“Firms using social media to broadcast rather than converse, survey finds”

October 18th, 2011

From the UK, where the legal profession is evolving much faster than ours.

Bigger law firms are embracing social media but then failing to engage in two-way communications through it, new research has found.

The survey for RTS Media, which polled 50 marketing managers at mainly larger practices, found that nearly half of the firms prohibited staff from accessing social networks from work IT equipment – even though clients were keen to interact with staff that way.

It said that 76% of the firms use social media, with a further 15% planning to.

LinkedIn is the most popular platform, with 40% of firms using it followed by 34% using Twitter and 20% on Facebook.

Most saw social media as a broadcast tool. Asked about the best use for social media, 45% said announcing firm news, 19% said to express opinions or make statements about news and issues, and 13% highlighted marketing products and services. A small number (7%) thought its primary value was in making their firm look modern. No one plumped for monitoring the competition as their answer.

Just 13% saw social media’s key purpose as “chatting with other people/organisations/customers”, but there was evidence that clients wanted to communicate via different social media, particularly using the LinkedIn profile of staff members and sending direct messages via Twitter.

This is why I ask my students to communicate in class via twitter. Short, concise, effective use of social media is a key tool to communicate with clients is so important, but so understudied.