Twitter has grown from its early days as a way for friends to stay in touch to be both a networking tool and news source. Twitter’s mission statement is: “To give everyone the power to create and share ideas and information instantly, without barriers.” The 330 million active monthly users that send out 500 million tweets a day agree with that statement.
There are now 1.3 billion accounts, 23% of which are U.S. citizens.
Who are these active users?
- According to Hootsuite, they’re millennials—36% of Americans age 18–29 use Twitter.
- 28% are in college or have a college degree.
- They’re evenly split by gender and more likely to live in the city.
- 30% have incomes of $75,000 or better.
How do they use Twitter?
- 80% access Twitter on their phones and tablets.
- They tweet and search—there are about two billion search queries each day.
- 42% use Twitter daily, and an additional 24% use it weekly.
Why do they use Twitter?
According to Twitter, the top reason people visit is to discover something new and interesting. In 2017, 74% of social media users turned to Twitter for news.
What are the best ways to use Twitter?
Effective tweets are those providing a different view of a topic that captures readers' attention. Focus on quality, not quantity. Make your profile stand out with a picture or a video. You want readers interested in your niche market so use Twitter as another way to create a meaningful relationship.
The whole idea of Twitter is to connect people with similar interests. To find them, you can go to the leaders in your area of practice, click on their Twitter account to discover who they follow. Follow the ones that interest you, they will follow you back, and soon you’re active on Twitter. It is also possible to use the "#" (hashtag) symbol followed by a word such as #elderlaw. Write that in the search feature on your Twitter page—in the right-hand corner—and tweets from people using #elderlaw will pop up.
Experts recommend that of ten tweets, five should post links to news articles, blogs, or newsletters; three are interactions with other twitter users; one is for promotional materials, and one shares your personal interests. Never give legal advice or answer complicated legal questions—stick with news and posts in your area of practice.
Twitter, like the law, has its best practices.
- Choose Twitter friends carefully—it’s a network, not a popularity contest.
- Leave 20–40 characters at the end of your tweet for a re-tweet by a reader.
- Thank followers for the re-tweet or follow.
- Tweet consistently—once a day or once a week.
Twitter can be a great resource of information, a place for you to network with other lawyers in your area of expertise, a way to keep in touch with clients, and as a way to develop your personal brand.
After years practicing law, Roberta Gubbins served as editor of the Ingham County Legal News. Since leaving the paper, she provides writing services to lawyers ghostwriting content for websites, blogs, and articles. She is editor of The Mentor, the SBM Master Lawyers Section newsletter.
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