#Legal social


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Behind the curve: Canadian Law Firms and Social Media

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#Legal social

  1. 1. Behind the Curve: A Case Study - Social Media & Canadian Lawyers #LegalSocial Lyn Whitham/ Syracuse University/ PRL 600 August 14, 2013
  2. 2. #LegalSocial ―Maybe I am nuts, but I look at lawyers questioning the value of social media as akin to lawyers in years past questioning the value of fax machines, email, and cell phones” - Kevin O’Keefe, Why Social Media for Lawyers is Not Going Away (LexBlog, Posted May 14, 2013) http://kevin.lexblog.com/2013/05/14/why-social-media-is-not-going-away-for-lawyers/
  3. 3. #Legal Social Introduction Background Research Questions Literature Review Industry Thought Leader Interviews A New World for Lawyers Case Study Best Practices What’s Next Postscript
  4. 4. Introduction Lawyers not known as early adopters
  5. 5. Introduction o Lawyers: Traditional, skeptical, worried about privacy, attorney client privilege, regulation, competition and loss of control o Case Study/Canadian Law Firm o How some Cdn firm & US firms are leveraging Social Media o Why Cdn Law Firms are lagging
  6. 6. Background Focus on one Canadian Law Firm’s social media marketing activity Medium sized firm with area of specialization Condition of interview is anonymity so no competitor advantage Best Practices & Challenges Comparison to other Cdn firms US Firms’ Best Practices
  7. 7. Research Questions 1. How are Canadian law firms using social media to market their services? 2. What are the barriers to adoption of social media by Canadian law firms and lawyers. How can those barriers be overcome?
  8. 8. Google Alerts #LegalSocial • Law and Social Media • Lawyers and Social Media • Legal Social • Social Media and Law Firms
  9. 9. Literature Review Research was sourced on social media and in traditional publications . The theories used are: Diffusion of Innovation (Everett Rogers, 1962) Public Choice Theory ( Duncan Black, 1948) Complexity Theory (Dawn R. Gilpin & Priscilla Murphy, 2010)
  10. 10. Literature Review o Diffusion of Innovation o How, why and how quickly new ideas & technology spread through cultures o According to Rogers, 4 main elements: 1) Innovation 2) Communication Channels 3) Time (rate of adoption & critical mass) 4) Social System – the group
  11. 11. Literature Review Diffusion of Innovation Rate of Adoption & when Critical Mass is reached Categories of Adopters: Innovators Early Adopters Early Majority Late Majority Laggards
  12. 12. Adoption Rates
  13. 13. Diffusion of Innovation Process
  14. 14. Literature Review Public Choice Theory Opinion Leaders are influential in diffusion Spread positive or negative information about innovation Elites often not innovators Innovation introduced by outsiders Legal community: an elite not known for innovation known for preserving the status quo
  15. 15. Public Choice Theory Machiavelli’s Perspective “This lukewarm temper arises partly from the fear of adversaries who have the laws on their side, and partly from the incredulity of mankind, who will never admit the merit of anything new, until they have seen it proved by the event” * * http://www.dr4ward.com/dr4ward/2012/06/what-would-machiavelli-say-is-the-biggest-challenge-facing-digital- and-social-media-quote.html
  16. 16. Literature Review Complexity Theory In today’s environment there is a ―turbulent mix of messages and stakeholders‖ Convergent environments are complex communication systems… ―creating uncertainty, instability, unclear boundaries and non-linear consequences‖
  17. 17. Industry Thought Leader Interviews Dan Buganto, Digital Account Manager, Edelman Toronto o Melissa Agnes, Social Media & Crisis Consultant, Montreal Managing Partner/ Canadian Law Firm, Toronto Social Media Manager, Canadian Law Firm, Toronto
  18. 18. Lawyers & Social Media The Legal Community is wrestling with social media: o Social Media Law o Copyright, Sweepstakes, DotCom Disclosures Guide provides guidance for online and mobile advertisers* Rules of Evidence Email, Social Media Privacy Rights: Instagram to sell the content you post, Employers & Social Media, Protecting Intellectual Property Marketing Business Development and Brand
  19. 19. A New World For Lawyers Clara Shih & Lisa Shallet in the Harvard Business Review: ―While participating in social media is not without risk, not participating might prove to be the greater risk — especially to reputations.‖* o Having your Reputation Defined by Others o Being Invisible and Less Credible o Being Perceived as Behind the Curve *http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2013/07/the_perils_of_being_a_social_media_holdout.h tml
  20. 20. A New World for Lawyers “Business is in purgatory. It’s out with the old but not yet in with the new. There is lots of experimenting. If you don’t adapt you’ll die!”*
  21. 21. Case Study Toronto Law Firm’s Social Media Objectives: o Brand Awareness as a Thought Leader o Business Development o Leverage brand attributes – expertise, warmth, humanity o Drive traffic to website o Media Relations
  22. 22. Toronto Law Firm Key Social Media Tactics & Platforms Blogs Legal Topics and Reflections LinkedIn Blog Postings No content curation 53 Followers YouTube Professional topics Twitter 245 followers
  23. 23. Toronto Law Firm Best Practices: Key Audiences Identified Brand Positioning Established High Quality Video Production High Quality Website Podcasts Blogging Authentic voices
  24. 24. Toronto Law Firm Challenges: No social media strategy Resourcing Strategic use of Twitter - potential for geo-targeting, live tweeting, followers from key audiences, key influencers, leverage relationships Content challenges: ―Don’t want to appear silly. This is a serious dignified profession.‖ Content Challenges: Variety, Speed and Frequency Believes competitive Advantage lost through Social Media No Measurement or Analytics
