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Bar Association of San Francisco Member Benefits: Publications

Social Media is the Focus of Legal Marketing Technology Conference

Legal Community Should Use Social Media to Forge Connections

 

By Michael Bond Blattel Communications

 

On September 15, the Legal Marketing Association – Bay Area Chapter held its annual Legal Marketing Technology Conference. The line-up was heavily focused on social media, featuring numerous panels addressing this topic and a keynote presentation by practicing-attorney-turned-social-media-for-lawyers-guru Adrian Dayton.

In his keynote, Dayton cited the impressive user bases of Facebook (750 million), LinkedIn (120 million) and Twitter (300 million). He then went on to explain that these sites are important for the legal community in forging “connections in ways more meaningful than just business.” Dayton also noted that 53 percent of all communication in one-on-one settings is body language suggesting it is critical for law firms to embrace and employ video as well.

Dayton’s presentation was followed by a question and answer session with in-house counsel for Zynga Inc., Renee Lawson; Adobe Systems, Inc., MeMe Jacobs Rasmussen; and Fujitsu America, Inc., Robert A. Shives, Jr. and moderated by Nat Slavin of the Wicker Parker Group. A constant, echoed throughout the session was voiced by Lawson: “Where is the value?” Bills, memos and exchanges are all carefully scrutinized. Shives noted that the “exchange of information has become overwhelming” and that e-alerts need to be forward-thinking and targeted at educating and helping with specific issues. Rasmussen expressed frustration in working with companies that do not understand and embrace technology as it shows a fundamental lack of understanding of her company. All three continuously hit the note of wanting law firms to use technology to simplify matters and provide greater transparency in terms of billing and increased accessibility of information.

The program also offered several breakout sessions focused on issues such as website trends, software and social media strategies. Each session aimed executing Dayton’s vision of a funnel with potential clients going in the top and filtering out as paying clients at the bottom. The process, which Dayton noted takes about 18 months on average, can be facilitated through the effective use of technology and social media tools. Harking back to the value-centric remarks of the general counsels, each session and the program as a whole were focused on how technology can provide increased avenues for conversation, business development and efficiency. Dayton began his keynote by speaking of the church bell that signified a death and would bring together a whole village. This kind of connectivity, he noted, is what is so important about today’s technological landscape.



Michael Bond, an account executive at Blattel Communications, is a member of the LMA- Bay Area Chapter’s program committee. He can be reached at michael@blattel.com.

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