You have long known the value of social media engagement and how technology can leverage your firm’s number one asset — its intellectual capital. This webinar empowers legal marketers to make the case that social media platforms are credible distribution channels for content and should be part of a firm’s strategic plan.

Guy and Jaron provide insight on the competitive landscape in legal across social media platforms, share user experience best practices and answer your questions.

FEATURING:

Guy Alvarez
Chief Engagement Officer
Good2bSocial, LLC

Jaron Rubenstein
President and Founder
Rubenstein Technology Group

MODERATED BY:

George Sanchez
Director of Business Development
Rubenstein Technology Group

Good2BSocial is a consulting firm that specializes in helping professional service firms reinvent themselves through the use of social enterprise technology.  Our mission is to help clients become more nimble and efficient through the adoption of collaborative technologies and business practices.

 

Video Transcription

George: Hello everyone and good afternoon. My name is George Sanchez, Director of Business Development at RubensteinTech, and I will be moderating today's installment of RubyLaw Thought Leadership Series, The Social Law Firm. For those not familiar with RubyLaw, RubyLaw is a tailored web content management system and digital marketing solution designed to meet the web, mobile marketing, and proposal-generating needs of leading law firms. RubyLaw offers a tailored alternative that empowers the user experience for both administrators internal at law firms and external audiences. It currently powers websites of leading firms like Winston & Strawn, Akin Gump, Perkins Coie, and Milbank, to name a few. The Thought Leadership Series is Rubenstein Technology Group's effort to support the big opportunity firms have to take advantage of the shift to digital media and mobile marketing more generally, prompting a need to adjust the changing expectations of how law firm stakeholders consume content. As we see as the digital marketing space continues to be wide open for firms looking to create a competitive advantage through a best practices approach, one of the ways firms can create a competitive advantage is to have the firm's attorneys and staff properly engaged with social media platforms.

Today Guy Alvarez and Jaron Rubenstein provide insight on the competitive landscape for firms across social media platforms and share some practical advice on what this means going forward. If you have questions throughout the webinar, please send them to @RubensteinTech or #RubyLaw via Twitter. Or you can web chat me directly where I should show up as a panelist. Right now I'd to introduce our friend Guy Alvarez, CEO of Good2bSocial. As Chief Engagement Officer of Good2bSocial, Guy dedicates himself to helping law firms and other professional services organizations reengineer existing operations into social businesses. His primary focus it to teach lawyers and professionals working at law firms how to use social technology to enhance their personal brand and be recognized as a thought leader in the areas of their practice. Guy is the coauthor of Outperform the Competition, Business Strategies for the Social Law Firm, published by Ark Group. He's also a coauthor of The Social Law Firm Index and The Social Law Firm Index, the UK Edition, which highlights the use of social media by leading law firms in the world. Hey Guy, good to have you here today.

Guy: Thank you. It's a pleasure to be here.

George: Ready to enlighten us all?

Guy: Well, I will do my best.

George: The floor is yours.

