The Byrne Blog

John Byrne Communicating About Communications

At a presentation yesterday at the Legal Marketing Association’s annual conference, I discussed a survey I did of how many AmLaw100 firms have a Facebook presence in the form of a fan page.  For reference and posterity, I am sharing the results here on the blog, too.  I also surveyed the same firms’ presence on Twitter, results of which I will share on a subsequent posts.  Surveys of other social media may also be in the offing sometime soon.

So, on with the Facebook survey — and a note here that I did NOT review groups.  This research only applies to pages.  There is a difference.  To learn more about the difference, there are any number of resources out there; here’s a post on Mashable.

Of the AmLaw 100 firms:

Only 31 have some kind of fan page that is related to the firm.   But only 13 firms are “working” those pages with content such as status updates.

The remaining firms have pages for recruiting or pro bono or a specific practice area.  And 13 firms basically just have a placeholder page posted, with little content.

In some ways this result is surprising; in other ways, it is not.  Overall, it seems pretty pathetic.

As referenced above, some other firms may be using groups instead of pages for their Facebook presence.  But even then, a rough sampling of a variety of firms on the list showed that most groups were either for alumni (a very good use of Facebook groups, btw) or summer associates and recruiting efforts (again, a good use).  However, firms that just use groups for those purposes are missing out on other opportunities.

Many people are still skeptical of how Facebook and businesses (like law firms) are going to be interacting in the future.  Does a law firm even need a page on Facebook?  I have my opinions, but I think the fact that it now has more than 400 million users worldwide, that more than half of its users in the United States are over age 35, and that the average user spent more than seven hours on the site this past January are all testiment to the fact that Facebook is more than a passing fad that can be easily ignored.  For an interesting take on how Facebook is here to stay, check out this New York Times article.

So, here’s the 13 AmLaw 100 firms who are Facebook fan page rock stars:

Greenberg Traurig
Foley & Lardner
Alston & Bird
Cooley Godward
Seyfarth Shaw
Fish & Richardson
Drinker Biddle
Duane Morris
Patton Boggs
Pepper Hamilton
Kramer Levin
Haynes & Boone

Did I miss any firms?  Time for some peer review of my research.  If you have any questions, feel free to email me.

9 thoughts on “AmLaw 100 Firms on Facebook

  1. Greg Lambert says:

    King & Spalding’s Healthcare group has a Facebook fan page.

    1. thebyrneblog says:

      Saw it; K&S and Perkins Coie (privacy) are two firms with active pages for specific practices. Akin Gump has one for pro bono, Orrick for recruiting and Wilmer Cutler for alumni. Also found a fan page for David Boies but not for his firm!

  2. cb predator says:

    Heya from Australia! I have found your article on alltheweb. Handy content! Mary J. Hamilton x

  3. crane hire says:

    Hi vey nice interesting blog im from liverpool i found this on yahoouk I’m in the crane hire company business,i found this blog very interesting good luck with it i will return to this blog soon

  4. Although I have an understanding of your stance I cannot really accept what you have claimed right here.

  5. Jayne Navarre says:

    Hi, John,
    Was making my way through your list of law firm “rock stars” on Facebook Fan Pages and I fail to hear the music. Just wondering what, in your opinion, qualifies as rock star status.

    The five I checked out had few fans (most under 100) and other than press release material pushed from Twitter accounts of press release material, there was nothing going on. Wall posts were from months ago and in two cases several years ago. No applications, no customization, no videos, no fun! I’m struggling to see the benefit to being a fan of a law firm….

    Of course the page shows up in public search, but if I were to judge a firm by vibrant activity and interactivity, I’d give these displays a weak mark. Anyway, this is not the image I would want to project. I wonder if law firms aren’t better off not doing fan pages until they get some fans or until they can commit the resources to doing it cool.

    Was there any one Fan page that really stands out before I go through the whole bunch of them? Just curious.

    1. thebyrneblog says:

      Great points on my so-called “rock stars” of law firms on Facebook (and sorry for the delay on comment approval-was on vacation). I guess my standards are pretty low right now. Given the newness of the medium for law firms, I’m leaning toward encouraging mere presence rather than no presence. Staleness is obviously not a good idea; however, isn’t some presence better than no presence? Many firms haven’t updated the majority of their websites in months, if not years. But that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have a website, does it?

      People are always on the lookout for information in social media, not just interactivity. Does it matter that the information could be found elsewhere (i.e., on a website)? I don’t think so, especially since there’s no guarantee that your visitors/fans/whoever on a social media platform are going to see the info on a website in the first place. Said differently, there aren’t a ton of big law firm websites that offer RSS feeds to any great degree (if at all). Being a Facebook fan is one way around that…

      All this said, I think that every law firm that has a fan page on Facebook has some work to do if it wants to truly be a “rock star” …

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