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In the past I have approached the subject of social media with an open mind, while still urging law firms to remember that staying professional is crucial to your brand. Last Friday, I discussed Google’s crack down on websites that are not mobile-friendly. Today, I would like to point out that there is a Google and Twitter collaboration that may make Tweeting a necessity for growing law firms. Mike O’Brien at Search Engine Watch says:

The early adopters mentioned in this report – Yahoo Japan and a social media aggregator, called Flipboard – aren’t really the ideal outlets for law firm digital marketing. However, if this is the start of a much wider distribution network for tweets, then Twitter could return to being a key marketing tool for US lawyers.

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other “fun” social media sites that revolve around video clips, photos, and more of the silly and simple forms of sharing information don’t always reflect well on a law firm. In fact, it takes a certain kind of firm to insert themselves into these social media platforms successfully without losing their professional edge, which is why so many legal departments stick to LinkedIn and more business-related sites.

Automatic Updates

Tweeting isn’t exactly a new online sport but 2015 has certainly brought some changes to the way that this platform works for businesses and reputation management in particular. Google has made it clear that their latest algorithm change has made it easier for Tweets to appear on a Google feed directly after being posted. In the past, these changes wouldn’t take effect until a bot had crawled these pages and updated the information on the search engine results. Bestlegalpractices.com suggests:

The fact that tweets will show up in Google searches should have a considerable impact on your approach to social media marketing. If you haven’t used Twitter in the past, this change is undeniable proof that you should focus your attention on it.

Edging your firm into social media can seem challenging, but with a little account tweaking, a professional but bold image, and the right frame of mind, you can use Twitter as a tool to not only represent yourself and your firm, but also advertise for it without coming off too spammy.

Incorporating Twitter Into Your SEO Tactics

Now that you have this information, I encourage my clients to get involved and start working toward either renovating or inventing their Twitter accounts to work more efficiently for their firms. This is a great opportunity to come out ahead of any competitors who have yet to hear the news. One way that you can incorporate Twitter into SEO is by including your keywords in Tweets so that when they do appear on Google, you’ll still being ranked for phrases and words that are easily found on your website. Amy Campbell of Harvard University has posted on her legal marketing blog:

Once you’ve written great content, don’t be shy about sharing your content via social media such as your Linkedin profile, your Facebook page, and any other sharing platforms you may use.

This means Tweeting can actually help bring more traffic to your website, and increase the viewership of all that content I have been encouraging over the last few weeks. I stick to my prior messages that content is one of the most basic and crucial parts of a successful website, but if that content isn’t being seen, it isn’t going to make much of a difference to your website, blog, or business as a whole.

Making Twitter Work For Your Firm

Whether you’re a big Tweeter already, or this is completely new to you and your firm, you can easily create an account and get on board by following a few key steps.

1. Embrace The Hashtag: Try thinking of a hashtag like a keyword, in that it helps other users on Twitter find your site, posts, and links by following the tag that you have created. An example of this could be #SanDiegoLaw or #CompanyPicnic; anybody else who is interested in these subjects can follow your hashtag back to your Twitter account, and this may even help you gain a few extra followers.

2. Start Following: As a law firm, you want to be a leader in your industry, but when it comes to Twitter, being a follower often leads to being followed, and you want as many followers as you can get. Not only do more followers get you more recognition on the Twitter website and in turn Google, but it also means that more people are seeing your Tweets on a daily basis. Following other local companies aside from competition, and following individual associates in your firm are great places to start. If any of your personal clients have Twitter accounts, it can also be acceptable to follow them.

3. Get Researching: As a lawyer, you should be pretty open to the idea of doing research in the name of your craft, and you might be surprised by the number of great ideas you will get by visiting other law firm accounts on Twitter for some inspiration. Seeing what local events they participate in, the kind of images they post, and the different Tweets they send out can help you organize your own account to be more Twitter acceptable.

Find Your Own Balance

Every law firm is different, and have different views on what is an acceptable or unacceptable approach to marketing and SEO. If you feel like Twitter isn’t a good fit for your firm, I would definitely stand by the decision to simply use other platforms. If you do think the above information has been useful, however, you might want to take a closer look at Twitter and what it can do for your firm. Many professionals are opening up to this method of communication between other businesses, clients, and as simple tools for marketing and bringing in more website traffic. If you use it for nothing else, you might want to consider using it to Tweet links to new blog posts, public images being shared, or events that your firm is participating in.

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