I’d advise lawyers who are blogging to get a Twitter account. Not in your law firm’s name, but in your name, individually.
If not for yourself, then for the people who would share your blog posts on Twitter. Getting your posts shared on Twitter is critical for your blog’s ultimate success.
Look at the reporters and bloggers who are increasingly listing their Twitter account handles next to their names in the byline of stories and posts, along side their pieces, or in an about section.
It’s a God send for someone like me who shares a boat load of content each day on Twitter. I tweet the title (or what I craft as the story’s description), the Twitter handle of the reporter or blogger and the Twitter handle of the publication.
This way I give my Twitter followers what they’ll find, who wrote it, and the name of the publication that the reporter/blogger writes for. All in 125 characters (my Twitter handle for a retweet takes up 15 more for a total of 140).
My Twitter followers will see a story/post as more credible with a publication they recognize (@mashable or @SCOTUSblog) and/or a reporter/blogger they recognize (@jeffreytoobin). Credibility ads to to the value I am providing my followers. Sharing value on a niche leads to followers and a word of mouth repuation.
By including the Twitter handle of the blogger/reporter and publication in my tweet I am also giving each source proper attribution as well as letting each know that I am sharing their stories. I want to give the reporter or blogger attribution, not just the publication. It means more to all of us – the reporter/blogger, me and my readers.
It’s sharing stories that equal engagement and ultimately relationships. Never before my sharing on Twitter was I able to have a quick exchange with a reporter for the New York Times or a blogger with a major law firm I had never met.
For reporters and publishers using Twitter openly, they’re building relationships with sources for future stories and people who will share their stories on social media. Twitter is becoming an absolute necessity for them as reporters/bloggers/publishers.
Even if the Twitter handle is not displayed in a blog post or story byline, having a Twitter account enables someone like me to Google for a Twitter handle and then include it in a tweet. I do it all the time.
Not having a Twitter handle when blogging or reporting says “Lame” to me. I strongly suspect it says the same to others, especially those who are apt to share the most content on Twitter.
You don’t care if you get credit for what you write – let it go to the law firm, which does have a Twitter account. You don’t get social media. You don’t want to use social media. You don’t care if you are making it tough on folks like me who liberally share blog posts on Twitter. You are not looking to build relationships with your readers, whether as sources or social media distributors.
None of these may be true. It may not be your intent. But it’s very possible you’re conveying this.
I understand that grasping social media is tough and that becoming a good blogger is the place to start for lawyers. Adding another social media such as Twitter can feel daunting.
It need not be that hard. Get blogging. Then get a Twitter account, if you don’t need already have one. All you then need to do is periodically share items relating to your niche.
This way you’ll have a Twitter handle for people to use for attribution as well as give others a reason to share your blog posts — that you shared their posts.
Image courtesy of Flickr by Thomas Leth-Olsen