Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Why LinkedIn is a Lawyer's new Local

Reading an excellent blog post by Matt Silverman on Mashable about social media and the legal profession got me musing about how lawyers, Mayo Wynne Baxter included, are actually pretty clued up when it comes to digital marketing. Don’t forget, less than a decade ago law firms were prohibited from doing any kind of marketing or PR. Apart from a listing in the phone book, business generally had to be built up over a few pints of claret at the Wig and Gavel.

Don’t get me wrong, we still firmly believe in “real” socialising, or networking as it’s called in the business community - you can’t beat face-to-face contact and we’re usually up for a beer or two - but we also understand the power of its digital sibling, to the extent that social media has now become as essential to Mayo Wynne Baxter’s communication strategy as traditional PR and marketing.

So, how does social media help our clients? Well, one of the big advantages social media gives us is being able to impart lots of targeted information to our clients in bite-sized, easily digestible chunks. We use LinkedIn, and Twitter to highlight news, legal updates and to direct people to the relevant part of our website that will inform them about their legal process. And it’s all so quick. For example, we can post an update to a change in the law with an explanation of its implications, then tweet the link and hey presto, the world and his wife know about it in less time than it takes to frank an envelope.

We’ve also found social media very useful for engaging with niche audiences, for example, the solicitors in our MACI Team have built up an ever increasing network of “friends” in the media and creative industries. They regularly get together for seminars and workshops and use Twitter and Linked In to keep everyone up to speed.

This brings me neatly to the obligatory note of caution as the last MACI seminar was all about social media and protecting your business’s reputation online. This is something that we are very hot on, both for our clients and also for our own firm’s reputation. Thanks to the huge potential audience, an incorrect or inappropriate post can destroy a firm’s reputation before you can say “who suggested a social media policy?”

As with all Mayo Wynne Baxter’s external communications, our social media content is always overseen by our marketing department. Whether it’s a press release, a brochure for our clients or even this blog, the content must be relevant and appropriate to the audience we are talking to and, above all, must accurately reflect Mayo Wynne Baxter’s professionalism and values.

So, you won’t find pictures of us on Facebook downing pints at the aforementioned Wig and Gavel, nor will you ever see blog posts or tweets about our clients, but hopefully you will find that we’re making law more accessible and easier to understand.

If you would like to find out more about copyright, intellectual property and the legalities surrounding social media, please contact our Media & Creative Industries team to arrange a meeting.

You can read the full Mashable post here.


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