Making it easier to grow your law firm


This section covers succession, specialisation, mergers, selling a law firm, becoming a partner, and business structure

How to plan and execute the process of starting up a new legal practice that is compliant and financially healthy

How to set up your firm’s systems to provide the information that enables you to improve profitability and cashflow

How to avoid professional negligence claims, with examples of common problems and suggested solutions. Plus FAQs on PII

This section only covers SRA Accounts Rules and GDPR at the moment. Compliance for start-ups is covered in the Starting up...

How to protect your law firm from cyber attacks. What steps to take if your systems are hacked

How to recruit and retain a team that is both happy and highly effective, dealing with the HR issues along the way

In marketing, like anything, you need to get the basics right. Otherwise the time and money you invest in marketing will be wasted

How to win new clients, make the most of existing relationships, encourage referrals and generate new leads

How to approach creating a law firm website that works, from agreeing your objectives to making sure you get the results you want

Why lawyers need to know about social media, how to make the most of the opportunities and how to avoid potential pitfalls

How to use PR to build your firm’s reputation; and how to create cost-effective advertising – traditional and online – that delivers results

How to use X/Twitter - for law firms

Rachel Tombs Rachel Tombs, founder of legal marketing and business development firm Orion Legal Marketing, outlines what lawyers need to understand about X, previously known as Twitter. (Updated 15 April 2024)


At a maximum of 280 characters per post, the 'micro-blogging' platform X, previously known as Twitter, is a bit of an oddity. How can anyone – let alone a lawyer – say something meaningful in so few words?

Of course, with the launch of X Premium (which has three tiers: Basic, Premium, and Premium+) there are more features available in each higher tier, and .subscribers to the monthly Premium ‘upgrade’ can use a whopping 25,000 characters, as well as other perks such as an editing window of an hour for published posts and the infamous blue check mark that shows your account has been verified as genuine.

For global brands and personalities who wish to have their accounts verified to distinguish them from the many ‘fake’ accounts impersonating them, this upgrade seems sensible. However, the ability to use more characters per post has not translated into increased engagement or followers, and the majority of users on X appear to still prefer concise posts.

In truth, law firms have been slow to turn to X, and often, those who do post just dabble at it in a way that is guaranteed to achieve little. But X can be a quick and effective way of keeping up to date with what is happening in your area of interest. And for those who are prepared to invest the time, it's a place to start and develop relationships that can lead to new business.

Getting started on X

Even if you have little intention of being active on X, secure your X name before someone else does.

Creating a profile for your law firm is simple, though with almost a billion X accounts already registered (over 330 million of which are active users) you may find your preferred X @name is already being used by someone else. Look at other law firms on X to get ideas for different versions of a name.

You want to make it easy for people to find you if they are searching for legal services, so make sure the most important keywords are included somewhere in your profile. Try a few searches using the sorts of terms potential clients might use (for example, 'divorce law Norwich') to see where there are opportunities.

Headshot of Rich Dibbins smiling"To comply with character limits, employ ShortURLs to condense website links for your posts. For upcoming events, consider pinning posts to boost visibility on your profile but remember to unpin post-event."
Rich Dibbins, founder, Staxton Digital


Your X commitment

To effectively use X, you need to be clear about what you are trying to achieve. Unlike other forms of networking and social media, X is unlikely to generate new fee-paying clients in the short term.

You need to make some key decisions about how you will manage your X activity.

  • How much time and money are you prepared to commit? Do you aim to actively build your presence and network, or will you dip in and out from time to time?
  • Who are you trying to influence and what impression are you trying to make? While a barrister might want to build a reputation for legal expertise, local lawyers may do better by demonstrating an interest and involvement in their community.
  • • Who is going to be responsible for coming up with new posts? The fee-earners who are most likely to have insight into what is worth posting may be unwilling to devote time to helping out. However, you may have some staff members who are already active X devotees – with some careful supervision and guidance, they can be your best advocates.
  • Who will monitor and respond to posts from the accounts you follow?

It may be worth discussing your approach with a consultancy, perhaps as part of your overall social media strategy. They can also advise you on the most useful tools to help you manage your X account.

Your posts

The easiest way to start posting (posts were previously referred to as ‘tweets’) is with your own news. You can post a link to anything that you post on your firm's other social media pages, such as LinkedIn and Facebook. This sort of approach works best if you have a blog or something similar that offers useful content for your target audience, and for promoting new publications and events.

