What’s Your Social Media Status?

KMWorld is running a survey about various tools and vendors. Among the areas under scrutiny is Social Media. Here’s what KM World wants to know:

What is your CURRENT status regarding…Social Media and related tools?

  • Deployed enterprise wide in multiple departments
  • Deployed effectively in specific departments
  • Currently deploying; not effective yet
  • Under investigation
  • Don’t know

How would you answer that question?  If you work in a law firm, it’s most likely one of the last three responses (i.e., currently deploying but not effective yet, under investigation, don’t know).

It’s still early days for social media within law firms, but that’s no excuse for sticking your head in the sand. This is promising technology that has the potential to make our workflows and information flows easier and more intuitive. It’s also challenging technology that rarely can be implemented out of the box with stellar results. There are no shortcuts.  You have to do the hard work of tailoring it to the people, culture and processes of your organization. However, if you are up to the challenge, you stand to win significant rewards.

If you are interested in improving your firm’s social media deployment behind the firewall, here are some resources to help you along the way:

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3 thoughts on “What’s Your Social Media Status?

  • December 11, 2009 at 2:15 pm
    Permalink

    Mary, I think there was one option missing in the KMWorld survey — “deliberately trying to ignore this altogether, but finding it hard to” Some of the law firms that I'm now speaking to (recently in NYC and now in Boston) might check it on the survey. It's a bit scary, but as you said — putting your head in the sand is not the most strategic solution.

    I'd suggest that firms reach out to a reputable advisor in the space and simply request a briefing to get a state of the “social” marketplace so that they can hear what is going on in the marketplace regarding externally focused social media (e.g. how partners use LinkedIn, the firm's web presence, and listening capabilities), as well as internal collaboration support (for creating, sharing, and managing knowledge). Such a briefing will at least raise awareness that there is something here to discuss and understand. Then the firm can decide what if any action is appropriate, with what budget, timeframe, etc.

    When there is no coordinated (and informed) policy or approach then a firm runs the risk that associates are already out there in the social media space (e.g. Facebook, LinkedIn …) , but are not representing the firm in the best way (usually by omission or inconsistency, not commission) . Another risk is the lost opportunity that results from non-participation. A briefing and subsequent conversation is a great way to raise awareness of the risks of participating, and of ignoring. This way, the partners can be better informed of what is out there for them. And it's only a conversation to gain information. (Just make sure the person giving the briefing does not try to push services, but just offers information.)

    Thanks for providing a list of resources that firms can reach out to in order to learn more. You have a great list of highly reputable folks here and I appreciate that you included me in their collection.

  • December 16, 2009 at 11:14 am
    Permalink

    While the following may be true for law firms, it is not true for law firm libraries. The above posting would improve with a definition of social media.

    In the context of social media as a means to network outside the firm, we can see the point about it being the “…early days for social media within law firms…”

    In the context of social media as a means to network within the firm, we think NLJ 250 law firm libraries are already serving attorneys with blogs, wikis, tagging, etc.

    Some of our law firms have designed portals for the libraries that are team-based or practice group based rather than a generic catalog.

    Other law firm libraries have been using blogs, forums, etc. as a means of encouraging discussion.

    Most recently, we have seen AM 100 law firms seeking Expertise Management systems, which allow attorneys to provide more information about their skills, interests, languages, etc. than standard biography and experience tracking systems.

    In many ways, law firm libraries are the stewards of social media within the law firm.

  • December 16, 2009 at 4:14 pm
    Permalink

    While the following may be true for law firms, it is not true for law firm libraries. The above posting would improve with a definition of social media.

    In the context of social media as a means to network outside the firm, we can see the point about it being the “…early days for social media within law firms…”

    In the context of social media as a means to network within the firm, we think NLJ 250 law firm libraries are already serving attorneys with blogs, wikis, tagging, etc.

    Some of our law firms have designed portals for the libraries that are team-based or practice group based rather than a generic catalog.

    Other law firm libraries have been using blogs, forums, etc. as a means of encouraging discussion.

    Most recently, we have seen AM 100 law firms seeking Expertise Management systems, which allow attorneys to provide more information about their skills, interests, languages, etc. than standard biography and experience tracking systems.

    In many ways, law firm libraries are the stewards of social media within the law firm.

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