There’s a compulsion to join the crowd when it comes to online social networking, but you need to understand how the crowd works before you jump in.
Some law firms are using twitter simply because it is a communications channel that many people are using, which is to an extent measurable through tools like peerindex; it is rapid, social (so messages can be spread beyond the original intended audience), free to use (beyond staff time and learning involved), and remarkably flexible.
However, if you’re reading (by ‘following’) people to share their morning breakfast menu, then you are wasting your time. ‘Unfollow’ them, using tools like Manage Flitter and then search Twitter.com for people with an interest in the areas of law, policy or business that your law firm shares.
Your next task is to explore the people that these people follow. Soon, you’ll have built a network of dozens of people who seem to have a shared professional interest. Some of their messages will turn out to be quite useful.
To save time, sign up for a free Twitter keyword search alert like that from Twilert.com or SocialOomph.com. You’ll get a single email with a list of all tweets that included that keyword. Tweetdeck is also a useful application for managing twitter traffic and grouping conversations by topic or type.
For the latter to work well, twitter lists are essential for grouping together tweeters who discuss similar topics. This list follows a range of journalists and professionals who discuss UK legal services, while this one focuses on a similar cohort within the insurance sector.