UK Law Firms with Klout – A Clearer Picture

By | August 3, 2011

Law Firm Klout

And the winner is..... not the law firm with the most clout (indeed not even a law firm at all)

Today The Lawyer published a top ten list and bottom ten list of law firms with Klout.

It will be obvious from a quick glance at the list by any lawyer that uses social media regularly that it is flawed. A check of actual Klout scores demonstrates that this is indeed the case.

One would have thought that The Lawyer would have learned a lesson from Law Firm Twitteratigate when Twitter Grader rather than Klout was used to produce a top ten list with clearly flawed results. At that time it was stated by some that Klout would have been a better tool to use to produce such a list. I would agree. But if you are going to use such a tool then do indeed use it properly and include all law firms that you can in your research not just some.

This is The Lawyer’s top ten list (they did not include the actual Klout scores involved but I have added these in brackets after each name):-

  1. Quality Solicitors (45)
  2. Cobbetts (30)
  3. Allen & Overy (43)
  4. Eversheds (44)
  5. Olswang (41)
  6. Taylor Wessing (40)
  7. Burness (38)
  8. Pannone (34)
  9. CMS Cameron McKenna (34)
  10. Blake Lapthorn (32)

Based on actual Klout scores the priority should therefore be:-

  1. Quality Solicitors (45)
  2. Eversheds (44)
  3. Allen & Overy (43)
  4. Olswang (41)
  5. Taylor Wessing (40)
  6. Burness (38)
  7. Pannone (34)
  8. CMS Cameron McKenna (34)
  9. Blake Lapthorn (32)
  10. Cobbetts (30)

I wondered how my own firm, Inksters, would fair in this ranking and checked its Klout Score. At 36, Inksters would have been number 7 on the list. However, what about other law firms that are active social media users but do not appear in that top ten list. Here are a few that spring to my mind with their Klout scores in brackets after their names:-

  • Silverman Sherliker (49)
  • T J Shepperson (49)
  • Steven Williams (48)
  • MacRoberts (45)
  • DLA Piper (44)
  • Biggart Baillie (42)
  • Azrights (41)
  • Heaney Watson (35)
  • Boyes Turner (33)

All of these have Klout scores greater than many of those in The Lawyer’s top ten list. It is not a detailed or exhaustive list, just my quick stab at showing the defects in the list produced or reported by (it is not clear who actually compiled the list) The Lawyer. Some of these are small firms, even sole practitioners. However, they should not be ignored because of this. If anything they are perhaps the “upstarts” referred to by The Lawyer that “top firms” are “losing out to”. Others may be larger but often have a lawyer fronting their social media activities in a much more active way than other law firms.

So my top 10 (with apologies to any law firm excluded that has a higher Klout score) is:-

  • 1.= Silverman Sherliker (49)
  • 1.= T J Shepperson (49)
  • 3.    Steven Williams (48)
  • 4.=  MacRoberts (45)
  • 4.=  Quality Solicitors (45)
  • 6.=  Eversheds (44)
  • 6.=  DLA Piper (44)
  • 8.    Allen & Overy (43)
  • 9.    Biggart Baillie (42)
  • 10.= Azrights (41)
  • 10.= Olswang (41)

It is perhaps questionable whether Quality Solicitors should feature in any of these lists as it is not a law firm. Like is perhaps not being compared with like.

Looking at The Lawyer’s bottom ten list I had difficulty in finding many of the firms listed on Twitter or Klout. Here is the list (again with Klout scores, if I could find them, added by me in brackets after their names):-

  • Morgan Cole (17)
  • Brodies (28)
  • Keoghs (Couldn’t locate)
  • Browne Jacobson (32)
  • Bircham Dyson Bell (10)
  • Hugh James (Couldn’t locate)
  • Capsticks (Couldn’t locate)
  • Bristows (Couldn’t locate)
  • Forsters (Couldn’t locate)
  • Penningtons (Couldn’t locate)

Looks a bit unfair to place Brodies and Browne Jacobson in this list given their relatively high scores. Furthermore, Browne Jacobson have a higher Klout score than Cobbetts, who were placed in second place by The Lawyer in the top ten list! And how can firms who don’t even have a Klout score be ranked at all?

