Wednesday, July 11, 2012

What Law Firms Are Not Being Told About Social Media

Communications professional and former journalist, Biserka Anderson (@bisanderson), penned a good piece in Business 2 Community last week entitled ‘What Law Firms are not Told in the Recent Social Media Guidelines.’
The impetus for her article was the Law Society of Scotland’s issuance of social media guidelines focusing on the data and legal implications, risk, ethical and security considerations of a law firm’s using social media.
However, the most interesting part is the missed opportunity to outline the advantages for the legal profession if they align their use of social media to their business objectives.
Law firms need to be aware of risks and pitfalls but they should also be cognisant of the change in their clients’ buying behaviour and the need to maximise the kind of online engagement enabled by social media.
Business development and marketing for law firms is changing with clients’ expectations.
Many law firms still view their website and online activity as peripheral to their success and this is reflected in the plethora of brochure websites that are all about the firm and neither speak to their clients’ issues nor provide for online engagement.
The customer journey to spending on legal fees increasingly is beginning online. They initiate multiple sessions across diverse media influenced by multiple marketing channels. Understanding how well they work and how they operate together is crucial for the legal profession and having the right online engagement model will become a competitive advantage for those firms that are nimble and agile enough.
Anderson cites Scottish law firm, TC Young, as an example of a firm which has deployed a multi-faceted social media plan to engage their target audience of clients and the influencers of clients.
The result?
  • 202% increase in web traffic
  • 245% rise in the number of new visits
  • 700 new inbound links to
  • 11,446 blog post impressions
  • 347% growth in Twitter reach
  • 686 new leads generated
Those of you who know me know I am not a big believer in stats alone. But data such as this is likely indicative of real business development traction – a growing network of relationships, a growing word of mouth reputation, and the procurement of high quality new business.
You’ll regularly see articles and reports warning of the perils of social media with accompanying counsel as to how keep risks to a minimum. It’s easy to take a ‘lawyerly approach’ that’ll drive law firms to maintain the status quo.
What the vast majority of those articles fail to discuss are the opportunities that await law firms who adapt to the way business development can be done via the Internet today. And the way clients expect business development to be conducted today.

-Kevin O'Keefe Real Lawyers Have Blogs

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