According to a new report by Seth Fitzgerald which appeared in Top Tech News today: “In 2014, the Asia-Pacific region will account for 32.8% of all Twitter users, compared with 23.7% in North America, eMarketer estimates, and by 2018, Asia-Pacific will more than double North America’s share, breaking the 40% mark in terms of worldwide market share.” According to the same report: By 2018 “an estimated 160 million of Twitter’s 400 million users will be in the emerging markets of Asia, and that growth could be even greater if China removes a ban on the social network in the next four years.”
“When looking at Twitter’s active users, the Asia-Pacific region already accounts for a greater percentage of users than North America and Western Europe, according to eMarketer. However, the gap between Asia and other regional markets will continue to grow as more people get online in countries like Indonesia and Japan.”
These statistics mirror similar statistics Asia Law Portal cited last year: “[The] Asia-Pacific region [is now] adding the most new internet users in the world — according to a new report published recently by Jim Dougherty, social media analyst and commentator at Leaders West. According to the report: “Of the new connections between now and 2017, an estimated 61% will be from Asia-Pacific. This growth will be driven mostly by the “big three” emerging markets: [India, China and Indonesia]. Between these countries they’ll have an estimated 3 billion [internet] connections in 2017.”
What does this mean for lawyers in the region?
Given Twitter’s rapid regional growth and already appealing platform for creating connections around the world – here are two ways in which lawyers in the Asia-Pacific region can benefit from using Twitter:
1. Twitter lists. Twitter is an excellent research tool. International lawyers can identify ideal prospective clients and referral sources – and seek to engage them via the content they’ll write on their blog (this essay presumes an international lawyer should be blogging). With your Twitter lists in hand – a lawyer can begin to creatively engage with list members over time – both on — and importantly – off Twitter.
2. Breakdown barriers: Apart from the pure business development mathematics above – Twitter allows international lawyers to engage in discussions, follow discussions, learn of seminars and conferences – relevant to their practices, clients and referral sources. Twitter breaks down barriers to entry into an international practice – whether geographic or otherwise. It opens doors to build relationships offline – and importantly too – will attract some (or many), who might just “find” you from searching for something you’re an expert in. And in the Asia-Pacific region, as the statistics I’ve cited above reflect, more will be online seeking the services of lawyers.
Importantly, too, recent studies support a correlation between on-line engagement by professional services providers and success in securing new clients.
If you’re an international lawyer and want to break down barriers of time zones, geography,and cost to acquire new clients – Twitter is an effective means by which to connect to client and referral sources around the world. It’s by no means required for good business development, but it can make it a lot easier.