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More Reasons for Lawyers Not to Use Twitter

Microblogging service Twitter has its share of evangelists, but law firm marketing guru Larry Bodine sure isn't one of them. Two weeks back, Bodine gave Twitter the bird, concluding that it wasn't an effective tool for law firm marketing. Bodine's post spawned an outpouring of criticism (summarized here) from Twitter fans who defended its benefits as a supplement to other marketing efforts and as an effective way to build a brand. 

But Bodine remains unconvinced and he's continued to list the drawbacks or limitations of Twitter. Earlier this week, Bodine reported that Twitter has increasingly become a target for viruses and worms that can be activated when users click on a shortened URL included in a Tweet. Today Bodine highlights two recent findings about Twitter use that might make some lawyers reconsider its value.

First, Bodine points to a recent study by the Harvard Business Review which found that 10 percent of active users are responsible for 90 percent of all Tweets. This kind of data puts a damper on the argument that Twitter is a great conversation starter, given that only a small fraction of users are participating. On the other hand, the 10 percent participation levels don't seem all that much different from those I've observed in my own experience on listservs or at conferences. As a general matter, a small percentage is always responsible for most of the communication and interaction, regardless of fora, while the remainder lurk (on a listserv) or simply sit in silence (at a conference).

In addition, Twitter may not be effective for those interested in targeting or building relationships with younger clients. A study by Twitterati found that young people don't like Twitter, and instead, favor other forms of social media. Twenty-two percent of people between the ages of 18 and 24 had a Twitter account, while a full 99 percent had a social networking profile. Some speculate that younger people already get their fill of "micro-communication" from text messaging, which dampens the appeal of Twitter.

So what do you think? Does any of this change your impression of Twitter as a marketing tool?

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on June 4, 2009 at 03:57 PM | Permalink | Comments (17)


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