Guy: Thank you so much and thank you to RubyLaw and Rubenstein Tech for having me today. It is a great pleasure to be here and hopefully over the next 45 minutes or so I will provide everyone with some useful information and that at the end of the day is what it's all about. Creating and sharing useful information. So what I want to talk today about is a concept that we call the social law firm. And the concept of the social law firm actually came out of the social business movement. It's a term that IBM coined and it's really, what it is is businesses using social technologies as a way to enhance their business operations. Similarly, the concept of a social law firm is how law firms can use social technologies, both externally and internally, to enhance the attorneys' practice of law. So what I'm gonna do today is I'm going to share some of the results of the different studies that we've done called the Social Law Firm Index, both in conjunction with Above the Law and with Ark Group. And then we'll talk a little bit about the findings and some of the things that we're seeing in our second edition of the Social Law Firm Index here in the US, which we are about to conclude and will be releasing the information later this fall. So a little bit of background on the Social Law Firm Index. We conducted the first study back in the fall of 2013 with Above the Law and we looked at the Am Law 50 firms and measured their performance when it came to using and leveraging social technologies. We released a white paper in 2013 which is available on our website. And then in January of 2014 we released the index, which is a ranking of the Am Law 50 and how they rank when it comes to their use and utilization of social technologies. Then this past spring, in conjunction with the Ark Group, we did a very similar study, although not identical, with the top 100 law firms in the UK and I'm happy to report we just recently released that report. It is available both on our website and on the Ark Group and managing partner website, and we'll be talking about some of the findings that we found out when we looked at how UK law firms, as opposed to US law firms, were performing when it came to social technologies. And there's a few surprises there, in fact. And then as I just mentioned, we are coming out with the second edition of the Social Law Firm Index US, where we are looking at the Am Law 100. So we've grown a little bit in terms of the scope of the study. And we're also going to be allowing other firms that do not fall into the Am Law 100 to submit through the Above the Law website interesting case studies or the things that they're dong from a social media or social technology perspective so that they can be considered as well. And we'll be releasing the white paper in December and announcing the new index in January. So what was the purpose of this study? Well the purpose of the study, both the US and the UK one, is to really get a sense and an understanding of what exactly are law firms doing when it comes to social technologies. And notice that I talk about technologies as opposed to social media because social media is only one part of the equation. Social media traditionally is used for business developments or marketing purposes. But when we look at the use of social technologies, we look at the whole ecosystem. How are these technologies being used not just externally, but also internally as a way to enhance the practice of law and enhance the communication and collaboration amongst attorneys and other professionals working at law. The methodology we used is really a three-pronged approach. The first thing that we did is we conducted a social media audit of all the different law firms that we studied. We looked at their websites. We looked at the content inside their websites. And then we looked at their social media properties, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, and many others. Then what we did is we assessed each of the firm's publicly available substantive content. How frequently was content being updated? Was that content what we call value content, or equity content, or was is merely promotional content, where firms are only talking about themselves or awards or hires, which we don't believe have a lot of value. And then finally what we did is we conducted a series of surveys, both on a broad array of law firms and lawyers, but also surveys conducted with the CMOs, CKOs, and CIOs of some of these firms that we studied. And what we did is we took all of that information, assigned a methodology and a rank, and came out with a ranking based upon that methodology.

So finding number one. What we found is both in the US and in the UK certainly there is a lot of activity when it comes to social media. So as you can see from these charts, pretty much every firm that we studied is on LinkedIn. Many of them are using Twitter. And to a certain extent some of them are using Facebook. The biggest discrepancy that we found between the US and the UK was in their use of Google+. Whereas in the US 94% of the firms had a Google+ presence, only about 30% had an active page. So the rest of them were really just placeholders. In the UK, we see a big difference, and we see out of the 90% of firms that hadn't established a Google+ presence, 73% were actually using it. And so this to us lends, I believe, a higher level of sophistication in the understanding of Google+ and its ability to attract an international audience. So we're seeing that UK law firms get a sense of the importance of Google+ and are leveraging it much more effectively than US firms are doing today. The second finding that we saw is that in fact in the US law firms are promoting and publishing non-promotional content, which is a good thing. We saw about 80% of the firms that we studied were actually publishing non-promotional content, that is thought leadership content, more than once a week. However, and this is a big however, and unfortunately, that content, even though it's being published, it's not being published in a way that can be easily consumed through social media. So a lot of what these firms are doing is they are not actually making it accessible via social media. They're publishing this information in either PDFs or emails and not easily shareable. So the good news is that there's a lot of this content being created. The bad news is that it's not being formatted or delivered or published in a way that can really take advantage of the social media opportunities and the engagement.

George: Yeah, can I ask you, I guess two questions. Can you define equity content for the audience? You know, give examples of what you consider the strongest of equity content.

Guy: Sure. So equity content is what I would call useful content. So that is primarily for lawyers a lot of that time is looking at a particular legal development, whether it's the introduction of a new law, some case law, of even some proposed changes to administrative regulations, and then adding some legal analysis behind it. A point of view or at least raising questions as to why this piece of news is valuable and why it's something that clients should be considering. So that is what we believe is equity content. It's content that informs and that is useful. And what that leads to is what we can engagement, and by engagement we mean content that can be shared easily, content that people will wanna mention, retweet, like, comment, et cetera, et cetera.

George: So what makes that piece of content shareable or easily shareable where, you know, most of the content you looked at in the study was not easily shareable?

Guy: So there's a couple of different things. Number one, we believe that in order for content to be easily shareable, number one it has to be in a form where with a click of a button, and a lot of these website have sharing buttons, you can share that content with your social network. So you have to make it really easy from a technology perspective to share any piece of content that is of value on your website to your social network by just clicking a button.

