Why Twitter for Lawyers? For Listening.

Devil's Postpile National Monument - listening device
Twitter as a listening device and headline scanner.

Twitter as a listening device and headline scanner are aspects of Social Media that Legal Professionals need to master. My Project Social Media presents my thoughts regarding the impact of social media marketing on the practice of law. See my page to for more information.

Therefore let’s get to the heart of the matter:

Why twitter?

Why twitter you may well ask. Isn’t there too many social media outlets? Why do I have to learn and do another one? What is the difference? Why use it?
It is true that there are many social media outlets. More are developed each day and all are a little different from each other. What makes twitter different is it use and how it should be used. Most social media is an opportunity for you the user to push out information about yourself, your firm and your interest. Twitter can be used for this and is being used for this. It is not the primary reason why you should use twitter.

Listening Device

Twitter works best when it is not viewed as a channel to push out information. With twitter you can listen to what everyone else is saying. You can focus on what individuals or firms are saying about anything. Twitter is immediate. You can easily find out what is of interest to your community of friends, associates, competitors or just plan celebrities ors and politicians. By using hash tags to search you can find out what is going on regarding a specific topic.

Headline Scanner

Twitter is a headline scanner. With it you can see what is the most important to the people using twitter. It could be major events such as a hurricane or earthquake. It is faster than any other news media in getting information out to the world. It was a neighbor down the street from Osama Ben Laden that first alerted the world that the Navy Seals were attacking. At the other extreme, a twitter user alerted the world that the TSA in Arizona were convinced that a drivers license from the District of Columbia was not a valid identification to use in airport security because the District of Columbia is not a state of these United States.

A caveat must be used at the same time. There is no absolute guarantee that what is tweeted is the truth. On the other hand, not all is what it seems even though it is mostly true. The selfy at the 2014 Academy Awards was not completely spontaneous. The next day the Wall Street Journal reported that the selfy was the result of a product placement by a cell phone manufacture that was also a sponsor of the program. It did successfully get publicity. The tweets and retweets brought twitter to its knees and most news organizations published articles on it and the selfy the next day. Even the Wall Street Journal article provided more publicity.

Next time, I will discuss more ways Twitter can be used by legal professionals.

**Why the picture of flowing water?  Twitter is a constant flow of information and communications. 


Ken StrongmanAbout the Author: Ken Strongman (www.kpstrongman.com) has years of experience and a growing national reputation as a mediator and arbitrator.  He has successfully resolved more than a thousand disputes in the fields of construction defects, real estate, intellectual property, and employment.  He is also a Mediator and Arbitrator for FINRA.

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