According to Laurel Papworth - CEO of The Community Crew, who was named by Forbes magazine as one of the top 50 social media influencers globally in 2012, has warned that unless law firms finely targeted their social media comments they risked being branded as “social spam.”
Papworth told the conference that it was important that law firms did not use their Facebook presence to simply broadcast every piece of information about every area of law to all their clients, and that while Twitter could be a useful venue for such broadcast applications, Facebook needed to be treated differently.
According to Papworth, firms should consider using tools such as Hootsuite in order to finely target particular “tribes” within their client base. This, she said, would provide, for example, tax alerts to people interested in tax, and family law alerts only to individuals who were interested in that information.
While Papworth warned that social networks could pose challenges for law firms, she warned that those firms which made no efforts to develop a social media presence risked being “eclipsed by their own savvy lawyers who exploited social media communities for their own, rather than their firms’ benefits.”
“There is a coming war between the corporate and the personal brand,” she warned.
For law firms where the relationships forged with clients were more personal than brand related, Papworth said this could be a particular risk as clients cemented themselves via social networking to individual lawyers rather than particular firms.
And, she concluded, it was important law firms, like other enterprises, took a considered approach to social media – but also understood that it was not possible to micro-manage social media interactions.
Social media was one of the key focus areas at last week’s Lawtech summit, with mobility, BYOD, big data, business intelligence and cloud computing also high on legal IT managers’ agendas for the coming year.
According to Jenny Katrivesis project director, conferences and summits for Chilli IQ, which organised the Lawtech Summit, against a backdrop of “incredible flux in the legal landscape with a rash of global mergers and acquisitions underway or already effected,” IT managers and chief information officers attending the summit had confirmed they were under “intense pressure to deliver cost effective and efficient technologies that could be changed rapidly as their firm’s strategy shifted.”
Katrivesis announced at last week’s summit that Chilli IQ had formed the Lawtech Alliance intended as a peer to peer networking initiative to support legal IT managers “navigating the challenges of providing information technology and communications services to lawyers and law firms.”
Katrivesis said that members of the Alliance would automatically be provided entry to the Lawtech Summits, with the 8th summit to take place on 12-13 September next year at the Sheraton Mirage Resort and Spa on Queensland’s Gold Coast.