Number two is a lot of times what law firms tend to do is they write very, very long pieces of content that is usually full of legal jargon. And that is not very accessible from a social media perspective. No one really wants to read a lot of information on their screen, so what we recommend to our clients is that they try to keep their blog posts and other pieces of content between 500 to 750 words. That's the optimum number of words that we believe can be easily read on a computer or on a mobile device. Anything above that usually will get glossed over. So we believe that's important.

The third thing is you want to make sure that the content itself is not just reporting facts, because anyone or any major media publication can come out and report on a particular case or list a series of facts. What the real value is, as I mentioned earlier, is allowing attorneys to provide an analysis on top of the facts. So if you're reporting on a change in the law or a proposed change in the law or a new case that's been decided, don't just report it. Let us know or let your clients know why is this important. Why should I care about this? And that's what will make it much more shareable, because at the end of the day, we tend to share, and we being human beings tend to share, knowledge and information that makes us look smarter. So anything that is of value and that informs is going to be more likely to be shared.

George: That's great, thanks Guy.

Guy: You're welcome. The third finding, and this one actually was kind of surprising to us. Actually if you can go back to one. I'm sorry. What we're looking at here is the amount of content sharing on non-traditional social media platforms. So we looked at the traditional, you know, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ before. Now when we look at Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, SlideShare, we see that American law firms for the most part, and this has changed, and in fact I just took a look at the results of the second study that we did in the US and there's a substantial change that we'll be reporting, but at least when we conducted this initially the top 50 law firms were barely using these platforms. Very, very little use of Instagram and Pinterest. Somewhat small use of YouTube. Very small use of SlideShare. And when you compare that to what the UK firms are doing, we saw a huge difference. And this was surprising, and actually Jaron and I were a part of a panel that we did at the New York LMA Social Media SIG where we talked about the importance of visual content and how important visual content is now becoming because visual content can be engaged with much more easily and it's much more attractive than your traditional written content. So what we see here again is UK firms, for the most part, having a better understanding and a higher level of sophistication when they're creating content and not just delivering written content but also finding creative and unusual ways to share their content through SlideShare, though YouTube, and even Pinterest and Instagram. So again, this is starting to change and the latest results of the US study will show what the change has been, but at least at this point the UK firms seem to be doing better. This is something that we already talked about a little bit in terms of social engagement. And this is something that was not surprising and the reason it wasn't surprising is because of the type of content that most law firms are creating. Most of the firms are publishing awards or lawyer promotions or new hires. They're basically using social networks as a way to distribute press releases, and that's really not the way to use social networks. So as a result, what you're seeing are very, very low levels of engagement. You know, not a lot of content is being shared, not a lot of content is being retweeted or mentioned. Klout Score is actually not bad, but again we'll talk a little bit about Klout Score. I know George has something that you want to talk about. But very, very low levels of engagement. So here is where I think there's a really good opportunity for law firms to get a better understanding of content marketing and to figure out who they're trying to reach, what is the message that they're trying to reach them with, what is the useful information that they're trying to convey, and as a result allow these people to share content more easily, because it's content that is of interest and it's engaging.

Number five was again not surprising to us and this was pretty much the same case in the UK. The primary use of social technologies today is marketing. Far and above. We are seeing a lot of use especially in the UK around recruiting, especially around the visual social networks, like Instagram and Pinterest and YouTube. And a few firms are starting to figure out how to use social technologies internally for a collaboration in communication, and also use social technology to provide an added value to clients. In the book that George mentioned that we recently published, we actually talk about four different case studies of four different law firms and one of the firms that we talk about is Day Far Cha. What they're doing in terms of using technology to support their clients is very, very innovative. We haven't encountered any other firm that is close to what they're doing. It's pretty incredible. And again in our book we talk about what they're doing and we believe that this is really the future. It's not just using social technologies for business development and marketing purpose, but more importantly, it's using these technologies to provide a better experience to recurring clients, to provide that added value. And today, in this ultra competitive environment, it's not good enough to be a good lawyer. There's thousands of good lawyers out there. What clients are looking for is that added value. And so those firms that are able to utilize technology and social technologies as a way to deliver that additional value, we believe those are the ones that are gonnna have a competitive advantage.