If anything can be gleaned from all of this it is that such lists should be taken with a big pinch of salt and probably are best simply ignored.

Addendum – 6 August 2011: An even clearer picture

It has now come out of the woodwork who actually compiled the flawed Law Firm Klout list. It was not The Lawyer but was a PR agency called Flagship Consulting (referred to by Gavin Ward on Twitter yesterday as ‘Flawgship Consulting’). They issued a press release entitled “Social media legal ‘Hot 100’ announced”. This included their full ranking of 100 Hot Social Law Firms and not just the top ten and bottom ten as published by The Lawyer.

When I originally read the article in The Lawyer I thought that Flagship Consulting owned Klout!:-

Devised by Flagship Consulting, Klout measures a firm’s social media influence across a host of popular networking platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.

Whilst not immediately clear from the press release it transpires (from Tweets elicited from @FlagshipCons by @_millymoo yesterday) that Flagship Consultancy took The Lawyer’s top 100 Law Firm list and re-ordered that according to social media Klout and also Peer Index (which The Lawyer failed to mention). I assume they also dropped 2 law firms from The Lawyer’s top 100 list to accommodate Quality Solicitors and High Street Lawyer that were brought in to create the ‘story’. Not sure why other legal groups were left out such as 360 Legal or Connect2Law to name but two. There again why would any of these groups be included as they are not actually law firms. Surely a better measure would have been to look at the smaller law firms (including sole practitioners) who are knocking the top 100 law firms completely out of the ring (or should I say the Google+ circle) when it comes to social media use. However, that is not news having already been covered in depth on this blog at Law Firm Twitteratigate – The Whole Story. Also mention of small firms such as my own (Inksters), TJ Shepperson, Steven Williams, Clutton Cox and Azrights will not get the headlines that pulling Quality Solicitors into the equation will.

If you are going to compile a top 100 social media law firm list you do not start with a list where most firms have very little or no social media presence. To obtain a Klout or Peer Index score I understand (but may be wrong) that you need at least a Twitter account (all searches on either rely on inputting a Twitter user name). Thus if you have no Twitter account you will have a zero score. There must be a large number of the top 100 law firms who have no such presence and hence a zero score. How can you then rank all those zeros?

If Flagship Consultancy were using both Klout and Peer Index did they combine the two scores for each law firm and divide the total by two? That would seem a fair enough way of doing it. However, if that approach had been used then Cobbetts (second on the list) would have scored only 19 (30 for Klout and 8 for Peer Index) whilst Brodies (92 on the list) would have scored 30 (28 for Klout and 32 for Peer Index). It looks therefore as though no real methodology was used.

Another rather surprising revelation is that Halliwells appears at number 59 on the list [Hat tip to @JonBloor for alerting me to the tweet by @RollOnFridayWeb who highlighted this “amazing spot” by @charlie_alys]. Halliwells of course is no more and has been no more for some time. Putting a defunct law firm who obviously no longer tweet and will never tweet again on a top 100 list is worse than Intendance putting Norton Rose on their top 10 list (at least then there was a hope that Norton Rose might one day Tweet and they now do so). In attempting to defend their decision to include Halliwells in the list @FlagshipCons tweeted to @RollOnFridayWeb that “we made the decision to keep them in” and “the list is a ranking of those featured on the Hot 100 – not a list of the best law firms at social”. Hmm… their press release is headlined “Social media legal ‘Hot 100’ announced” and they state in it:-

Flagship’s alternative ‘Hot 100’  based on measurement of a law firm’s social media clout (audience, reach, influence and engagement) – identifies Quality Solicitors as having the most influential online presence.  And High Street Lawyer, another recently established legal ‘network’, is in the top 25.  By contrast, Clifford Chance, ranked number 1 in the Hot 100, is only 32 in the social rankings.

