This Law Firm Gets Social Media @allenmatkins

This is a guest post by Samantha Collier.  

Every Tuesday I’ll be profiling a law firm that “get” social media here on Adrian’s blog.  My previous guest post examined the social media activities of law firm Goodwin Procter, this week we’re looking at AmLaw 200, California based law firm Allen Matkins whose lawyers specialize in real estate, labor, tax, and business law.  This post will discuss how Allen Matkins utilizes their website, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and blogging for marketing and business development.

Website 

Law firm websites are notoriously famous for being bland, boring and extremely self promotional.  Thanks to social media, and experts like Robert Algeri, more and more law firms are redesigning their websites to showcase the information their clients and potential clients are most interested in = lawyer bio’s, contact info, case studies and relevant social media information.  Allen Matkins is one of those law firms.

The first thing you’ll notice when you visit Allen Matkins’ well designed website is a dynamic slideshow of attorney videos, awards and upcoming events.  It grabs your attention and draws you in – exactly what you want from a law firm website.  To the right of the slideshow are eight attorney video thumbnails displayed in a clean and simple fashion.  Videos are watched without leaving the website, which is a great way of keeping visitors on your site. Social media accounts are displayed on the bottom of the page and include Youtube, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.  Personally, I love seeing social media accounts prominently displayed as long as they are kept current.  The only edit I’d make is I’d link to the Allen Matkins LinkedIn Company Page instead of the LinkedIn Allen Matkins Group from the homepage. Attorney bio’s are easily accessed from the homepage and blogs are easy to find too. Allen Matkins gets an A+ from me in the website category.

Twitter

I’ve done extensive research on the social media activities on all of the AmLaw 200 law firms and you might be surprised to know that over 80% have Twitter accounts now. What sets firms apart is how they use it.  It’s not good enough to create an account and promptly forget about it. In fact, it’s better to just ignore Twitter all together if you aren’t going to use it properly.

Allen Matkins uses Twitter to share blog posts from their blogs with their 227 (to date) followers.  Their last post was over two weeks ago on December 13th, but I’m forgiving them as it was the holidays.  Ideally, firms should encourage their lawyers to do the tweeting, but law firms that choose to actively use a firm account should post at least once per day (Monday – Friday) when using Twitter.  Branding your Twitter account is important and Allen Matkins has done so by updating their background, bio and Twitter icon.   With well over 640 tweets to date they are well on their way to Twitter Zen.

It’s important for law firms and lawyers to use Twitter to engage and interact with followers. I’d like to see Allen Matkins doing a little bit more of this by retweeting relevant content, replying to Twitter “@ replies”  and using hashtags when appropriate.  Engaging with Twitter followers can be a little tricky for law firms as you need to decide who you’re targeting and how to engage them.  Creating a social media policy and plan can help immensely.

Facebook

Do you think Facebook can be used effectively by law firms and lawyers for marketing and business development? This is a question I hear often and it’s highly debatable.  Some will say it’s only good for recruiting and others will tell you to ignore it all together.  In the end, it all comes down to what your goals are and how you use it (like all other marketing efforts).

Allen Matkins is one of my fave’s when it comes to Facebook.  They utilize JD Supra to share content authored by attorneys, and RSS Graffiti to syndicate content from their 45 blogs, to separate pages on their Facebook page.  They’ve also uploaded over 15 albums to Facebook which includes charity events and lawyer speaking engagements.  Overall, their use of Facebook is much more advanced than other law firms which leads me to believe the have a social media superstar on staff.  The only two suggestions I have is to: 1.) create a custom designed landing pages to encourage more likes and 2.) post questions on their Facebook wall to encourage discussion.  Overall, they are doing a fantastic job!

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is recognized as one of the most widely used social media platforms by lawyers and law firms. I find it strange if I can’t  find a lawyer on LinkedIn in this day and age.  LinkedIn recently updated Company Pages and it’s important to check what your law firm’s page looks like.  More and more of your potential clients are doing their research online and LinkedIn is one of the first places they look.

There are over 300 Allen Matkins professionals with LinkedIn profiles.  Additionally, the Allen Matkin’s LinkedIn Company Page has been updated to include blog feeds, website information and a nicely written law firm summary.  What’s missing from their profile are company page status updates and services.  Companies can now post status updates that are shown on the home page of all their followers – this is great for Allen Matkins as they already have 375 followers.  Law firms can also take advantage of the “products” tab and create separate pages for all practice areas – you can add links, video and pictures here too.

Blogging

Allen Matkins attorneys author four blogs: Diversity & Community Involvement, California Sustainable Communities Law, California Corporate & Securities Law (which won Lexis Nexis Top 25 Blogs Business Law) and California Consumer Product Health Safety and Environment. Please note these blogs cover very specific niche areas – this is important.  There are thousands of law blogs out there (just check out the ABA Blawg Directory), you must make yours stand out. The Allen Matkins bloggers benefit from having their blogs posted on the firm website as well.  Overall, the blogs are nicely designed with up-to-date posts, sharing buttons and linked social media accounts (Facebook, YouTube and Twitter).  The only change I’d make is to allow reader comments to encourage engagement and discussion.  It takes extra time to moderate comments but I think it’s well worth it.

YouTube

Video is the next big thing when it comes to legal marketing.  Creating videos allows viewers to see you, hear you and really get a feel for who you are.  Keep in mind videos should be concise, original and should explain how you solved a clients problem.  Do not make it all about you and how great you are – that is the kiss of death.

Allen Matkins has a nicely designed YouTube channel with over 75 videos, 15 subscribers and 12,700 views.  Video is becoming increasingly important among lawyer business development and Allen Matkins is leaps and bounds ahead of the competition.  Their videos are professionally designed, include well written descriptions and aren’t boring! These are videos clients and potential clients would be interested in watching.

Overall, Allen Matkins is doing an excellent job when it comes to utilizing social media for business development and marketing. They excel in video and website design and I look forward to seeing other law firms taking suit.

You can find Allen Matkins online at:

Comments

5 Responses to “This Law Firm Gets Social Media @allenmatkins”

  1. Adrian – We’ve been watching Allen Matkins for a while now and think they are really showing some creativity in social media. We have followed much the same pattern since our entry in 2008 beginning in LinkedIn and now including 9 blogs, over 50 videos in our YouTube channel (which we also use on our website, as Allen Matkins has done), LinkedIn, Martindale Hubbell Connected and Twitter accounts. In fact, we have one Twitter account devoted just to showcasing how law firms and lawyers are successfully using social media, along with identifying best practices and possible concerns, @SocialLawyers, where we follow you (and retweet you, as we just did) among other thought leaders. Good stuff. If you want to talk about our 2012 extension to our program, just give me a shout.

    • Thanks Russell, I have enjoyed your tweets from @sociallawyers and am happy to have you comment here. I’d love to chat with you about your 2012 plans.

      I think what sets Allen Matkins apart is the quantity of video they have produced for a firm of their size.

  2. So essentially you’re telling us that a big law firm is using a bunch of different platforms as a megaphone. There’s nothing here to indicate that anyone’s actually interacting with clients, colleagues or referral partners on these platforms.

    Their Twitter bio says, “Allen Matkins helps our clients turn opportunity and challenge into success.” Nothing like more empty-speak from a big law firm.

    And by the way, there’s nothing to indicate that the firm has even secured buy-in from the employees who work there. With over 300 people getting a paycheck from the firm, one would think they could get more than a few to view a YouTube video and perhaps share it with their own networks.

    This isn’t the use of social media for interaction and connecting with people – it’s yet another broadcast mechanism. How you or anyone else can call this a success even on a small scale is just incredible.

    • Jay,

      I appreciate your insights, but I don’t really understand why you are so critical. For large law firms success in social media can only be graded in degrees. Allen Matkins doesn’t have all of their lawyers engaging on Twitter or LinkedIn yet, but in terms of video they are clear leaders compared to their competitors.

      I think it is far more incredible how many large firms seem to be doing nothing with social media or video. The firms we highlight here aren’t picked because they are perfect, but because they are doing a few things really well. Clearly the next step for them is to get a critical mass of their employees engaged in the discussion.

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