3 JanBusiness Development, Business Intelligence, Social Media by Allison Nussbaum No Comments
I recently had the opportunity to review this survey, conducted on behalf of Martindale Hubbell and consisting of 110 responding law firms from around the world, which showed that LinkedIn was the most popular social media platform for law firms to participate in, followed by Twitter and Facebook. Having just recently fought the social media wars in a law firm, all I could think was that there was nothing new or even newsworthy about this result. Reading the following quote by Derek Benton, director of International Operations at Martindale Hubbell, I had a flashback to a presentation I did at the LMA conference in 2008 where I made this same point. “Social networking was once thought to be just for socializing – for sharing your social life with your friends and for making new ones – but it has gone far beyond that. With some notable exceptions, now is the time for law firms to adapt their business models and experiment with social media as part of their client acquisition and retention programs, or risk being left behind.” I am left to wonder how it is that so little progress has been made on this front in 4 years?
Let’s face it, in this day and age, potential clients are on LinkedIn and Twitter and yes, Facebook (although I am hesitant myself to blur the social/work lines with Facebook) and law firms ignore these important outlets at their peril. However. It seems to me that there is lots of talk in our industry about how law firms can be better social media contributors, but not much about being social media consumers. Isn’t it time that law firms focused on mining the vast amount of business and competitive intelligence embodied in those blogs, Tweets and LinkedIn discussions? User-created content, aka social media, is where some of the most important business conversations are occurring today, and I am dead certain that there are important nuggets out there that will lead firms to valuable information that will help them with client acquisition and retention. One of the most important lessons learned in “Sales 101″ is that the seller who listens more than s/he talks is the one who gets the deal. Perhaps the time has come for law firm social media strategy to include the listening part?