Law firms in the UK have a substantial lead on their counterparts in the US when it comes to the effective use of social business tools and technology. That’s the conclusion we reached in our recent study, The Social Law Firm Index – UK Edition, conducted jointly with the Ark Group, which is being released in early September, 2014
The most striking evidence of this is that when we put together a joint Social Law Firm Index for US and UK law firms – the top ten firms in the combined ranking are all from the UK. The UK firms were substantially better in both reach and engagement measured separately as well as in the combined rankings. (Note: the top-10 firms include 2 multinational firms that are listed as both US and UK law firms.)
The US and UK studies used the same methodology to measure reach and engagement although the UK study was done 6 months later. The difference in UK law firm rankings on social media is so striking, however, it doesn’t seem plausible that the 6-month lag time alone is responsible for explaining the higher scores attained by the UK firms.
Instead, we found a number of other salient differences that may help explain why UK firms are outperforming their US counterparts in the social business arena. To start with we noticed that UK firms are using visuals and rich media much more consistently as part of their content strategy. We think this factor alone may contribute significantly in improving social media performance. Another notable difference is that a majority of UK firms report that they already have or are currently in the process of deploying an internal social network. While follow-up research will be necessary to understand the precise nature of the internal social network deployments underway, to us this suggests that UK law firms are considerably ahead of US firms in taking a strategic approach to social business by integrating these new tools and technologies directly into day-to-day legal practice.