Creating a regular flow of good posts becomes easy if you have put together a large body of useful content in the first place. You can use slightly different versions of the same post several times, linking back to the content on your website and social media. You can also link to videos, podcasts, surveys – the list is endless and variety can be key.

You can easily extend this by sharing articles (and posts) that you find interesting and think your network will also. Add your own comments, or reply directly to the author. Think about your audience – why they will find something interesting, what they might get out of it?

You'll want to post in a way that fits your law firm's style, but try to come up with things that are a little intriguing and thought-provoking. Questions and lists (eg '5 mistakes people make when writing wills') can work well; wherever possible, use images as part of the post.

Think carefully about how you show your firm's interests and personality. Share content about staff's charity work and local networking events you are attending, but don't feel the need to update everyone with the comings and goings at your football club (unless you are a sports lawyer).

Over time, your aim should be to build up a balance that mixes professionalism with personality, and shows a real interest in the people you are interacting with. If one post really expresses what your firm is about and is worth highlighting, you can 'pin' it to the top of your feed.

X technique

  • Post regularly to keep your account active. A post a day done consistently works better than floods of posts followed by none.
  • One piece of original content can generate several posts. Think up different angles and schedule the posts over a period of days, weeks, or months.
  • Use tools to automatically schedule posts for the times when people you most want to reach are likely to be on X. For other lawyers, this is most likely to be early evening.
  • #Hashtags are usually a key element of posts, as they make it easier for posts to be seen by people interested in a particular topic. Get to know the hashtags used by the people you are interested in.
  • Likewise, you can @name people in your post, perhaps because you are replying to them or because you think they will want to be alerted to the post.
  • Think before you post. Be careful about casually posting anything that might breach client confidentiality.
  • It's good to be topical, but don't try to hijack news and conversations to blatantly market your services.

Headshot of Helen Cox"X gives lawyers the opportunity to have a very personal and real-time dialogue with existing and potential clients, while building trust and demonstrating their approachability."
Helen Cox, marketing consultant, Helen Cox Marketing

X monitoring

You can set up a listening dashboard using software such as Hootsuite, which will track when certain keywords are used.

Aim to monitor any posts that mention your firm or individual lawyers. Track your firm's name as well as its @X name. Make sure you respond to any direct questions or comments.

Consider tracking any posts containing combinations of relevant words such as 'recommend + Norfolk + solicitor'.

X can also be a useful platform for keeping up to date with legal developments in your area, industry news for sectors you work with, local developments, and so on.

Depending on how your key clients use X, you may find that following them gives you a sense of their current concerns. Even if this doesn't directly lead to new business, it may make it easier to have fruitful conversations. You can create 'private X lists' that list your key clients so that you can track all of their posts in a single place that is easy to monitor.

Switch off the automatic notifications for everything other than when people mention your X account.

Periodically check who your new followers are. If they are relevant, follow them back. It might be the start of a relationship.

Software such as iUnfollow is useful for tidying up your X account periodically. You can then unfollow some or all of the people who are not following you on X.

Headshot of Brian Inkster"X, like any network, should be as much about listening as talking."
Brian Inkster, founder, Inksters



Getting attention

You should start by growing your network 'organically'. It makes sense to follow the people you should be interested in. Start with your existing network of key clients, referrers and other contacts. You may want to follow industry leaders in your key sectors, relevant legal news reporters and some of the Law Society's X accounts.

Look at who is following competing law firms, and who they are following, and scan through X to find potential referrers (or even clients) that you have yet to build a relationship with. You may want to start following them, or reposting and commenting on relevant posts.

This sort of approach helps draw attention to your X feed. Then it's largely a question of whether what you are saying is interesting enough for them to want to follow and engage with you.

Headshot of Paul Hudson"X shouldn't be a numbers game. Aim for real engagement with people who share common interests with you."
Paul Hudson, marketing director (Europe), Travelers


X top ten

  1. Ensure your profile includes keywords like your location and the services you offer.
  2. Commit to a sustained campaign of building your presence and network.
  3. Get advice on the best tools to use to manage X (and other social media).
  4. Post links to all the interesting content you generate.
  5. Share and comment on interesting content from other sources.
  6. Show your firm's personality but keep things professional.
  7. Limit the amount of self-promotion.
  8. Use automation sensibly – it may be worth scheduling posts, but not sending an automatic thank you message to each new follower.
  9. Keep track of what people are saying about you.
  10. Try to engage with key influencers and potential sources of referrals.


See also: