Eversheds take social media by the horns

This week’s activity is to choose an organization from the Professional Services Sector (e.g. accounting, advertising and marketing, architecture, management consulting, engineering, IT, legal, and scientific research services), identify and discuss how they are using social media within their organization.

As outlined by Sara Redman and Associates article on Social Media for Professional Service Firms , social media and professional services may not, at first glance, seem a good fit. Social media are based on sharing and a paramount element of most professional service firms is confidentiality. Additionally, social media has not, until recent times, attracted a professional image. If anyone can get involved then doesn’t that include people who would not be immediately described as professional? However social media provides those organizations that engage with it with an immediate audience and source of free information. Professional services do not exist in isolation and need to engage with their customers and the public at large. Though there are risks involved in engaging with the general public, the benefits, far outweigh the risks. For further information on social media and professional services see McKinsey Global Institute, 2012 (82 – 92). Also Social Media for Professional Service Firms: Are you serious?.

eversheds-logo

For this week’s activity I have chosen Eversheds. Eversheds are an international, award winning, law firm with 44 offices in 26 countries. They were sighted by The Lawyer  as the law firm with the greatest social media presence.

Being an international law firm, Eversheds identified their need to reach a global audience and identified that the most cost efficient and effective way of doing this was via digital marketing. First they developed a clear strategy and, during implementation, gathered feedback from their clients to ensure that their social media presence was both effective and valuable content.

They have a blog, LinkedIn discussion groups and a twitter account and ensured that each effectively supported their brand identity. Additionally, they have uploaded numerous videos to YouTube delivering valuable content to their clients, not to mention a valuable source of marketing.

Using social technologies for marketing communication interaction and social commerce

Eversheds Blog  is a prime example of the use of social technologies for marketing communication. Here they provide their clients and potential clients with valuable insights into both the running of their organization and into changes and innovations in the legal world. In this way they are able to both promote their brand and to provide their clients with insights into changes in the legal world that may affect them. Their presence on YouTube also supports their social marketing and media presence by providing another social forum by which they can promote their brand identity and provide their clients with valuable information.

Derive Customer Insights and Customer Service

Both their blog and twitter account allow them to both derive customer insights and
deliver customer service. Their blog, in particular, allows them to receive feedback
and input from the clients, or the public at large, to help them improve their
service offerings. Their twitter account keeps their customers up to date with recent
innovations and changes within their organization and, as mentioned in the
included video, has also helped to improve their relationship with clients.

A cohesive strategy brings success

What is clear about Eversheds engagement with social media is the cohesive way in which they tie their different social media platforms together and utilize them in keeping with the different platforms strengths and weaknesses. Their Twitter account keeps their public up to date with recent changes and provides links to YouTube videos and posts on their Blog. Their blog and YouTube videos provide in depth, persistent information. Their LinkedIn presence is very professional in its look and feel and, no doubt, attracts high quality applicants for positions within the organization. Additionally, Eversheds LinkedIn presence increases their professional network and profile. It is quite clear that it is Eversheds well thought out and successfully implemented strategy that has led to their social media success.

Your input is valued

As always I welcome any input you may have into my post and I look forward to reading the posts of my INB346 classmates.

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14 thoughts on “Eversheds take social media by the horns

  1. adenjones Post author

    I am not entirely sure that they want a lot more attention. From reading about them it seems that they are more interested in supplying a quality product to their existing customers then to gaining a lot more attention. This is not to say that they aren’t aware of the marketing aspects of their social media presence, but to say that it is not their primary concern.

    Reply
  2. Adam Farne Sang

    I absolutely agree that the implementation of a LinkedIn page has helped to provide a professional social media connection and that it does not detract from either their professional appearance and conduct or their social media presence.

    Sorry if I am pushing you to do more work but do you have an evidence to exemplify a significant change from their introduction of social media? Have they increased business contacts through LinkedIn or addressed major issues through Facebook or perhaps even been the forefront of a news piece in their field through a Twitter tweet?

