Twitter the people's news network

With all the financial news about Google, Disney, Salesforce and Microsoft having no interest in buying Twitter, you’d think the social media network was a sinking ship.

Not so. Twitter remains valuable to society at large — and to lawyers in particular.

Jack Dorsey (@jack), the CEO and co-founder of Twitter, who rallied his team in an internal memo last week, obtained by Bloomberg, is spot on.

Twitter is what’s happening, and what everyone is talking about (literally!). News and talk. We’re the people’s news network.

People choose us for news because we’re the fastest. Fastest to get news, and fastest to share news with the whole world. Now let’s strive to be the first. The first place people check to see what’s happening…and the first place to break what’s happening. In the moment LIVE, or a fast recap of what we know so far…what matters.

The numbers support Dorsey. Twitter has three hundred million active users. 17 million tweets were sent during the last presidential debate alone. Twitter is what brings us the world — live.

The New Yorker’s James Surowiecki (@JamesSurowiecki) wrote last week that despite word that Twitter is floundering, Twitter, the service, remains as strong and influential as ever.

Indeed, if you look at Twitter in terms of social impact and user engagement, you would say that the company is doing quite well and adding a great deal of value.

Twitter gets a bum rap because of the financial community’s expectations that Twitter should be measured for success against its sister social network, Facebook, and its 1.7 billion users and $18 billion in annual revenues. No one is going to be Facebook except may be Google, Amazon and Microsoft before it.

Twitter, with $3 billion in revenue and driving news and information, person to person, across the world is a heck of a successful company — and would be viewed as so if it didn’t go public with unrealistic expectations.

Where does that leave Twitter today?

Can lawyers rely on Twitter being around as a source of receiving and sharing news and information? Can lawyers look to Twitter as medium by which to build relationships? Can lawyers continue to use Twitter to help build a name for themselves?

Absolutely. Twitter will be here for us and will likely see improvements — or it should, as compared to some of the eye candy enhancements made the last couple years in an effort to get its stock price up.

Twitter, as an independent company, is likely to work on adding value to its real users, rather than paying so much attention to its stock price. Long term value will become the key.

How can you use Twitter as a lawyer?

  • Serve as an intelligence agent on a niche. Set up a news aggregator, such as Feedly, to monitor relevant sources and subjects. By sharing posts and stories on Twitter you’ll build a following among those who recognize you as a trusted source to follow.
  • Source of news and information. Twitter can serve as an aggregator of legal news and developments. Identify names of people and media sources on Twitter who are sharing items relevant to your area of the law. Follow them and you’ll have your personal “AP feed.”
  • Twitter lists for relationships. Twitter lists, little known by lawyers, are powerful for building strategic relationships. Create a list of your best clients and prospective clients by company name. Add the principals and officers who are using Twitter. Retweet and/or like items they are Tweeting – especially items they might be proud of. You’ll hear back with a “thank you,” which can lead to a LinkedIn Connection and a face to face to face meeting.
  • Conferences – on and off site. Twitter is abuzz with legal and trade industry conferences today. By following the conference hashtag you can join the Twitter discussion by retweeting, liking or sharing items of your own. Doing so while at the conference or in the office is a good way to meet people and get known.

Twitter’s not going away. Sure, the experts will take pot shots at it. Everyone is a pundit today.

But as ‘The People’s News Network,” Twitter remains strong, influential and of value to the public — and lawyers in particular.