Time for law firms to embrace social media in 2014

It is perhaps obvious to all in 2014 that social media has had a huge impact on the online community. From personal relationships with family and friends, to how we conduct business, there is no area of the modern world immune to the forces of social media.

Despite this huge shift in how relationships are conducted, and the cost effective benefits for businesses, the legal professional has been somewhat reluctant in the past to jump on the social media bandwagon.

According to an Ipsos MORI poll conducted on behalf of the Law Society in Scotland only 7% of 500 lawyers tweet at least once a week. It may seem like a glass-half-empty scenario, but in fact the slowness by which lawyers and law firms embrace social media should be considered a golden opportunity to create and shape a social media strategy that leaves the competition behind. Indeed, the playing field for law firms to make their mark in 2014 is wide open.

The most successful law firms on Twitter have clearly dedicated much time to their social media strategy and the benefits are noticeable. The consultancy firm ‘Intendance’ found that international law firm ‘Allen & Overy’ has the best online presence of the firms they had studied. With over 15,000 Twitter followers, their creative and concise posts are updated several times a day. Their consistent use of simple language makes filtering for retweets and recommendations more likely too. As well as this, giving engaging responses to individual tweets and linking to other legal articles allows for a wider online reach. 

Using topical content, rather than promoting a firm’s business alone, is itself a form of marketing. This is simply because such content engages users who may at first be searching for general legal news, but end up on a firm’s page by reading this topical content. Using Twitter like this allows for a constant news stream, and complements a firm’s overall PR strategy.

According to a report by McKinsey & Company titled “Turning buzz into gold”, radio took 38 years to reach an audience of 50 million people. TV took 13 years to reach the same amount of people. Most incredibly of all, Twitter took just 9 months to reach an audience that radio took almost 40 years to reach. Therein lies the value and power of social media.

Law firms are only just awakening to the potential a neatly crafted social media campaign can bring. The costs are low, the opportunities are abundant, and the field wide open. Make time to create and frame your firm’s social media strategy now, so can you reap the benefits later.

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