What Twitter can–and can’t–be for legal marketing

twitter-errorLaw firm marketing guru Larry Bodine is the latest person to declare Twitter a bust. And while he may be proved right someday, I think his collection of “Twitter is . . .” statements are misguided. Larry makes valid points, but I disagree with his conclusion that Twitter is ineffective as a marketing tool.

The fact is, Twitter can be many things, including an effective tool for law firm marketing. But it is not always, and it depends on how you use it.

Whether Twitter is anything in particular depends on what you expect from it and how you use it. For example Larry Bodine seems to primarily expect website traffic. This is borne out by his own Twitter feed, where Larry mostly posts (or re-posts) links to websites and blog posts. But as he points out, Twitter is not always a great traffic generator.

Although Twitter is often a fickle website traffic generator, it can be a very effective way to get to know people–or to stay in touch with people you already know. Twitter is for networking, not advertising (although many people do not seem to understand this).

Twitter is an easy, “low-cost” way to start getting to know people and keep tabs on the referral sources that will keep you busy. But while Larry Bodine seems to value Twitter only if it generates “leads” and sales, I see Twitter as a way to build relationships that generate referrals or lead to other marketing exposure. To this end, my Twitter network consists of other lawyers, bloggers, and local media personalities, which lead to referrals, links from other consumer law blogs, print and television media appearances, and more.

Twitter can be an effective legal marketing tool, but I agree with Larry Bodine that it may not be, depending on what you expect.

Twitter Not Effective for Law Firm Marketing | LawMarketing Portal


  1. Avatar Leora M. says:

    Well said Sam. The big question for lawyers, law students and legal bloggers on Twitter should be what kind of value am I providing to my followers. If you’re just advertising yourself (unless you’re spinning it well), you’re not likely to be be adding much value to others. Posting breaking legal news, legal resources, information on conferences, etc is value. I also agree with you that in addition to providing information, Twitter is a fabulous tool for lawyers to make initial networking connections, although personal face-to-face communication is a necessary next step. – @Leoramaccabee

  2. Sam Glover Sam G. says:

    Larry Bodine clarifies his thoughts and responds to Twitter defenders, including Peter Berge of Small Firm Success.

  3. Avatar Alexander Ripps says:

    Though Twitter can be used to drive traffic, the main purpose it should be used for is to establish an online identity that people trust.

  4. At this point, I’ve been on Twitter for only a few weeks. Mr Glover’s article here is quite true. I’ve learned several of the various styles or methods people are employing on Twttr. Some of them are too self-centered, with little regard for the person to whom they are linked (e.g., SEOs, SEMs) – a too familiar phenomemon on the web. Much depends upon your expectations – what you want it to do for you. The folks that want to take advantage, and give little or nothing back are the worst – and take a few different forms. One example: I follow someone with the hope of a follow-back. They send me a Direct Message (“DM”) saying “Thanks for the follow” but don’t follow me! They took a slight effort to thank me for giving them something, but couldn’t take the one-click it would take to follow-back. Grrr. Unfollow!

    My own expectations and desires for Twttr are to link to people who wish to engage in some kind of dialogue, even some mutual networking. The term “microblogging” is appropos – at least for me – since as a blogger I’ve learned that the interactive aspect of blogging is what makes blogging better in many ways than more static websites. The dialoge is key. Twttr is mde for dialogue. Compared to Facebook, Twttr seems less user-friendly, more techy. Yet that limitation makes it more powerful in other ways. I’m still climbing the learning curve, with no plans of stopping!

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