By now, most law firms have inked social media policies, yet leaders' fears are still cresting at the thought of firm employees' fingers running amok and damaging the firms' reputations in some way. It seems this trepidation is a one-way street, however, as BRANDfog's 2012 Social Media and Leadership Survey found.
BRANDfog surveyed hundreds of employees in companies ranging in size from start-ups to Fortune 500 behemoths asking about company executives and their use of social media to communicate with them and the rest of the world. 81% said that CEOs who use social media are "better equipped" than their peers to lead companies in this contemporary business environment. This included "communicating values and shaping corporate reputation."
82% said they were more likely or much more likely to trust a CEO and other top executives who use social media. And 78% said that they'd prefer to work for a company whose leaders regularly use social media.
Most respondents agreed that social media significantly aids leaders' engagement with key stakeholders:
- 89.3% said executives can better communicate with customers
- 84.7% believed that it improves communication with employees
- 66.3% said executives should use it to communicate with investors
- 71% said executive engagement in social media enhances your brand.
But you can't fix a company environment that's broken, they said. Only 45% believed that you can improve bad company morale via C-suite social media use.
Erik Sass of the MediaPost Blog The Social Graf notes: "All this makes interesting reading when juxtaposed with actual rates of social media engagement among CEOs and top execs. According to figures cited by BRANDfog, while 61% of Fortune 500 brands use Twitter to engage with customers, just 2.5% of Fortune 500 CEOs are actively using Twitter."
What can law firm leaders take from this? Employees want more communication from you - not just staff, but your lawyers, too. There is a readily available platform you can use to post your musings, and to show how you understand today's world of business communication. I know you have a lot to say -- roll up your sleeves and plan your communication strategy for the next 12 months. Choose the social media forum that makes the most sense for you - LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or a blog - and commit to it.
Your firm's clients will be listening, too. And they will finally have a chance to know why you have been chosen to lead your firm.