Throughout 2013, along with our friends at Good2BSocial, ATL researched the social media practices of law firms. The research had three components: (1) a review of the websites and social media profiles of the Am Law 50 across all public platforms, including an assessment of each firm’s publicly available content as well as social reach and engagement (number of followers, comments, etc.); (2) a survey of the firms themselves regarding the extent to which they are currently using social technologies and practices internally; and (3) a survey of the ATL readership to glean the perspective of practicing attorneys and other legal professionals.
We are publishing the results of this research in two stages. Back in December, we published a white paper summarizing our findings and analysis. (Sign up here to receive a free download of the paper.) Our findings show that, while the majority of the Am Law 50 are established on the major public social media platforms, their presence often exhibits only a token effort. Generally speaking, there is little evidence that Biglaw is addressing the social media landscape strategically rather than using it as just another marketing channel for firm news and press releases. That said, some Biglaw firms are distinguishing themselves with the reach, engagement, and creativity of their social media efforts.
Today we publish the second component of our findings: our inaugural Social Law Firm Index, where we identify which specific firms are making the most effective use of social media…
In order to create our Social Law Firm Index, we developed a formula which took into account these metrics (For a fuller description of our methodology, download our white paper.):
Reach. Represents the total number of unique people who had an opportunity to see the firm’s content. Reach would include number of followers on Twitter and/or LinkedIn, company page likes on Facebook, and followers or subscribers on other of social media channels (for example: YouTube channel subscribers or
Engagement. Measures the actual interaction with the firm’s content via social media. This would include comments or likes (for status updates) on Facebook, RTs or mentions on Twitter, and likes on LinkedIn.
Owned Media. An assessment of the firm’s own site (including microsites) based on, among other things, the proportion of non-promotional content, frequency of updates, and shareabiity of content.
Here are the top 10 firms for Reach, Engagement and Overall:
Congratulations to DLA Piper for sweeping all the categories by a considerable margin.
Aside from their membership in the Am Law 50, the firms on these lists don’t fall into any easily identifiable category based on geographical locations or practice strengths. (One might guess, for example, that Silicon Valley-focused firms would do particularly well by these metrics, but that’s not the case.) One thing many of these firms with strong social media presences have in common is that they feature specialized social media practice groups. Seven out of our top 10 overall firms feature a group dedicated to handling the social media-related issues of clients: DLA Piper, Hogan Lovells, White & Case, Greenberg Traurig, Reed Smith, Perkins Coie, and Foley & Lardner. DLA Piper’s social media practice area page is here.