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    Law Firm Twitter: Lessons from the NBA


      In his Bloomberg Law article, Most Profitable U.S. Law Firms Don’t Give a Tweet, Casey Sullivan highlighted some of the top law firms anemic presence on the popular social media platform.

      Moses Ehlers, Digital Marketing Strategist at Robins Kaplan LLP, countered with how his “mid-sized law firm” of 220 attorneys and 325 staff members uses social media.

      Of course, the vast majority of lawyers work in firms much smaller; at least 75% are employed in firms of 20 attorneys or less. Regardless, five-person firms to multi-national legal services providers can look to the NBA for lessons on how to use Twitter effectively.

      This year, the NBA became the first professional sports league to pass one billion social-media likes and followers across all league, team, and player accounts. It’s that last bit that stands out: an effort across the league, teams, and players. Everyone getting involved.

      The league went on to break its all-time attendance record with almost 22 million fans attending games, a 19 percent increase in TV viewership, and a 27 percent rise in visits to the league’s website. It’s not a stretch to imagine that NBA Twitter played a role. Not a stretch at all, according to a study conducted by a Stanford University student: Tweeting for Tickets (PDF) which shows a link between NBA-related tweet volume and ticket sales.

      How does this apply to law firms?

      Get everyone involved

      Law Firm Twitter is not an effort by the social media maven at your firm sending out occasional tweets on the firm’s handle. It’s a collective effort from the managing partner to practice area heads, to partners and associates, and other members of the firm — on the firm’s account(s) and on their own. See: How Lawyers Use Twitter.


      Everyone has a voice on Twitter. Listen to them: clients-current and prospective, lawyers at your firm and elsewhere, other firms including your competitors and their clients. Do this by setting up Twitter lists, custom searches, and strategic following. See: 20 Legal Industry Twitter Accounts to Follow.

      Highlight uniqueness and strengths

      Admittedly, law firms don’t have made-for-Twitter spectacular dunks, beautiful 3-pointers, behind-the-back passes, crossovers, or celebrities sitting courtside. But you have significant wins, innovative processes, cutting edge technology, star attorneys and staff making a difference, and high wattage clients.

      Unleash members of the firm to share on Twitter and to be genuine and personable.


      “The NBA understood that diversity was a moral imperative, but it was the first league to understand that diversity and inclusion are also business imperatives…Among American sports leagues, the NBA has consistently earned the highest grades on both racial and gender inclusion.”

      How would you score on a diversity and inclusion report card?

      Your Twitter presence should reflect the diversity of your firm and client base. If it’s not a competitive advantage, work to make it one.

      Promote your Twitter handle

      Twitter offers a robust ad platform that lets you quickly create campaigns and promote tweets. It’s effective and firms should use it. See: Turbocharge Your Firm’s Social Media Presence With Twitter Ads.

      But that’s not all. You should promote your now robust handle on marketing materials and other outlets. Many of the NBA teams display their Twitter handles on the side of the court. And the NBA added the @NBA handle to the official Spalding game ball. Imagine making your firm’s Twitter experience so meaningful that you want to put it on the walls of the waiting area at your firm or the information you give to clients.

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