If I was still practicing law, how would I use Twitter?

When I was first asked that question a few years ago, I wasn’t sure I would be using Twitter if I was still practicing law. After all, none of the CEOs or GCs of my largest clients were on Twitter. Now, I know I would actually use Twitter and here are the ways I would use it:

  1. I would begin by identifying my goals using Twitter. Essentially, my first goal would be to demonstrate I am the “go to lawyer” for transportation construction companies. I would want to demonstrate my knowledge and expertise of both the law and the industry, my influence and my interest. I would also want to use Twitter to keep up with industry news, teach and  connect and engage with industry professionals.
  2. I would make sure to create a well-done profile that includes my photo and I would use my real name.
  3. To get news: The day of the Boston Marathon bombing I was on an airplane with internet service headed for Vancouver, BC. That day I got minute by minute reports on Twitter. There are many news outlets to follow on Twitter. I follow: Reuters, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, CNN, Fox News, New York Times. I can go on, but you get the idea.
  4. To keep up with construction industry news.There are many construction industry and construction associations on Twitter. I would follow the ones most relevant to my clients.
  5. To keep up with my clients and my clients competitors. Some of my former clients have Twitter pages and some of their competitors have Twitter pages. I would want to know what clients and competitors were saying about themselves on Twitter. I would also want to know what others on Twitter were saying about my clients and their competitors.
  6. To share news and other information construction industry professionals would find valuable. I would find that news on Twitter itself, but also from my Google alerts, my reader, Flipboard and Zite.
  7. To share my construction magazine column, blog posts and presentations. My Roads and Bridges columns are now available electronically so I can link to them on twitter. I would likely have a transportation construction law blog that I would share on Twitter and I would share links for my presentations that I would have uploaded to Slideshare.net.
  8. To announce presentations and webinars. If I was speaking to a construction association or if I was giving a Webinar, I would use Twitter to announce or let people know about the presentation or Webinar.
  9. To let people know I was visiting their city and would like to connect with them while I am there.
  10. Spread tweets throughout the day. I have learned that more of my followers are on Twitter in the afternoon than in the morning. I am not sure that would be true for construction industry followers, but I would try to find out and tweet at the most valuable time.
  11. To allow people to get to know me. I would not just have business tweets. I would share appropriate things about my interests outside of construction law.
  12. As one of the tools to research construction industry professionals before meeting them in person.
  13. To meet new people. I have met many interesting people on Twitter, including lawyers from Dallas. I am confident I would meet interesting construction industry professionals.

If you would like to learn more about how you can use Twitter, take a look at: How to Get More Twitter Followers (The Ultimate Twitter Tips Guide).