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Solicitor and twitterer, Brian Inkster, reviews a new book my American attorney and social media consultant, Adrian Dayton, on how lawyers should use Twitter.
Reading Adrian Dayton’s new book, Social Media for Lawyers: Twitter Edition, was for me a little bit like being taught to suck eggs, were I a grandmother. But then I have been twittering for the best part of 10 months (some would say much longer depending upon how you define twittering!). Having said that I had to learn the hard way during those 10 months and it has taken me a while to accumulate the twitter acumen that I now possess. If Adrian’s book had been in my hands back at the beginning I would no doubt have got there that much quicker.
Adrian expertly leads you through all you need to know to establish and maintain an effective presence on Twitter as a Lawyer. There are, he says, five key reasons put forward for why people refuse to use Twitter and Adrian outlines why each of these is flawed. You will learn how to set up your Twitter Account and enhance your profile/biography. You will be introduced to the six personalities on Twitter. How and, perhaps more importantly, who to follow is explained. Replying and re-tweeting is covered in detail with a useful advanced twitter tip (that even an ‘old granny’ like me was unaware of). Adrian discusses hashtag usage, moving the conversation offline with tweet-ups, utilising TweetDeck and creating a Twitter-friendly website. He rounds up with a look at using Twitter to enhance lead generation, how to ‘give’ on Twitter to gain clients, engaging with Twitter and Twitter success stories.
Social Media for Lawyers: Twitter Edition is peppered with little anecdotes that make the read all the more interesting and not simply an A-Z of Twitter. He tells of the “sweet old lady” of 104 years of age who “logs on and in an instant is engaging people all over the world.” He does not, however, tell you directly that this is Ivy Bean (@IvyBean104). I have been following Ivy on Twitter for some time now and enjoy her tweets which range from how she enjoys fish and chips to being interviewed by CNN and meeting Peter Andre. She has just received a lifetime achievement award from BBC Radio 5. I hope Adrian is one of her followers: she has over 54,000 of them!
Adrian’s analogy of Twitter being like CB radio but on a worldwide scale is a good one. He also likens it to a cocktail party where you seek to gain the confidence of the power brokers and then arrange a meeting/phone call with them.
One area that Adrian does not really cover in any detail is how law firms can operate multiple twitter accounts (as we do at Inksters) to differentiate between the individuals within the firm, the firm itself and the firm’s practice areas. These can be operated individually but also worked together to very good effect. A chapter could easily have been devoted to this.
I also wondered why Adrian concentrated on TweetDeck without mentioning other free Twitter applications such as HootSuite (which I use) or Seesmic. Indeed many other Twitter tools are available as, for example, listed at www.oneforty.com.
However, these are minor criticisms in what is an excellent guide to using Twitter, especially for lawyers who are new to it. The only drawback to some may be the price tag attached to the book. At £145 this seems a bit steep for a 77 page book of this type. It is not a weighty legal tome covering a niche area of the law. This is a book that could have a large worldwide readership and it should perhaps have been priced with that in mind. That said it may be £145 well spent for the busy lawyer who wants to ‘get Twitter’ quickly.