Finding number six is specifically around the use of social business tools to foster internal collaboration and teamwork. And what we've found is actually smaller firms are much further ahead in the deployment of social collaboration tools and techniques than the larger firms. And we attribute this to smaller firms having the ability to be more nimble. So when you work at a smaller firm you don't have to go through all that red tape in order to deploy something and experiment with something. And a lot of what social technology's all about is experimentation. It's experimenting with different things, seeing what the results are, and then adapting. And so traditionally large firms, like large corporations, they're kinda slow to move. Both culturally and physically there's a lot of things that need to be overcome, whereas smaller firms can be more nimble and take advantage of these technologies. And we believe that's a very important trend. We think that those firms that are able to be nimble and adapt and experiment and see how their clients and prospects are responding, those are the ones that are gonna have a competitive advantage. And those that are slow to move and don't believe they have to change, they're gonna be in trouble. We really do believe that. And we're starting to see it.

Number seven finding. We see again very, very small number of law firms. We only found one, actually, in the US that had deployed a firm-wide enterprise social network. An enterprise social network is an internal social network, and this is really a tool that corporate America and the corporate world is really using today. I believe I saw a study recently that said that 70% of the Fortune 1000 companies were deploying enterprise social networks. And so what I would say to law firms is that your clients are doing it, so you better get on the bandwagon because this is really the new way to do business. It enhances collaboration and communication, it breaks down silos, and it allows lawyers to do what they do best, which is practice law. Lawyers shouldn't have to worry about making sure the right persons are on an email or arranging meetings or making sure everyone's on the same page. You know, deploying these collaborative technologies really allow lawyers to focus on what it is they have to do, which is practicing law, and the technology takes care of the rest.

Finding number eight. We see here that small firms, here again, are achieving a much higher level of success and satisfaction than larger firms in their attempts to implement social business practices. And I think the reason for this is twofold. Number one, I talked about the lack of a bureaucracy at smaller firms. But also I think smaller firms are much more willing to take some risks and to do things and experiment with things that larger firms perhaps are not interested in doing or are afraid to do so. You know, a lot of the smaller firms we talked to are firms that lawyers in these firms are big firm lawyers that kind of left and branched out and created their own boutiques. So they have a big-firm mentality, but they are aggressive, they're innovative, and they're looking to leverage technology in any way they can in order to gain that competitive advantage. And technology really is a great equalizer. With a properly deployed technology platform, small firms can do just as good of work as larger firms at half the cost and twice as fast. So this is why we think that small firms and mid-size firms are achieving a higher level of success, that they're more willing to experiment, they're more willing to try new things, and the feedback that they're getting from their clients is pretty amazing.

Another small firm finding, and this again is not surprising, they're being more proactive in encouraging all their lawyers to use social media for business development. Again, when you work for a small firm, everyone has to be out there trying to be a rainmaker. If you're not bringing in business, you're not that useful to a firm, especially a smaller firm. So as a result, we see a lot of firms on the smaller size, and we have a lot of attorney clients who come to us and say, "Help me figure out "how can I enhance my personal brand "so that I can bring in new business? "Teach me how to use LinkedIn. "Teach me how to use Twitter. "Teach me how to blog, how to create a microsite "so that I can generate new business, "so that I enhance my personal brand "and be thought of as a thought leader "in our particular area of practice." And so this is something that small and mid-size firm lawyers, and we're getting lawyers themselves, not necessarily the firms, coming to us and saying, "I need to learn these skills. "How do I do it?" And so this is something that we're seeing more and more, where at the larger firms are somewhat slower to move and so much slower to provide the right training to their individual lawyers. I see a lot of the large firms basically give the social media task to the marketing department and they say, "Here you go. "You guys do it. "You know, whatever you need from us." Well that doesn't really work. For social media to really work, everyone in the firm needs to be involved at some level, because everyone has personal networks that they can leverage.

Finding number 10. This was something, again, with Above the Law that we have now seen from one year to the next a big change. Here we see 39% of those we surveyed believed that social technologies were somewhat important. 27% were very important, but 34 thought they were not important. What you will see in our next survey, in our next study is the number of people that don't believe it's important has actually shrunk substantially. And the reason why is it's the millennial generation. By the end of this decade 70% of the workforce in America will be millennials. And millennials have grown up with these technologies. They freely share information with their friends and their colleagues. They're used to collaborating and participating in social networks. And so when it comes to working at a firm, if a firm has a very strict anti-social media policy or they don't have the right technologies and practices to allow for these young attorneys to flourish and to become rainmakers and to feel as part of the team, they look negatively upon that firm. So I think this is another big reason why firms need to figure out how to deploy social technologies and how to educate their lawyers on the right use of social technologies.

