Law firms are waking up to the fact that technology can manage social media without loss of control
Recently I have been talking to a UK based law firm about their experiences trialling the use of new ‘enterprise social media’ technology to drive communication, collaboration and innovation within their firm. Enterprise social media combines the best elements of the social media tools we all know and love such as Facebook and Twitter - engaging interface, simplicity, interactivity, immediacy, rich media - with the controls and security associated with enterprise ready systems, for example access controls, support for information barriers, monitoring etc.
Building interactive communities between law firm and client
From what I have seen these technologies (examples include IdeaPlane, Yammer) offer a real opportunity to quickly open really effective, interactive communities of interest within firms and between firms and their clients. As firms try to build deeper and more engaging relationships with their clients and industry sectors, this more immediate and interactive communication channel will supplement the more traditional and transactional micro-sites, extranets and deal rooms. Given the familiarity of the interfaces adoption is fast and the level of interactivity is high. As a result critical mass is reached much more quickly than when using more traditional collaboration solutions. As a tool used within the firm other benefits include reduced email traffic (claims of up to 40% have been heard) and reduced technology costs.
Law firms finally begin to engage
Clearly there are challenges such as security, information leakage and not least, the more ‘conservative’ and traditional culture within many law firms but other sectors (consulting, IT services) have already started to benefit from the use of these technologies so it is refreshing to see some law firms also starting to engage.