Review: Twitter Means Business—How microblogging can help or hurt your company

twittermeansbusiness mid11 Review: Twitter Means Business   How microblogging can help or hurt your companyWe have been writing about using Twitter for legal marketing for over a year now.

If you still have not checked Twitter out, or if you feel like you need to learn more about how to use it for your practice, you might want to check out some books on Twitter best practices. There are lots of books on how to optimize Twitter for marketing and social networking.

I had the opportunity to check out a review copy of Twitter Means Business by Julio Ojeda-Zapata (who you can follow at @jojeda).

Twitter Means Business briefly lays out a variety of ways that professionals and businesses can use Twitter to their advantage:

1. Use Twitter to listen

Lawyers can use Twitter as a one-way communication tool to search for mentions of their firm, their practice area, or their clients to learn about news, gossip or other comments being made on Twitter.

2. Use Twitter for blatant marketing messages

Twitter can also be used as a one-way communication tool to send out firm news, marketing messages, website links, and other things you want followers to know about.

3. Use Twitter for client and colleague engagement

Moving beyond one-way communication, attorneys can use Twitter as a messaging service. Whether keeping in touch with old clients, or chatting about legal news with other attorneys, Twitter’s instant messaging capabilities can be a great two-way communication tool.

4. Use Twitter for practice evolution

Sophisticated users of Twitter can find ways to meet new people, develop new practice and marketing opportunities, and actually build legal business with Twitter.

Twitter Means Business gives many examples of each of these methods of how professionals can use Twitter. A large percentage of the small book is dedicated to case studies of how a number of companies have adopted successful Twitter strategies.

Followup questions with the author of Twitter Means Business

After reading the book, I had a few brief questions for Julio Ojeda-Zapata:

Lawyerist: Since you published the book last fall, Twitter has grown nearly exponentially. Has any of your advice about how businesses can use Twitter changed in that time?

Ojeda-Zapata: My advice remains roughly the same: Be human, remain aware of the medium’s two-way conversational qualities, and lay off the hard sell.

Lawyerist: Our readers are mainly attorneys and other legal professionals. Can you identify any uses for Twitter that are different for a professional services firm, than the more mainstream businesses you profiled in the book? That is, are there any ways lawyers might use Twitter differently?

Ojeda-Zapata: I’m not a lawyer, but it seems to me the medium would be very useful for professional networking among attorneys. I doubt it would ever become a formal legal tool, but it’d function wonderfully in an informal sense.

Lawyerist: What resources (in addition to your book and blog) would you point new Twitter users towards to learn how to use it well? Similarly, what resources should experienced Twitter users look to in order to become more sophisticated in their use of it?

Ojeda-Zapata: I have a good resource listing [on my blog].

Lawyerist: Any predictions on where Twitter is going in the next 6 months or next 2 years, especially after the Oprah event a few weeks ago?

Ojeda-Zapata: I have a hunch the act of tweeting will eventually, gradually move away from being Twitter-specific and become more generic. Google is doing some interesting things with its freshly announced Wave messaging technology that suggest a union of e-mail, instant messaging and Twitter-like communication, for instance.