George: Yeah, it's pretty interesting. We talked about competitive advantages before and I think I was talking from a business development and marketing standpoint, but I think the point you're trying to make is to attract talent going forward, whether it's laterals or new recruits, looking relevant, looking like you're on top of it from a technology perspective says something about the firm.

Guy: Absolutely, absolutely. And even when it comes to social media recruiting, you know, a lot of law firms are saying, "Oh well you know, we have a recruiting page on LinkedIn." Well the reality is if you're looking to recruit students out of law school, 90% of them are not on LinkedIn. So you're kinda going fishing where there ain't no fish. And I know this because we did some work with the LexisNexis law school division and every law student we spoke to, they were not on LinkedIn. They don't actually get on LinkedIn until they graduate law school and are having troubles finding jobs and then they decide to join LinkedIn. But if you want to start as a law firm to attract the type of bright legal talent early on, LinkedIn is not the place to do it. So as with any social media strategy you have to figure out where your audience is, and then once you figure out where they are, then you gotta figure out what's important to them. What it is that they worry about, what is it that keep them up at night, and then develop a content strategy based upon that.

George: Very interesting.

Guy: So in conclusion, what we've found so far, and again the good news is that we are starting to see a change here, but for the most part, and when you compare it to the corporate world, you know, law firms' use of social technology and practices is slowly gaining traction. We're seeing more and more law firms trying to figure out how to use this technology. As I mentioned before the smaller law firms seem to be more aggressive and more ready and willing to experiment. But overall the legal sector is lagging behind the broader corporate marketplace. And they are having trouble figuring out the right content strategy. And that's the key is I see a lot of firms, and as we saw in the first slide, a lot of firms are participating in social media but when you look at what they're sharing, the content that they're publishing, it's not very engaging.

George: Goes back to your point on equity content.

Jaron: Exactly, exactly. Exactly.

Guy: Okay. So that's it. I will let Jaron talk a little bit about some of the social media tools that they've developed here at RubyLaw. And you know I encourage everyone to read the book. The surveys, the studies are available for download if you're interested. And we will be coming out with the newest study sometime later this fall. So thank you very much.

George: Thanks, Guy. Can't thank you enough. Really great content, especially, you know, the fact that it's researched-based I think makes it useful for the legal marketing community to actually use internally as a tool. So thanks again.

Guy: Thank you.

George: And now I'd like to introduce part two of our webinar. Jaron Rubenstein, founder of Rubenstein Technology Group. We thought it'd be helpful for folks to take a look at, you know, some of the latest tools that might help you in terms of getting a snapshot of what or how your firm is performing. In addition to leveraging technology from a content management perspective and saying, you know, how can we keep content fresh on the web. So with that I'll pass it over to Jaron Rubenstein. Thanks Jaron.

Jaron: All right, excellent. Thank you George and Guy. I just want to mention I've got just a few minute of content here and we did want to leave some time at the end of the webinar today for questions, so if you do have any questions, now would be a good time to type them into the WebEx chat. And you should send them to George Sanchez, who is set up as a panelist on the WebEx. So just type in those questions to George and we'll make sure that Guy and I address those at the end of the webinar. So as George mentioned I'm Jaron Rubenstein. I'm founder and president of RubensteinTech and we're really constantly on the prowl for innovative solutions to our clients' problems, you know, in web and mobile content management. We're so glad to have Guy here today and Guy talked a lot about the overarching details and, you know, what's working for firms and maybe a little bit about what isn't.

We thought we'd just take a few minutes to share two quick tools that I think might be helpful to you as additional takeaways from the talk today. So, you know, now you know why you should care. What can do you do about that? And the two things that we thought are most important is, the first, and Guy talked about this in the beginning of his talk, equity content and how do we find content that is shareable, that is of value, and that will lead to engagement. So I'll talk a little bit about that. And then the second component is really just being able to measure results on your own site. So I wanted to share that with you as well.

