Law firms run the risk of using “social spam” if they continue to bombard clients and potential employees with information on Facebook, a social media expert claims.
Laurel Papworth, who was named by Forbes magazine as one of the top 50 social media influencers globally in 2012, says law firms developing social media profiles run the risk of losing traction if they bombard clients and prospects with information on Facebook.
She said It is important that law firms do not use their Facebook presence to broadcast every piece of information about every area of law to all their clients, or they risk being branded as “social spam”.
She said that while Twitter could be a useful venue for such broadcast applications, Facebook needed to be treated differently.
Papworth said law firms should use tools such as Hootsuite to finely target particular tribes within their client base. This would provide, for example, tax alerts to people interested in tax.
She warned that Facebook optimisation worked such that a law firm’s rating would drop every time one of its posts failed to attract attention, meaning that over time its social media efforts could be severely diluted.
While social networks can pose challenges for law firms she said those firms that 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 said.
For law firms where the relationships forged with clients are more personal than brand related, this could be a particular risk as clients cemented themselves via social networking to individual lawyers rather than particular firms.
She said it was important law firms, like other enterprises, take a considered approach to social media, but also understand that it is not possible to micro-manage social media interactions.
Papworth, CEO of The Community Crew, was a key speaker at the LawTech Summit last year. The next event is taking place in Queensland this week.
Social media is one of the key focus areas at this year’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 , the Lawtech Summit has gorwn from a small idea of producing Australia’s first legal technology event to the “must-attend event” for legal technology in Australia and New Zealand.
The 8th Lawtech Summit will take place on 12-13 September 2013 at the Sheraton Mirage Resort and Spa on Queensland’s Gold Coast.