Social media use amongst lawyers and law firms seems to be a trending topic these days. Two things of note:
Vizibility and LexisNexis recently conducted a survey of US firms to help shed light on the use of social media in legal services marketing. They put together an announcement, but I’m a big fan of their snappy infographic (click to enlarge):
The survey found that a clear majority of participants consider social media an important part of their overall marketing strategy, with nearly half (48.5%) reporting that social media is “somewhat important” while another 31% believe the tools are “extremely important” to their total marketing efforts. However, the survey also found everyone is measuring social media use differently, and “use” is no reliable indicator of “results”.
Speaking of results, the other item that caught my eye speaks to that directly. In an article titled Does Your Law Firm have Klout? in the Febuary 2012 issue of Canadian Lawyer, author Jim Middlemiss talks about measuring the impact a firm’s social media has. Hundreds of tweets or cadres of followers doesn’t provide any useful information – instead, the article talks about Klout scores. Klout is a web site that purports to measure an firm’s online influence in the digital universe. The thinking is that if you have influence (a higher Klout score), you are more likely to be a thought leader. He makes some interesting observations about the firms – size isn’t a guarantee online influence. Gowlings, for instance, a top tweeter, and ranked first in terms of the number of followers on Twitter and LinkedIn, had a Klout score that placed them in the middle of the pack.
(Full disclosure: I have a Klout score of 10, which is the social media equivalent of having a heartbeat….)
The lesson? Social media is important, but its use should be focused and rationalised. Mere presence in the digital world will just equate to digital static. If no one is retweeting or mentioning or liking you, you aren’t influencing anyone, and unlikely to stand out from the noise.