So first to talk about content. You know, I'm a huge fan of the concept of repurposing content, and social media and equity content is definitely key and you know it's right along the lines of what you need to do when you're tweeting out a message or, you know, sharing it on any of the social networks, really. So you want to look at repurposing existing content. If your firm has an existing content submission workflow, and I know a lot of our clients do, where they have a mechanism, they have a system for their attorneys or their marketing managers to submit content for publication, you know, a very simple addition to that is to add in, you know, the components that would make it socially shareable. So whether that be a, you know, brief blurb, very short abstract, suggestions on what networks this might be applicable to, you know, particular details about social, shareable content. Whatever you can add to that forum, that might help to sort of streamline that process.

The other thing I wanted to share is the idea of using your CMS. So here at RubyLaw, our clients have access to our social recommendation engine, and it's essentially a tool that allows them to very quickly see all of the content that's been updated on their website in the near future, essentially. I'm sorry, in the recent past. And then promote it and share it with the social networks in the immediate future. So these kinds of tools, I think, are also helpful in figuring out what content you have, what's been added by your marketing team and by your attorneys and work that you can actually share out there and what you can blast out and get some engagement from that.

The second thing we wanted to share is analytics. And so just about every one of you probably has your sites already integrated with Google Analytics. There's lots of analytics tools out there on social media and shareable content and engagement and Guy I think helps to consult on a lot of those with his work with firms. But Google Analytics recently released a social analytics component and it's a really powerful tool that I want to just make sure everyone in the call is aware of because you probably already have in your tool set, in your toolbox. This is just some sample reports for a small firm. I just wanted to share a couple of really quick graphs that came out of this social analytics tool. The first talks about sort of overall social engagement, not so much engagement, I'm sorry, but just visits and sessions. So it's showing sessions, all sessions across the site, and then sessions via social referral. So this'll actually tell you--

George: I'm sorry. How do you define a session?

Jaron: So these are user sessions, so it's a unique user that's visiting the site within a given time period. And this actually would be repeat users as well. So you can do unique sessions, which would be a unique person, but these metrics could include the same visitor multiple times.

George: Got it.

Jaron: But, you know, where they're coming in from is the really the key takeaway from this chart. You can see just in this particular example that, you know, 48% or 24 of their sessions that are coming in from social are coming in via LinkedIn, 26 are via Facebook, and 22% are Twitter. So this helps tell your view and at the marketing team, and perhaps the attorneys as well, what's effective and perhaps where to further invest. So if you see that your getting a, you know, larger than expected engagement from Facebook maybe it makes sense to pay a little more attention to Facebook than you started in your original strategy. And this sort of gives you that overview. So definitely something to be aware of. The second chart that comes out of social analytics is what they call the social value report and I think this is really helpful because when you have goals set for your site, and many of you who've used analytics or customized it for your site knows that you can set goals and you can track some pretty good, you know, kind of funnels of how users are engaging with the site and, you know, when they're doing expected or preferred actions on the site when a particular event's happened.

So this actually lets you see not just what the conversions look like for a given site but how many of those actually came via the social networks. In this case it's actually a relatively small amount, 15 of the 600 conversions for this particular client report, but you can also see what percentage is coming in via LinkedIn, via Facebook, via Twitter, and there's a lot of value to that as well, we think. So just two quick tools to consider. You know, we think this is helpful for you to know, you know, how are we doing with our social campaign and how can we fine tune it at a very basic level.

And then I think, you know, for more advanced techniques and strategies I think you really want to pay attention to what Guy's doing and definitely look at his book when it comes out. So with that, I'd like to open it up to questions and answers from Guy and myself.

George: Right? We do have one question for Guy. Guy, we got a question, how do we get started? You know, what are the techniques that you've seen other firms use, in terms of forming, you know, consensus internally? Is it a web committee? Is it, you know, starting way at the top at managing partner level? What works or what have you seen work?

Guy: So that's a really good question and from our experience yes, it would help to have consensus at the top. But that's not necessarily the only way to get it going. What we're seeing a lot, and even at large firms, is usually the way firms are getting started is at the practice-level group. Usually what they'll do is they'll identify one or two practice groups that are interested in exploring social media and interested in expanding their awareness in their market of their particular practice group, their particular expertise and knowledge and skills. And so that's usually a great way to get started because it allows a firm to start to experiment with a very, very concrete focus and to deploy a whole strategy around that particular practice group. Or it could be a particular industry or a particular niche topic. It doesn't have to be by practice group. So we found a lot of firms are successful with this approach and it allows ways for a firm to experiment. It allows ways for other lawyers of the firm that are achieving some success to tell success stories. And pretty soon what starts to happen is other practice groups will wanna take advantage of what they're doing and sort of do their own thing as well. And so that's one of the ways that we think is a very good approach.

