WEDNESDAY 14 JUN 2017 1:55 PM

LEGAL SECTOR RANKINGS EMPHASISE IMPORTANCE OF DIGITAL LEADERSHIP

Global digital trends often remain unpredictable, and many law firms have traditionally favoured a slow, considered approach to widespread digital transformation. For creative agency, Living Group, measuring the digital intelligence of the world’s leading law firms has long championed the mantra, ‘Content is king.’ Now, after recent findings suggest that the legal sector’s digital practices are changing at a rapid pace, law firms must value quality over quantity when considering digital strategy.

In a recent opinion piece for Transform magazine, Duncan Shaw, co-founder and executive creative director of Living Group, clarified the importance of harnessing digital within the legal sector. This week, the results of Living Group’s Living Ratings reaffirmed that digital leadership is central to driving engagement for law firms. Shaw says, “The way ahead for digital communicators is clear. In order to increase web traffic and potential new business leads, law firms need to find a way to get fantastic and relevant content on their websites, blogs and social media channels.”

This year’s Living Ratings found that as many as 17 of the world’s 100 leading law firms are maximising digital effectiveness through client-centric digital communications, channelled through social media platforms and content. Yet keeping a finger on the pulse of the legal sector’s digital developments requires an analytical process that, for Living Group and the Living Ratings, incorporates a dynamic and perceptive categorisation of criteria.

Implementing a changing set of criteria each year, the 2017 Living Ratings considers search quality, geolocation, guided navigation, enhanced partner biographies, prominent diversity proposition and bolt-on client enablers. A further breakdown of results designated four principle categories defining performance: determined, energetic, focused and lacklustre. On the successful end of the rankings, approximately 93% of firms were active on LinkedIn and Twitter, with 83% providing links from web content to social media and 79% of websites passing Google’s mobile friendly test.

On the less successful end of the rankings, 45% of firms were recorded to have been tweeting original content daily. In line with the criteria, 42% of underperforming firms offered enhanced partner biographies with as little as 18% using geolocation functionality on their websites. Yet one of key markers of the social media effectiveness, for Shaw, is Instagram. This year’s Instagram ratings showed that 14% of firms were active on the photo sharing app, yet Living Group’s findings concluded that the platform had the most potential for the legal sector, with many firms unaware of its fast-paced, easy sharing impact.

Yet primarily, digital leadership requires the need for original content, as well as an improved focus on strong headlines. With 80% of people reading headlines, but only 20% reading on, implementing sharp, integrated and effective digital content across the legal sector is central to maintaining engagement.