Don’t be surprised when I tell you this, but Twitter isn’t just about the tweets. People might be sending millions of messages every day, using trending hashtags, and talking about their feelings, their businesses, and their lunches, but there’s something else Twitter has that needs to more emphasis.

Lawyers that rely on Twitter to increase their brand awareness and even find some new clients should especially pay attention to this article because they might be missing a major component of their Twitter accounts: their profile!

You might night even remember setting up your Twitter profile but many years ago, when you finally decided to join Twitter, you quickly filled out a few fields that asked for a photo, a username, and a bio. At the time, you might not have realized what an impact Twitter can have on your legal practice, so those fields might not be as optimized as they can be.

This is important because when people are looking for lawyers to follow, learn from, and hire, they’re not just reading your tweets. Potential clients are also evaluating your photo, your bio, and other factors that can make or break their decision in hiring you. Make sure your Twitter profile isn’t lacking by following these important tips.

A ‘Real’ Username

If you started using Twitter for personal use and then switched to using the same account for your law firm, there’s a possibility you named your Twitter handle something inappropriate or unrecognizable. This can pose a problem to potential clients who are either trying to find you on Twitter or looking to see if you’re a reputable lawyer.

If you haven’t already created a professional username, now is the time. The best practice would be to use your full name or your branded name. For instance, @JonathonDoe is the perfect handle to allow clients and potential clients to recognize you with. Also, if you’re known by another name, say you have a weekly blog called ‘Ask Dave The Lawyer,’ a Twitter handle that helps people identify you that way would also be appropriate. But don’t make your Twitter handle too long, otherwise it will be difficult for people to fit enough content when tweeting you or retweeting your messages. Instead of using a long handle like @AskDaveTheLawyer, maybe a short handle like @AskLawyerDave, @AskDave, or @LawyerDave would work.

A Professional Photo

After you’ve picked a username that puts your name out there and sells your brand, pair it with a professional photo to become your profile picture, or avatar. Many law firms have a professional photographer come around once a year or sooner to take headshots of their lawyers. If you’ve had a headshot like this taken, that would be the perfect avatar to use. If not, consider getting one taken or choosing a picture with similar characteristics.

The photo you choose for your avatar will represent you, your practice, and your clients. You want to make sure it inspires comfort and confidence. If you’re chugging a few beers in your photo, that might not bode well for clients or future employers. Furthermore, don’t pick photos that make you look like you’re on vacation or photos where you’ve had to cut someone else’s head out. Unless your photoshopping skills are top-notch, it looks silly for a lawyer to have such an inappropriate photo.

An Informative Bio

You have 160 characters to tell potential followers and clients who you are, what you’re about, and why they should follow and/or hire you. You don’t have much space to lose when you can only fit in a few sentences. So here are some ground rules for creating a great bio that’s short, sweet, and above all, informative.

First, don’t try to fit everything about you into this tiny little box. Even if you can do it using ‘U’ instead of ‘you’ and ‘w’ instead ‘with,’ you should stray away from looking like a texting middle schooler. A little bit of information can go a long way here. Include your location, job title, and expertise and you should be fine.

It’s enough to get people interested in your profile and aware about what you do. If they want to find out more, they can always look you up! This brings us to our next tip.

A Website URL

Thank you, Twitter, for now including a space to type in website URL’s that doesn’t detract from our 160-character bios. There is a dedicated space where you to get show off your practice’s website and you should absolutely take advantage of it. This is where people will go to find out more about who you are, what kinds of services you provide, and hopefully, to make an appointment with you. Get that URL in there for the finishing touch on optimizing your Twitter profile.

Many lawyers depend on Twitter to help them reach a wide audience and create a reputation for themselves. Twitter is a fantastic marketing tool and it can be even more powerful with the right profile to go with it. Before you start sending out tweets, make sure your profile is all it can be with a identifiable username, a professional photo, a concrete bio, and a website URL. Your followers will have an easy time turning into clients once they’ve been provided with all the right information.

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