Legal Marketing: Consider Archiving Your Tweets

January 3, 2011

twitter

Archiving your Tweets from Twitter is important because it allows you to reference old articles that you have Tweeted as well as other Tweets you found interesting.

So you’ve been on Twitter for a while and want to go back and see what you said six months ago about a particular topic. Guess what? You can’t. When Twitter first started, this was possible. But now that it’s become so widely used and the  number of tweets is surpassing 90 million a day (gasp!), they simply can’t keep them for long.

Therefore, it’s a good idea for you to consider archiving your tweets, so you can easily go back in time and review what you’ve done, repost a particularly interesting article or just get an idea of your communication history via Twitter.

If all you want to do is keep a history of articles you’ve posted, then a tool like bit.ly may be sufficient. By now, most people are familiar with bit.ly, but for those that aren’t, it takes really long URLs and shortens them so they can used on Twitter. Some URLs can be more than 140 characters on their own, so this is a great tool for getting the most out of the few characters you have to work with on Twitter. The beauty is that your bit.ly links are saved on your page, and therefore the articles that you shorten and post can be searched and reviewed whenever you want.

But bit.ly isn’t able to archive all your posts. If you are posting anything more than article links – and you should be – you need another tool. Here are a few we have found that may work for you.

The Archivist: This is a Windows desktop application that allows you to create Twitter searches and archive them on your PC so they can be reviewed and researched at a later date. It also allows you to review who is tweeting about particular topics over time.

Twapper Keeper: This online application can archive tweets based on a hashtag. Once you set it up, and define the hashtags you want kept, it starts archiving them for you. You can then analyze the information it finds and organize tweets into the categories you want.

Twinbox: This Outlook plugin allows you to receive tweets in your inbox from the people your designate. Once it’s set up and activated, you can search, archive and group your tweets the same way you do your email. This is a nice way to get notified about important tweets. However, if you work in a corporate environment where the size of your inbox is limited, this will fill it up rather quickly.

Evernote: With iPads and other PDAs growing more popular every day, Evernote has risen in popularity too. It allows you to access notes and information from whatever device you happen to be holding at the time, regardless of where it was created originally. It also offers a feature that allows you to save your tweets into Evernote so they can be stored and searched whenever you want. For it to work though, you have to add “@myEN” onto the tweet you want to save, so it does take up a few valuable characters and may be best for only certain tweets you really want to save.

There are a variety of other options for archiving your tweets as well, so do your research and choose the one that is best for you.

P.S. By the way, in researching for this post, I discovered that the Library of Congress is archiving every tweet ever sent. While this doesn’t help you find your old ones, it is an interesting fact. See CNN article on it here. Library of Congress

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Legal Marketing: 5 Ways to Find Clients on Twitter

September 24, 2010

Twitter

Using the right search functions can help you connect with the right people on social media.

Finding your firm’s best prospective client online is not yet an exact science. But while you may not be seated right next to them, you can be in the right ballpark. The same is true regarding Twitter. There are plenty of search applications out there, and all have their limitations.

The following five sites have been the most helpful to me in locating prospective client “tweeps” to follow.

  1. Twitter Search – Twitter’s built-in people search is the easiest place to start, but isn’t necessarily the best way to find people on Twitter. Twitter Search is much better, especially using their advanced search page. Be sure and check out their search operations pages for some handy examples for your search query.
  2. Twellow – is an excellent search tool for prospective clients. Twellow now has over 6.2 million indexed Twitter user profiles, and places them into a huge number of categories. You can search the entire lot of profiles, or confine searches to a single category. Twellow also operates a local directory called the “Twellowhood.”
  3. Tweepz – Allows you limit searches to specific parts of Twitter’s user information (such as name, bio and location). Through the advance search, filter results by follower/following numbers, location and other extracted terms, to enhance your search results.
  4. Twitterel – you can search for prospective clients by doing keyword searches on tweets. This service can update you by email, direct message or @reply when it finds new people it thinks you might be interested in following, working very similar to Google Alerts.
  5. WeFollow – is a Twitter user directory that organizes people by hashtags. WeFollow is user-generated and anyone can add themselves by tweeting @wefollow with three #hashtags that describe them.

