Use Twitter to learn about prospective clients, employers and contacts
Twitter is your soap box. Now make it your microscope. Use
Twitter to learn about potential clients, employers and
professional contacts. We'll discuss researching a potential
client, but the advice below is equally applicable to prospective
employers and networking contacts.
Twitter is excellent for researching potential clients because
information posted on Twitter is focused and timely. A potential
client's tweets tell you exactly what is on his or her mind at this
moment. Compare that to a Google search. Even the most
carefully-crafted Google search may return irrelevant or dated
The first step of your Twitter research is to determine if the
potential client uses Twitter. You can search for the potential
client on Twitter's website, see our prior post on
searching Twitter, or look for their Twitter username (their
"handle" in Twitterspeak) on their website or LinkedIn profile. Once you find
the user's handle you follow him or her. As he or she tweets, read
the tweets and linked materials. You can also search Twitter for
"mentions" (references to a user by others). You can save any
useful searches and run them daily.
If you meet a potential client you can use Twitter to get to know
them better. Ask him or her if they are active on Twitter and
mention that you will follow them. Following your potential client
is a great way to express interest and, if you interact with the
potential client, stay top of mind. Also follow entities related to
the potential client, such as their company or associations they
are actively involved in, such as the Massachusetts Bar Association
You can expand your search beyond one potential client. If you are
interested in serving a particular industry you can find and follow
users in that industry to glean what's important to the industry.
You can also follow people retweeted by the users you initially
As you follow more users, Twitter suggests additional people for
you to follow in the "Who to Follow" box found in the left column
of your home page. If you are targeting your own industry, you can
find users like yourself in the "Similar to Me" box on your profile
page. Before you follow someone check their status. If his or her
last tweet was long ago or he or she has very few followers, they
may not be a good person to follow.
Subscribing to a "list" is another great way to find and follow
groups of users. A list is a group of Twitter users selected
("curated" in Twitter parlance) for a common characteristic, such
as interest in a particular topic. Viewing a list's timeline only
shows Tweets from users on that list. A LOMAP blog post on creating
and using lists can be found
here. You can search for users and lists on Listorious, a curated, Twitter
lists directory and people search engine. For tips on using Twitter
to learn about a new area or specialty see this
superb post by Rocket Matter's Tim Baran (@Tim_Baran).
You want to know your potential clients, employers and
professional contacts? Do it 140
characters at a time, via Twitter.
Thanks to Jean Terranova (@JeanTerranova) of the
Law Office of Jean
Terranova and Betsy Munnell (@BetsyMunnell) of Munnell Associates for
their invaluable advice and suggestions.
Tip courtesy of Scott L. Malouf (@ScottMalouf),
Management Assistance Program (@MassLOMAP).
Published July 26, 2012
To learn more about the Law Practice Management
Section, which is complimentary for all MBA members,
contact LPM Section Chair Thomas J. Barbar or Vice