It’s all about the client – Is it not?
With Twitter gathering speed and more and more lawyers tweeting, connecting engaging and sharing somewhere in the middle of all that ‘chatter’ lays a crucial component that we cannot forget about: The Client.
As a big fan of ‘twitter’ myself for many different reasons I must admit it is easy to loose sight of the very reason we enter the legal profession in the first place. THE CLIENT
Building your on-line reputation can help law students to connect with potential employers, it can help academics gain insight into legal research and academic studies around the work and it can assist law firms in finding ‘rising stars’ and checking out what their competitors are doing but what does twitter do for; The client?
Using your time on twitter to talk to other lawyers can be a waste of time; if there is nothing in it for the client. It raises lots of questions too.
How do you bill for your time spent on twitter?
Do your clients follow you on twitter?
Do you actually get any work form using twitter?
Should lawyers dedicate all of their resources on twitter alone?
Ok so you have managed you get some of your fee earners spending time on twitter, tweeting to other lawyers and chirping about what the firms up to but who pays for that time? Are clients aware that they are billed for the time spent on twitter or are employees expected to tweet in their own time?
Depending on the type of firm you have many clients do follow their lawyers on twitter and at @roadtrafficlaw as part of a multi-strand marketing strategy all of their clients are encouraged to follow the Scottish Road traffic specialists titter account. Not all of them do. Some clients still need to see an advert or something in the media.
It’s important to remember though that not everyone uses twitter and indeed not all clients even own a computer. They may still need a road traffic lawyer or a family lawyer or IP advice. Putting all your eggs in one basket unfortunately means that you let your clients down. As part of their communications strategy many firms need to go back to basics and ask – who are our clients and how do they communicate?
One of the good uses for twitter is the referring work to other lawyers in fields in which we don’t practise. At www. roadtrafficlaw.com over the last year we have passed many road traffic cases to lawyers met through twitter and indeed passed on referrals in all areas of law. The internet is great for bringing in clients on mass but client come to you for advice they don’t always understand that areas of jurisdiction or areas of practise so when they come to you with a complex issue that cannot be dealt with by your firm it is easy to refer to another lawyer through the connections made on twitter.
Should lawyers dedicate all of their resources to titter alone – I would say absolutely not.
Twitter is like a ‘traffic policeman’ pardon the road traffic pun, directing traffic to somewhere of more value to your firm such as your Blog web site or video site.
In the last 12 months @roadtrafficlaw twitter directed over 9000 views to their YOUTUBE site which shows video clips of real advice for drivers facing a prosecution.
So what’s in it for the client?
When deciding on how to draft our marketing and communications strategy at http://www.roadtrafficlaw.com last September 2009 the key feature was ‘giving the client’ an extra benefit. Giving the client access to law, legal sources, a lawyer and legal information.
In this frenzy of twitter and blogging and facebook and social media it is easy to forget about ‘the client’ and get lost in the networking, engaging, discussion theme that has emerged.
Today I’m thinking about ‘The Client’ – join me
Michelle Hynes-McIlroy LLB (Hons)