Law firms taking a half-hearted approach to social media

This is the title of an interesting news story on the Managing Partner website, which looks at the results of a survey of Law Firms use of social media tools. There aren't to be honest too many surprises when it comes to the social media tools that law firms are using. In summary;

"LinkedIn is by far the most popular social media platform among law firms (with 77 per cent penetration), followed by Twitter (31 per cent), Facebook (29 per cent) and YouTube (10.9 per cent)"

And further on in the article:

"Over the past year, adoption of LinkedIn by UK firms has increased dramatically. The number of partners and employees at mid-sized UK law firms that have LinkedIn accounts has typically doubled from under a quarter in 2010. In addition, the number of people following top 50 law firms on LinkedIn has almost doubled to nearly 50,000, according to Kelso Consulting research"

So according to the article and the research that was previously undertaken LinkedIn is by far the most well used Social Media tool. So why the hesitancy to use other social media tools?

Ethical considerations

One of the biggest issues for law firms is around ethical considerations, especially in the light of the Practice note issued by the Law Society around the use of social networking tools by solicitors. It's very clear from the practice note that some activities, for example friending clients on facebook are unacceptable and may be in breach of the Solicitors Regulation Authority Code of Conduct.

However usage does vary dependant on where the law firm is located. Unsurprisingly North Amercia leads the way in terms of use of an engagement with Social Media sites. UK law firms are also taking advantage of the opportunities provided by social media. So on first appearance it might appear that the use of social media tools by law firms is quite poor but actually the global use of these tools is quite encouraging.