    Reply
    1. adenjones Post author

      In the included video Gareth gives examples of anecdotal evidence for the value that has been provided to the clients of Eversheds via their social media presence. Also, doing further research (damn you Adam :), I found that they have won an award for best use of twitter (http://www.eversheds.com/global/en/where/europe/uk/overview/careers/graduates/social-media.page) so someone must be paying attention to them.
      As always seems to be the case when I am searching for statistical proof of the benefits of social media to a given organisation, I haven’t been able to find more than anecdotal evidence. Someone please give me a metric for customer satisfaction 🙂

      Reply
  3. Alex

    Won an award for their use of Twitter? That’s cool. Engaging post this week, I liked that you mentioned how social media is based on sharing and that the majority of professional services still focus on confidentiality – this is true! I wonder if the next major social media platform will be solely directed towards the massive market of professional services?

    Reply
  4. Pingback: Architectural Professional Services through Social Media | John Coglan

  5. jasmineparnaby

    Hi Aden, I enjoyed this post as your company of choice is a great example of using multiple platforms to strengthen one another. I think that this level of successful adoption is quite rare amongst the professional service sector; in my research I have noted that many of these companies usually have ‘one strong arm and one week arm’.

    I particularly like the fact that this company uses the quick and flexible platforms (Facebook and twitter) to give updates and sample information, which then link to platforms which they are able to go into more depth with (Youtube and blogs).

    Has Eversheds ever utilised ‘crowdsourcing’ as a way of using their audience to generate large amounts of potentially valuable data ? It seems to me that this company is quite well respected in its field and in the social media world, and those are the right ingredients for successful crowdsourcing. It wouldn’t surprise me if they’ve managed to come up with an even more efficient way of gaining public information (either about new ideas or issues which should be fixed before they become a problem – Providing Customer Care via Social Technologies)

    Reply
    1. adenjones Post author

      Crowd sourcing and professional services. Found this example doing a quick search: http://www.businessspectator.com.au/news/2011/12/8/technology/vumero-brings-crowdsourcing-professional-services-sector
      No Eversheds do not appear to have experimented with crowd sourcing, or at least I couldn’t find any information to say that they have. Do you have any specific ideas for things they could crowdsource? If so, I would be very interested to hear them.

      Reply
  6. digitalrainforest

    Thanks for the interesting post. For some reason I would have thought that a law firm would never use social media in their daily operations. I think you have presented an excellent example that shows how Enterprise 2.0 affects who we do business in virtually all industries nowadays.

    Reply
  7. timhodder

    Aiden, good post – and thanks for the reference to my original article. You mentioned in your comment on our blog about the lack of comments on the Eversheds blog (btw – we prefer calling it a ‘content hub’, as we like to think of it as more sophisticated than a blog (!)). At this end of the market (high value professional services) the vast majority of the audience is still very much in ‘read-only’ mode, and therefore do not go in for leaving many comments: when discussion does take place, this usually comes from the articles being seeded into LinkedIn groups (usually private groups, and therefore only visible to the members). The main thrust of these efforts is therefore about establishing credibility and creating a following based on quality rather than quantity. This is certainly working for Eversheds, who have had positive feedback on their work in this area from a number of sources, including customers, prospective customers, and the press.

    Reply
    1. adenjones Post author

      Thanks for your response.
      It seems that Eversheds strategy is working because there are so many references online to their investment in social media. I guess it makes sense that discussions amongst professionals would be held via a relatively private platform such as LinkedIn. Thanks for the info.

      Reply
  8. Conor Farne Sang

    It’s good to see them prospering from this early adoption and having been very lucky in capitalising on a now important practice. I find it interesting that they refer to the concept as ‘Digital Marketing’, in that they consider their approach to be a type of Marketing strategy rather than a newer and separate concept. That indicates to me a predominantly business & financial focus, and I wonder if this is a disadvantaged view considering the importance of customer engagement and how unaligned those two areas of focus can be. Do you have any thoughts about this?

    Reply
  9. Pingback: Legal Leaders In The Community: Eversheds | roycekuma

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