The reality is it all comes down to content. It's all about content marketing. You cannot have a successful social media strategy without having a solid content marketing strategy. And at the beginning, when you start to formulate your content marketing strategy, you really have to answer a couple of different things. Number one is who is your target audience? And there may be more than one target audience. So let's take for example the tax litigation practice at a law firm. Who is the target audience? Well it could be in-house counsel at large corporations, but it might also be high net worth individuals that have tax litigation issues. So if you have two difference personas, in a sense you have to actually deliver two different types of content because the issues and concerns that an in-house counsel at a corporation is facing may be very different issues than a high net worth individual might be facing. But those might be two very important personas for the head of a tax litigation practice.

So the first thing to figure out is who are your personas? Who are you trying to reach? Then the second thing to figure out is what are you going to provide to them? And as we mentioned earlier, it has to be of value. So one of the exercises that I do with a lot of my clients is I ask them to take an hour or take, you know, half an hour and just sit down and write a list of the most frequent questions that their clients are asking. And they'll come down, they'll write, you know, 30, 40, 50 questions and I said, "Great, those are the beginning of your blog posts." Every one of those can be a blog post or even a series of blog posts around that. Now you're really starting to think like a client and now you're starting to answer what their concerns are. And now you start to publish that information.

So when you're creating your content marketing strategy the first piece is this content marketing mission. Who we're trying to reach, what is it that we're going to offer, and third what are they gonna get out of this? Is it gonna help them get better, is it gonna help them rest easier? What is it that they're going to try to do? So I think those are the two components. You can start small, at a practice level. I don't believe a large law firm can have a global social media strategy. A large law firm has to have multiple strategies for every one of the types of personas that they're trying to reach. And, you know, depending on where those personas are, you know, if you have an entertainment practice, Facebook might be a great place to direct. If you have a tax practice, maybe LinkedIn, or maybe Twitter or Google+. So it all depends upon who your target persona is and where they actually live and then actually creating and leveraging your existing content to basically deliver that information.

Jaron: Yeah, Guy, I just wanted to mention that thank you so much for bringing up the whole concept of personas 'cause I think that that's something that we've been talking a lot about with our clients and in fact for those of you who've been participating in our thought leadership series in the past, just before this seminar we had a webinar on persona development and, you know, one of the questions that came up during that conversation was how, you know, how can I use these personas? Where do they apply? And, you know, the answer was they should apply to every one of your marketing activities.

Guy: Absolutely.

Jaron: And, you know, you really just totally hit on that with the social side of it because personas are just as important to your website as they are to your social engagement and every team should really have a really clear vision of who that persona is. And the other point is, you know, different groups within a firm, especially a larger firm, are gonna have different personas that are applicable to their subgroup, their practice area, their region, their office, et cetera.

Guy: Yep, absolutely. In our book one of the case studies that we did was with Hogan Lovells, with Nick Andrews, who head their social media in the UK, and one of the things they do, and they're very successful at this, is they basically have five or six different social campaigns throughout the year. So they'll identify campaigns, whether it's by practice area or by topic, and they will create this strategic marketing plan around that particular campaign. And they're not just gonna just be using social media. They're gonna be using a fully integrated marketing approach, from social media, to email marketing, to events, to newsletters, to webinars, conferences, all of it, and then they measure everything together to see how successful they are. So social media's just one of the tools and you need to be able to use every piece of your marketing organization and leverage content and repurpose content throughout and have as many different touch points as you can. In the consumer industries, they call this omni channel marketing and that is regardless of at what point the customer is engaging with the brand, whether it be on the digital arena or at a store or when they purchase a piece of merchandise, they're getting a consistent experience and that's what law firms need to do as well. When you're dealing with your clients, whether it's a webinar or a seminar that you're speaking at, whether it's on your website, your email newsletter, your print newsletter. Whatever it is, the experience should be the same so that it's consistent and they get that high-level type of experience that they're going to remember.

George: Excellent. I show no more questions so I want to once again thank Guy Alvarez for coming by today. Was a great, great webinar. And Jaron Rubenstein for his tips on social media analytics. And welcome everybody to join our webinar series next month, or actually November, where we'll be going over content strategies. So looking forward to that. Thank you everyone.

Guy: Thank you.

Jaron: Thank you.