Attorneys in Transition: Twitter’s future and what it means to you

Nick Augustine is the principal of Augustine Legal PR and he helps law firms and their staffs attract more clients and tell their stories about the legal industry. Nick’s marketing, advertising and media team helps attorneys share their knowledge, skills and abilities. Nick earned a communications and rhetorical studies degree from Marquette University and a law degree from The John Marshall Law School where he is an active Alumni Board member.

Twitter is going through some growing pains as some critics oppose corporate control by the social networking site partners who invest significant revenue to increase the site’s use and value to users and advertisers. Twitter is at a point in the business cycle where it needs to generate income and that may affect key components and how lawyers look at Twitter for marketing and publicity generation.

Recent partnerships to increase traffic could earn Twitter a top spot among a dynamically changing social networking arena where goliaths do battle for their share of users and revenue.

When Twitter first arrived on the social network scene, people praised it as being a simple means of communicating microcontent on a simple platform. Almost anyone could figure out how to tweet from their mobile device, and many did including members of Congress and the entertainment industry. The influx of attention on celebrity tweets may have caused critics to shut the door on Twitter, leading some business critics to do the same. The financial community, however, embraced Twitter and many stock traders to date rely on Twitter first for newsfeeds and tips on stocks from veteran traders.

Twitter’s value to advertisers is based on the site’s ability to establish data, especially their users’ ability to connect Twitter with other apps such as Instagram (photos) and Tumbler (blogs). Recent criticism of Twitter focuses on its engineers’ removal of the ability to connect to Twitter. If my main communication channel to my network is Twitter and I want to take a picture and share it, Instagram is only as good as its ability to post and share the picture to Twitter followers. Who does Twitter want you to use instead of Instagram?

Large media companies are battling for market share and power in social network media. As I researched this article, I saw an advertisement by AMEX – they want us to tweet certain hashtags to receive offers on things we love. NBC also brought a display of Olympic teasers (some say spoilers) to remind us to watch the events live, during prime time (to boost viewership and increase value).

All is fun and games until Twitter and its recent partner NBC create a ‘new Twitter world order’ where NBC is able to suspend the Twitter accounts of critical journalists, and to block access to the official NBC Twitter Olympic hub, to anyone outside the U.S. corporate ownership and censorship might cause some to object, but others praise the increased traffic and revenue associated with major media endorsement. Most Americans trust NBC. When NBC uses Twitter to communicate with us during the day we ‘should’ increase brand loyalty.

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