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Social Media and the Law

Posted by: Laurence Simons 25/06/15

It seems there is a certain discord between law firms and the use of social media. Traditionally inclined towards high risk assessment in their practices, there is a reluctance to fully wade in and harness the power of this online world. But why is this caution endemic in the legal sector? And are firms missing a trick when it comes to their unwillingness to embrace this medium?

Some people, including Mark Brandon of legal PR agency Overture London, express the need for firms to pack their social media (and tech) strategies with innovation and redefine the parameters of its place within the sector. Not only can effective use of these online channels result in promotion of your firm as a thought leader, but can also be a highly successful networking tool, both personally and in business.

So, what are the top three things a firm should aim to achieve with a social media strategy?

  • Brand awareness – by being active and involved online, you are putting your image and message out there, which is great both for business and for your employer brand.
  • Increased traffic to your website – this can be through social media bookmarking or using buzzword phrases which people are likely to search, some of this traffic may even be from leads which you can follow up on.
  • Developing business relationships – who knows when you will need to pipeline talent or ask for someone’s expertise?

Admittedly, there are pitfalls with this type of marketing. An organisation must rely on its employees, or brand ambassadors, to uphold company values and make time in their already busy schedules to blog/tweet etc. There are also times when social media usage by firms may be a bit misguided or counterintuitive. One such case is of a firm who recently, whilst some victims of the rollercoaster crash at the Alton Towers theme park in the UK were still awaiting rescue, tweeted:

Been injured in a roller coaster crash?! We’re experts in Personal Injury!! #Smiler #AltonTowers

So, what’s your opinion on social media in the legal sector?