local community, Their Twitter profile has a good variety of content, with various types of media, from photos, podcasts and some video. They not only celebrate and post their own repurposed content, but they also share insight from local businesses and events, and share discussions about local start-ups and investments in the north of England.
The content they repurpose is obviously directly related to their brand, but the third party content they share is relevant and informative to their target audience. Their engagement, for quite a small UK law firm, is pretty significant compared to firms who have over 10 times their follow count.
Bracewell have quite a focused audience in and around the tech, infrastructure, energy and finance markets. Again they have a lot of very relevant content for the audience, either from their own insight and research, alongside interesting points of view and opinions about their areas of expertise.
They have an interesting miniseries they upload weekly called the ‘Bracewell Minute’ which highlights some of the week’s trending news and stories in their space, external to their own business affiliations and views. The content is highly visual and get’s great engagement from their audience.
Similar to Bracewell LLP, Orrick is an international law firm that specialises in the tech innovation, energy, and finance sectors. Their Twitter posts have a central focal point around these areas of expertise, with a wide range of content; blog, webinar, and video content. The content they put out has a direct relationship, and is insightful, engaging and resonates well with their target audience and existing clients. Likewise however, they share opinions from around the legal sector and don’t hesitate to complement good content elsewhere, wherever it appears.
Twitter for law firms or Twitter for lawyers?
Twitter, as aforementioned, is for the most part a supporting channel. It’s very unlikely to be a focal point for your content strategy, especially as a law firm. However, if you’re an individual in the legal space, and are trying to build a thought leadership space, Twitter, alongside LinkedIn, can be massively influential. It needs to be considered to an extent as less of a digital marketing medium, and more of a publishing and sharing platform, where you can engage and exchange ideas.
Twitter is especially powerful for contributions that are on the contrary to popular opinion, and it is a great conversation starter tool. For an individual, Twitter should be pretty important if you’re trying to build your thought leadership content. There are real tangible benefits to engaging with others on Twitter, like driving more regular traffic to your blog and website, informing your audience, and finding creative ideas to utilise in your content.
Someone like Ross Guberman for example, has a great platform on Twitter. He comments on legal writing and the legal industry at large, advising people on best practices in etiquette, behaviour, conversation, and writing jargon in the legal world. Alternatively, a slightly more fun approach in the legal sphere is the Twitter account ‘A Crime A Day’. They find weird and wonderful federal crimes and share them with their audience alongside interesting books/blogs/videos about the legal sector.
There are great benefits for your Twitter profile, which could bring a great lead generation tool alongside a fantastic publishing platform. Consider sharing ideas, content, and opinions from a variety of third party sources, and starting engaging and informative discussion. If you’re an individual you can do the exact same as any firm would, pairing any of your regular repurposed content with some personal insight.
If you’re looking for any more social media strategy ideas for your law firm, please contact us here for a free consultation!