Social media is an excellent way for you to nurture relationships with your largest clients. But if you are like 99% of lawyers, you don’t do it.
Some of you have unfounded fears that engaging clients via social media could be unethical, some of you don’t know how to do it, and some of you lack the ambition to try.
Here are nine steps to engaging your top twenty clients via Twitter:
- Have your CFO or accountant get you a list of your top 20 clients by revenue.
- Create a Twitter list for your top twenty. The list will include the Twitter account for the client corporation/brand. Some clients will have multiple Twitter accounts — include the most relevant ones. Also include the individual Twitter account for executives and key contacts for these clients. Don’t worry if less than half of the individuals have Twitter accounts. Mark the list as private so the world cannot see the members of the list.
- Monitor your list’s Twitter feed when convenient. If you are like me, you may find the Twitter app on your smartphone is the easiest way to follow the list’s tweets. Your smartphone is at hand almost all the time and is perfect for monitoring the list while standing in line at Starbucks, riding the train, or getting a ride via Uber.
- Retweet and reply to tweets that you like. For the individuals, some of the Tweets will be on personal matters. Great. Retweet the tweet from the CEO about Jay Cutler blowing another game for the Bears. Engagement on personal interests can be more powerful, real and authentic than engagement on professional matters.
- Favorite some of the tweets by clicking on the star icon on the tweet. Make sure your interest in favoriting was sincere, not just to draw attention. Perhaps it’s to bookmark the tweet and news for later use or engagement.
- Set up Google News Alerts for your top twenty clients’ names and their products. Executives and key contacts can be tough unless they are big-time people or have unique names.
- Monitor these alerts on Feedly, a desktop and mobile news aggregation app. Feedly enables you to incorporate RSS feeds from Google Alerts or to do the Google News searches directly in Feedly and save them to your feeds displayed in Feedly.
- Share relevant and favorable “client stories” to Twitter from the alerts directly from Feedly. Feedly has social sharing buttons built in, including one for Twitter.
- Always reference the company’s Twitter handle, executive/contact’s Twitter handle, and Twitter handle for the contact person on any press release, if not already included in your retweet or reply. That way, the relevant folks see you. Your tweet could be as simple as “Patent on flying cars awarded to @GHIIncorporated – http://xxxxxx.com, congrats @dicksmith and team.”
By doing the above, the party tweeting or making the favorable news story will see you doing the tweeting. Everyone monitors Twitter mentions, retweets, replies, and being favorited on Twitter. They’ll feel the love.
Better yet, the company’s social media coordinator, who is trying to demonstrate their value, will share word, by email, of your retweet, reply, or sharing of news on Twitter with lots of people in the company.
How many other lawyers are giving that type of social media love? None. How many other lawyers are helping the company’s marketing and communications efforts via Twitter? None.
You won’t be able to help but get to know better the people you already knew in the company, meet more people in the company, and nurture your overall relationship with the company.
Sure, use good judgment, but nothing here should raise ethical or liability concerns. What you are tweeting is not a breach of confidence; your clients put the info out there. You are not disclosing a client relationship by sharing items on Twitter.
Companies like getting this type of “Twitter love” for any number of reasons. Twitter can be a lonely place for corporations. Getting some love always feels good so you know you’re relevant in the social media world.
Law firms carry clout. Their names are widely recognized. Firms and lawyers often have good Twitter followings, especially in niches.
Info a company and its people are disseminating on Twitter now gets spread to an audience the company would not otherwise reach. The tweet or retweet is coming from a trusted source, a lawyer or law firm.
Companies like value-adds their lawyers and law firms may bring. Companies like to work with innovative lawyers. Such a creative use of social media is bringing value and innovation in spades.
Sure, using Twitter like this is new. Maybe Twitter altogether is new to you.
But Twitter represents a powerful communication medium to remain relevant and connected with some of the people who matter most to you — your top twenty clients.
Kevin O’Keefe (@kevinokeefe) is the CEO and founder of LexBlog, which empowers lawyers to increase their visibility and accelerate business relationships online. You can With LexBlog’s help, legal professionals use their subject matter expertise to drive powerful business development through blogging and social media. Visit LexBlog.com.
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