  25. 25. Canadian Law Firms Some Large Enterprise Law firms on Social Media including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube. LinkedIn @BLGLaw 2929 Followers @BlakesLaw 2081 Followers Torys LLP , internal blog for sharing successes Some Smaller Firms Integrating Paid and Owned o Tenant Law Firm advertising ―Ask me Anything on Twitter‖ * *Dan Buganto, Edelman
  26. 26. Canadian Law Firms But Most Firms Hesitate* *http://www.thecounselnetwork.com/uploads/LWSocialMediaandLawFirmsinCa nada121026.pdf
  27. 27. Social Media Use is Skyrocketing A 2013 Pew U.S. Research Study growth occurred in every age group, the biggest increases were found among older adults: 43% of Internet users over the age of 65 reported using social networking sites as of May 2013, a big jump from 32% at the end of 2012 60% of Internet users aged 50-64 used social networks as of May 2013, up from 52% in December 2012 78% of Internet users aged 30-49 use social networking sites’ 89% of Internet users aged 18-29 use social networking sites *http://www.natlawreview.com/article/adult-use-social-media-
  28. 28. U.S. Law Firms A 2012 survey of US lawyers and legal marketers by ALM Legal Intelligence reveals the shift to Social Media Marketing:* • Nearly 50 percent of firms report that blogging and social networking had helped produce leads for new clients. • Around 40 percent said those same efforts had actually helped them land new work. • More than half of respondents said that their firms plan to increase their budget for social media initiatives. • Just over 20 percent said their firms already have a full- time social media specialist on staff. * AbovetheLaw.com by Brian Dalton, posted August 6,2013
  29. 29. Why Social Media for Lawyers*? Impacts search results Controls image online and establishes expertise Distributes content Gives clout and visibility Build Connections, esp. if competitors not on Social Media *http://www.natlawreview.com/article/beyond-new-clients-why-social-media-matters- attorneys
  30. 30. Best Practices for Law Firms Develop a Brand Develop a social media strategy Use Social Media to gather information Monitor Competition Integrate Paid Owned & Earned Measure, Evaluate, Recalibrate
  31. 31. Best Practices for Law Firms Establish Thought Leadership not direct solicitation Plan & Increase Post Frequency Be Strategic: Build Relationships for lead gen Create Key Influencer Strategy Re-purpose existing content Write in clear, accessible language Hire Resources Social Media Policy & Procedures for the firm
  32. 32. Best Practices for Law Firms Content! A learning curve for lawyers - don’t need to take a stand* Company blogs & Partner Blogs with authentic voice Posts should be both personal and professional ―Posts that do not directly relate to law and your practice still serve a purpose‖** Content does not have to violate ethics or privacy *Dan Butano **http://nationallawforum.com/2013/08/07/professional-and-personal-aspects-
  33. 33. Best Practices for Law Firms Content! Creative content development such as employee events, social responsibility activity, celebrations, accomplishments, media coverage, current issues, special days, anniversaries Live tweets/posts from law firm events Photos, videos Curate content
  34. 34. Best Practices for Law Firms Blending Professional and Personal Posts ―Both types of posts serve a purpose. Professional posts receive a few likes and drive traffic to the firm’s website, while more personal posts spread the brand to far more Social Media users, increasing brand recognition and page visibility‖ *http://nationallawforum.com/2013/08/07/professional-and-personal-aspects-of-law- firm-social-media/
  35. 35. Recommended Platforms LinkedIn Twitter YouTube Blogs Google+ Facebook
  36. 36. Research Question 1 How are Canadian law firms using social media to market their services? o Limited use except for the largest law firms o Blogs, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter in early stages o Not strategic o Opportunities for new content approaches o Late Majority or Laggards with innovation
  37. 37. Research Question #2 What are the barriers to adoption of social media by Canadian law firms and lawyers. o Privacy &Privelge o Fear & Worries about copyright, new laws, competitors, fast paced & multiple platform environment (complexity), reputation o Resourcing o Content Uncertainty o How can those barriers be overcome? Developing social media strategy (complexity & reputation) Key Influencers will propel adoption Professional and personal content development balance Evolving legal rulings about social media
  38. 38. What’s Next? Development of ethical standards for social media & client relationships Increasing # of Cdn firms on social media following US adoption rate of increase (Influencers) Protocols: i.e. Use of social media by judges – advice now ―don’t friend lawyers on social media‖ & Oklahoma ruling Social Media & Rules of Evidence ―Changes in legal ethics ultimately driven by changes in technology.‖
  39. 39. Postscript ― It is imperative to have a long term integrated strategy that addresses both the business and legal drivers of every part of an organization, from the board room, to the shareholder, to the executive suite, to marketing, to sales, to Human Resources; to research and development in the form of a customized, written, living, plan that is effective and defensible in order to protect the intellectual property, brand and reputation of one’s business, and that of its clients and/or customers as well‖. Judith Delaney, http://jahmd.wordpress.com/
  40. 40. Thank You lynwhitham@rogers.com @lynwhit http://lynwhitham.tumblr.com/