Just months ago the Law Society of Scotland published its social media guidelines for the legal profession. As we wrote at the time, the document missed the opportunity to outline the advantages for the legal sector if firms align their use of social media to their business objectives. Now new evidence has emerged pointing to law practices’ reluctant adoption of social media.
Research carried out by Strathclyde University has confirmed that when it comes to social media, law firms are failing to keep apace with most other sectors, The DRUM has reported.
The study found that a mere 10% of Scottish law firms actively use Twitter to reach potential clients looking for legal advice. According to The DRUM, the findings can be used to make a deduction about law firms’ social media adoption in the UK as a whole.
The Firm’s editor, Steven Raeburn, points out that social media’s primary function should be in business development and reputation building, as a “utility that lets you speak directly to your clients, and allows them to see you doing your best.”
Social media has a lot of potential benefits that agile lawyers can tap into. The growing trend of individual lawyer marketing across various social channels offers online opportunities to boost a firm’s reputation by promoting a partner as a thought leader in their respective area of expertise.
LinkedIn’s professional networking capabilities have clear benefits for law firms, which is not surprising given that out of all the social media channels, it most closely reflects traditional business networking models.
Facebook, although generally perceived as a personal social network, can also contribute to increasing a law firm’s reach as could be seen in the case of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP. The firm, which has 23 offices, approximately 1,800 attorneys and more than 40 areas of practice, is an example of the effective use of Facebook to increase a law practice’s reach and build trust.
Socially savvy legal practices, such as Dechert LLP, use YouTube videos to explain their views on topics of current interest, and thus build their firm’s reputation as a reliable, professional and knowledgeable source.
As Bill Drummond, Managing Partner at Brodies LLP, stated in Business Insider magazine:
“Those firms that challenge convention and think creatively about their business model are nimble and agile in the execution of their plans, and who quickly organise themselves to deliver superior service, value and results to their clients will enjoy success.”
The customer journey for legal services is now increasingly beginning online and having a brochure website is leaving many law firms with no mechanism to generate and convert online leads. A coordinated strategy to serve up the growing demand for relevant information by offering compelling content across social channels in a personalised, platform-agnostic way would go a long way to help equity partners get a return on their marketing spend.
Learn how to be a forward-thinking law firm by downloading our e-book, Why Inbound Marketing is the Future for Legal Firms.
Image credit: Rosaura Ochoa via Flickr/Creative Commons