Kiss Ass Like a Twitter Pro

Today, we are excited to launch Big Legal Brain’s “Gray Matter Twitter Pro Series,” a series to help attorneys optimize Twitter and, oh, screw it. It’s complicated and technologically advanced, which is why you need to listen up.

Our first lesson is how to livetweet from a really important conference. Let’s say you are attending a legal tech show or a legal marketing conference and are in a breakout session about social media. For kicks, you stop playing Candy Crush on your iPad and decide to livetweet the session. Why? Who knows. There are already 248 people in the audience doing the same thing. But, as we like to say in the industry, it’s your iPad, your time, and someone else’s bandwidth. And knowing new Twitter users like you, you’d probably end up with something like this:

tweet1

Pretty lousy start if you are trying to impress brand mongers. Try again. This time at least say something more exciting and engaging.

tweet2

A little better, but where are you? Who are you talking about? In other words, what’s your hashtag? Remember, a hashtag is the number symbol followed by the agreed upon letter combination that conference organizers and brand strategists have spent weeks developing. Try again.

tweet3

OK. We’ll grant you the excitement of livetweeting, which can make you and thousands of football fans a bit giddy. But, really, to help people engage with your brand, be a bit more specific about where you are and what you are seeing or doing.

tweet4

Good. Almost got it, but don’t be such a doob. Use the number symbol (“#”) to indicate the hashtag. If you use it properly, it should turn a different color, in our case blue.

tweet5

Good. You got the hashtag down and now 1,200 people are retweeting your news and scrambling to get to Ballroom A to tweet more about Seth Rogen. Keep going.

tweet6

Awesome. You didn’t make any friends by mistaking the presenter with Seth Rogen, but they’ll get over it. Now, at this point, to build your brand, you need to start the positive spin. No one on Twitter who is worth their salt in brand management EVER says anything negative. EVER. So, move quickly and strongly to the positive, and start to drop a name or two.

tweet7

Two great developments here. First, you dropped a name. Not the right name, but suddenly you’ve increased your chances of being followed by NFL football fans, Vikings fans in particular. But we digress. The other thing you did right was the inclusion of “interesting.” It expresses an opinion that is appropriately non-committal but says that you are engaged. Nice work. Keep going.

tweet8

Awesome. Now you’ve managed to drop two names, both incorrect, but both have serious Klout and skads of followers, one of which is directly engaged in social media for lawyers. The larping comment is also a nice touch, but we hope you are kidding. Now, for the final draft tweet, the one that you should soon be able to do in your sleep:

tweet9

Yes! You nailed it. You dropped the name of a thought genius, used the word “interesting,” even threw in a “learning a lot” to show that you know how to kiss the presenter’s ass. You even imply that you are engaged in social media tribing, or at least know how to spell it. Nice work!

Again, we know it’s not easy. We know that your initial impulse is to be honest and to say things like “meh” or “sucks.” Don’t go there. Stay cloyingly positive, dishonestly friendly even. While it may seem counterintuitive to be dishonest in building a brand, intuition and honesty don’t resonate well with customers or end-product users. Neither do gut feelings. Just go with what people say you should say. That’s what we do, and it’s working out pretty well.

Post image by Retis on Flickr.com

C. Hank Peters ("Chank") is an attorney whose background includes a rural, small-town, solo practice in Minnesota. He uses his practice experience from the late 1970s to advise attorneys who want to establish a lean and client-focused legal practice. He is one of a few legal marketing attorneys online and remains the inspiration for the website Big Legal Brain.

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