If you have search sites/directories that have been helpful to you, please share them in the comment section below.


Legal Marketing: Use Twitter to Gather Competitive Intelligence

September 21, 2010

spying

Use Twitter to get the inside scoop on competing law firms in your practice area.

These days everyone is using Twitter, whether it’s to jump start a business or just catch up on the latest legal news. Something legal marketers have overlooked, though, is that Twitter can be used to get an advantage over other law firms.  Most everything on Twitter is public domain, so use this treasure trove of information to learn about your competitor’s marketing strategies and followers.

If you want to know what the law firm across the street is doing, follow them on Twitter.

I came across a great article by Kristi Hines called, “7 Sneaky Ways to Use Twitter to Spy on your Competition,” and it opened my eyes to a whole new side of Twitter:

  1. Follow your Competition on Twitter. Like I said above, following your competitors will give you the inside scoop on their marketing strategies. If you don’t want your competitor to know that you are following them, create a private Twitter list that is only visible to you.
  2. Monitor their @replies. Search for your competitor through their @replies. This will show you what other people are saying about them – not just what they are saying or tweeting. You can even save this search to make it easier for you to “spy.”
  3. Analyze their Followers. Look at who is following your competition. These people are their clients, employees, etc.
  4. Check out their Toolkit. See where your competitor’s tweets are coming from. Every time your competition tweets you can see what time they tweeted that information and if they used a tool, such as HootSuite, to tweet it. If these tools seem to be working for them, then you can assume they will work for you too!
  5. See what they do on other social networks. Most people and companies using Twitter also showcase other social networks they use. If you are monitoring your competitor’s Twitter account, then you can see if they are using Facebook, YouTube, and/or have their own blog account. This is just another way to learn about their marketing strategy so you can sell against it.
  6. Keep up with their blog posts and articles. Blogging is a great way to connect with clients and gain even more loyalty. Not only do I recommend that your law firm has a blog account, but you should also look at your competitor’s.  Look at the articles they are talking about and use that to your advantage. If your competitor doesn’t have a blog yet, make sure you are one step ahead of them and start one for your firm!
  7. Get their score. Use Twitter Grader to find out your competitor’s rating for their Twitter site. Rate yourself too and figure out what you’re missing compared to your competitor’s Twitter account.

Check out the article by clicking here. “7 Sneaky Ways to Use Twitter to Spy on your Competition.”


Legal Marketing: Twitter Basics

June 30, 2010

Twitter Screenshot

It’s not too late to get your law firm on Twitter, but it’s helpful to have some basic information to get a good start.

Everyone is using Twitter nowadays – celebrities, businesses, even President Obama. Some people use it to get news, while others use it to update clients.

Whatever the reason your firm is starting a Twitter account, you must know the basics before you jump in.

First thing, Twitter is free! It’s a micro-blogging site that allows users to post information in up to 140-character “Tweets.”

Setting up your account. Twitter is easy to start. You’ll have to answer some basic questions such as your name, e-mail etc. This is where you will either give your Twitter account your law firm’s name, or if you are using it for personal use, you can just use your name.

Once you get set up, you can then change your picture and background. I suggest incorporating your law firm’s logo in either the background or the picture – you may need to check your social media policy first. Also, make sure you add some information about your law firm in the sidebar so users will know who they are following.

Now that you are all set up, start tweeting and following! So maybe you don’t know what to say in your first Tweet. Well, look at other people’s pages to get an idea. Start following other law firms and law associations. I follow organizations such as Legal Marketing Reader to get some of my law news. It’s easy to follow people, just look them up in the search bar, and once you’re on their page, click “Follow” at the top.

