I got on Twitter a year ago. At first I was a skeptic. I didn’t really see the value for lawyers. 

I recently spoke to a former construction law colleague from my old firm. During the conversation I asked if he was on Twitter. He said no and told me he did not see the value. When I asked why, he responded: "How many construction company CEOs or GCs do you know who are on Twitter?" I had to admit I didn’t know any.

I think my former colleague may not understand how to use Twitter. He views it only as a tool to communicate and distribute content. I see it differently. It is a tool to listen to influencers and others and then engage. Suppose as a lawyer I represented highway construction contractors. So, I would be interested in what leaders in that industry might be saying. I can find them on Twitter and they influence the CEOs and GCs who are not on Twitter.

Bob Burleson is one of my closest friends. He is the President of the Florida Transportation Contractors’ Association. He is on Twitter and frequently discusses the Florida legislature possibly raiding the highway construction trust fund. Here are a couple of recent tweets:

  • Disastrous plan to pull DOT money out of Trust Fund – letter in PB Post http://bit.ly/9AZBAe
  • The state of the State Transportation Trust Fund http://bit.ly/9vChZL – FL is gravely close 2 NJ’s Transportation Policy
  • Orlando biz owner and FTBA chair shares her concerns on raiding the trust fund Orlando Sentinel readers http://bit.ly/brOfd8
  • Florida’s transportation building industry is being threatened – we may be down a vote, but we’re not out [BLOG] http://bit.ly/9HmvpM

The Associated General Contractors are on Twitter. Here are some of their recent tweets:

  • Orlando, FL has highest rate of construction job loss of any city in Florida, FL’s construction depression continues http://bit.ly/csrlMM
  • Interesting look at the state of Washington’s construction industry and what the future has in store…http://bit.ly/aQ7PqW
  • RT @roadeditor: Senate discusses new transpo bill. http://www.roadsbridges.com/…debates-ways-to-finance-new-highway-bill-newsPiece20296

All of the tweets above would interest me as a lawyer representing highway construction contractors. I might retweet one or more of them. I might even comment on them. It took hardly any time to find them and would take little time to engage in the discussion.

So, if you are considering being on Twitter, or if you are already on Twitter, use it as a listening tool to find out what is going on that impacts your clients. Then, engage your clients by providing content based on what you have learned listening.