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Law Firm Managing Partners Still Unclear about Benefits of Social Media

09/19/14

Law Firm Managing Partners Still Unclear about Benefits of Social Media


Summary: A recent survey of law firm managing partners by legal PR Company Jaffe and Managing Partner Forum finds views about social media participation closely divided, when it comes to perceptions of business benefits. Personal use being separate, when social media participation on behalf of the firm is concerned, some think social media is an exciting new way of promotion, while some take it as a necessary evil to which they need to adapt. The findings make for interesting reading.

The 2014 Managing Partner Social Media Survey - Part I finds law firm managing partners are overwhelmingly embracing social media. However, the survey was focused only on LinkedIn as the authors found it to be the only big social media platform that managing partners truly cared about in the context of building business and professional relationships. The survey found more than 90 percent of managing partners in law firms have LinkedIn accounts. However, while 39 percent of responds felt social media to be exciting, more than 35 percent saw it as a necessary evil.

In the survey, more than 100 law firm managing partners were surveyed regarding their perceptions of social media and how they behaved on social media platforms. The results, when broken down by age, at times, indicated a schism between generations, which, of course, is not unexpected.

John Remsen, Jr. President and CEO of The Managing Partner Forum said "The data reflects that, while younger managing partners see value in sites like LinkedIn at a higher rate than their elder counterparts, the more seasoned counsel regularly access social media…." Remsen added further, "In fact, more than a quarter of the 60-plus crowd found social media to be an exciting tool, and more than 80 percent of this demographic access LinkedIn at least once a week."

Highlights of the report include:

  • Overall 39% of respondents have a favorable view of social media, while 75% of managing partners under 40 hold a favorable view
  • All managing partners under 50 have a LinkedIn account, while 86% of those above 50 said the same
  • Most managing partners personally create their social media accounts
  • Most managing partners access LinkedIn at least once a week
  • Managing partners who are not on LinkedIn say they cannot see the benefit of the network
  • Most managing partners are members of four to five LinkedIn groups
  • Forty percent of managing partners rarely comment on social media, but mostly observe what is happening

Terry M. Isner, President of Marketing and Business Development at Jaffe said, "The data supports that, while many have come around to creating a presence on social media, few are actively involved." "The next step," said Isner, "is for managing partners to up their game and begin using networks like LinkedIn for relationship-building and thought-leadership purposes."

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