Catch up on hot law topics pertaining to your practice and start to tweet those articles and thoughts to your followers. You want to build a large base of followers to look credible. You also want to follow a lot of people in the law industry so you can build a solid networking base.

Once you start tweeting, make sure you keep your tweets to 140 characters. Why? Twitter is only used for updates on information. For example if you want people to read your recent law article, Tweet the title and link to the article so people can click on it and read it. (Side bar: to shorten your URLs so you don’t go over the 140 characters, use Bit.ly.)

You can also re-tweet articles from your law peers. Re-tweeting allows you to share an article you think is important to your followers to help establish you as a thought leader in the industry. To re-tweet, mouse over the bottom of a tweet and there will be a button that says “re-tweet.” This is also a good tool to see which of your articles are being re-tweeted by people following you.

Once you get the hang of it, Twitter is very simple. Of course there are other ways to maximize your legal Twitter experience, but like I said in the beginning, these are just the basics!


Legal Marketing: Twitter Formula to Help your Law Firm

June 16, 2010

Twitter logo

Twitter can be a great traffic generator for your law firm and its blog.

One of the best pieces of advice for those just starting to use Twitter came from Angela Maiers, educator, author, blogger who now leads Maier Educational Services. Angela developed a simple Twitter Engagement Formula that provides purpose and direction for her participation. She calls it the 70-20-10 Formula:

  • Share Resources (70) – Successful learning in the 21st century is not what you know, but what you can share, so 70% of my Twitter time is spent sharing others voices, opinions and tools.
  • Collaboration (20) – 20% of my tweets are directly responding, connecting, collaboration and co-creating with like-minded Twitter colleagues. From these important tweets, lifelong professional and personal relationships have been forged.
  • Chit-Chat (10) 10% of my Twitter talk is “chit-chat-how’s-your-hat” stuff. It is in these “trivial” details shared about working out, favorite movies, politics and life in general that I connect with clients.

Angela reminds her readers that their engagement formula will be different, but hers provides a good example and a place to get started.  Angela says to, “Engage with purpose and intention, and Twitter success will follow!”

To read the entire article click here,   “My Twitter Engagement Formula” .

Read more about Angela Maiers.


Legal Marketing: To Tweet or Not to Tweet?

May 13, 2010

Twitter Logo

Twitter can be a valuable tool in marketing your law firm. It  can improve your visibility in searches, help protect your brand and drive traffic to your website or blog.

Law firms, for the most part, have been slow to adopt Twitter as a marketing tool – even those using other types of social media. It’s time for them to get on board.

A recent analysis of the largest 100 law firms in the Boston area showed that only 15% of them had taken steps to set up a firm-branded Twitter site and even less were actively tweeting.

This is a mistake, according to Amy Campbell, author of Web Log, who conducted the study. “You are already spending lots of time creating and approving content for public consumption,” she said. “Twitter is a quick, easy and highly effective way to disseminate this information to a wider audience.”

Here are a few benefits Twitter provides:

  • Twitter can bring your firm a much broader, deeper online presence by providing built-in syndication through search engines.
  • Using Twitter properly provides an effective distribution channel and a great way to get content quickly indexed by search engines.
  • Unlike  other forms of social media, Twitter actively sends content from its news feeds to search engines, which then suggest your blog or post to people searching for that particular topic – bringing you self-selected, interested prospects – for free!
  • Journalists also scour Twitter headlines for story ideas.

Even if you’re not ready to start tweeting yet, establishing a Twitter account now will help you protect your brand name on Twitter, so you own it before anyone else stakes a claim to it.

It’s also a good idea to build your Twitter infrastructure and network now, so it is ready when you need it later.  When your firm is involved in a breaking news event, you can easily do up-to-the-minute reporting on the issue that will scroll immediately across your network’s cell phones or PDAs – a significant and much-appreciated benefit to your audience.

These are just a few of the benefits Twitter can bring to your law firm. To tweet or not to tweet? Definitely to tweet!

Read Amy Campbell’s entire article, Making the Case for a Firm-Branded Twitter”