Survey: smaller law firms punching above their weight online

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By Legal Futures

23 February 2015

Social media: many firms not making much mark

Social media: many firms not making much mark

Eight of the ten most successful law firms at showcasing their expertise online and distributing it via social media fall outside of the UK’s top 50, even though as a whole there is a lot more that large firms can do to improve their standing on Twitter, new research has found.

The analysis of the top 200 firms by content marketing platform Passle showed that while Irwin Mitchell was in top spot, north-west firm Stephensons, Stephens Scown in Exeter and West London practice IBB ranked second, third and fourth respectively, followed by Eversheds in fifth.

Scottish firm Morton Fraser came in sixth, with Pannone seventh. Simpson Millar, BP Collins and another Scottish practice, Harper Macleod, made up the remaining top ten.

But Passle’s research showed that the entire top 200 have much progress to make, as collectively they have fewer than 360,000 Twitter followers – it noted that, by contrast, the one-year-old nephew of One Direction’s Niall Horan has more than 500,000 followers.

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Passle – which we at Legal Futures are using to power our new ‘Fast Futures’ blog – reached its results by ranking each firm against seven criteria and coming to an overall ‘Passle score’.

They are: the number of ‘knowledge pieces’ published in 2014, defined as an insight, blog, article or any other piece that demonstrates knowledge and expertise by someone at the firm (excluding news); the number of knowledge pieces per lawyer in 2014; the number of Twitter followers; the number of tweets in 2014; the number of Twitter followers per lawyer; the number of tweets per lawyer in 2014; and finally each firm’s Klout score.

The entire top 200 produced 30,056 ‘knowledge pieces’ in 2014, which amounted to just 1.96 per lawyer.

Passle co-founder Tom Elgar said: “Our survey shows that it is the smaller law firms that are the most proactive in demonstrating their expertise in innovative ways. Potential clients nowadays expect more from social media than advertisements and dull announcements, but many law firms are unnecessarily reticent about going further than this.”

“These top 200 firms have the best experts in the business, yet they are not demonstrating it online. People, and businesses, want to work with experts. Ghostwritten blogs fail to deliver knowledge and insight on the same level – it really has to be written by someone working in the field to attract both clients and networking opportunities.”

“The common complaint, though, is that lawyers are just too busy doing their jobs to spend time on thought leadership. But there are now tools which allow them to get online with their insights quickly and easily.”

  • Top 200 firms can see how they rank against their competitors by requesting a free report here.


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