Well I can’t see Quality Solicitors or High Street Lawyer anywhere in The Lawyer’s Hot 100 so how do they, in particular, get to enter this new ranking list? Having dropped two firms from it to accommodate Quality Solicitors and High Street Lawyer might it not have been an idea for one of those dropped to have been Halliwells? However, of course, if it was really “a ranking of those featured on the Hot 100 – not a list of the best law firms at social” then no one would have been dropped from the list (including Halliwells) and neither Quality Solicitors nor High Street Lawyer would have been added to it. Flagship Consulting have actually stated on Twitter that it was a “predefined list – we didn’t choose who would feature”. Who chose Quality Solicitors and High Street Lawyer then?

Why would a PR company produce such a list anyway? A cynic might think that Flagship Consulting were on the pay roll of Quality Solicitors. They have denied this on Twitter and stated that “we created the report ourselves as we thought it would be interesting to see if there was a correlation between the two lists”. Hmm… not going to be a correlation if you decide to drop two from it and add two new ones in. It has been suggested on Twitter that perhaps the motive for compiling the list was to get their name into the Lawyer so law firms might ask for help. With a Klout of 36, as already highlighted in comments on this post, they may not be the best PR company to seek such help from.

Flagship Consulting on the back of comments made on The Lawyer article published a blog post: Are law firms too posh to tweet?

If you’re after entertainment, I urge you to check out the reader responses on the The Lawyer’s website; usually they’re marvellous mix of vitriol and superciliousness. In short, lawyers, love a good ‘hate’ and a recent piece on who’s up and who’s down in the social media stakes has really got them snarling. But before I go any further, I have to declare an interest – it’s all our fault!  Let me explain…

We sent our list to The Lawyer, the journal ran a piece and the “we talk to people rather than tweet them” comments rolled in. And many of the respondents had a point: Quality Solicitors and similar outfits are, obviously, not in the same space as long-established, full service firms serving the business community.  However we did want to make the point that like it or not social media is a powerful information channel which cannot be ignored.

Perhaps putting a spin on it and neatly side stepping the questions regarding the list being flawed in the first place. Flagship Consulting have, however, tweeted to me that they will respond to this post. I look forward to receiving and publishing their comments.

So there you have it: nothing but more nonsense about social media and law firms from a PR company, as we have seen before with the Intendance Report. However, they do say all publicity is good publicity. The Lawyer has now been bitten twice by this. Third time shy perhaps?

A note about manipulating Klout scores

It is also worth knowing that Klout scores (like ‘Hot 100’ lists) can be manipulated. Cube Social had a guest post by Jillian Ney on Klout… and how it can be manipulated which demonstrated how Jillian was able to increase her Klout by 4 points in 4 days. Indeed Quality Solicitors have admitted to such manipulation in a comment from Craig Holt on this Blawg where he reveals that adding a picture to Facebook with a link through to Klout was enough to earn them an extra 6 points!

US lawyer Bradley Shear alerts us to the fact that Klout’s Algorithm Appears To Be Compromised By Social Media Credential Fraud:-

Follower/Follow Ratio which appears to be a major component of the algorithm is being manipulated by those practicing Social Media Credential Fraud. If the Follower/Follow Ratio can be manipulated, it appears that the Followed Back % is also compromised.

Danny Brown says you can make yourself an influencer by playing the Klout +K game:-

But whether you think Klout has value or not, it’s now a lot of fun – because you can game the system and show its flaws, and this is all done by one of Klout’s own tools, the new +K option.

Do watch Danny Brown’s amusing video at the end of that post about Klout discovering a renowned sheep expert.

Some PR companies recognise that such manipulation is not a good thing. Social Spread Media in their post on Manipulating Klout state that:-

Klout scores are becoming drug-like. And people are finding all sorts of ways to increase their scores by retweeting comments and including twitter handles in tweets…  a good PR practice is to always be authentic. People are savvy enough to realize that you are manipulating your tweets to raise your Klout score.  And the social media purists out there will snub you.  Social media’s intention is to share your thoughts, ideas, passions and make a difference in the world.  Not to raise your profile ranking to get a “free” hotel night at a three-star hotel.

That last sentence surprised me but apparently “the higher your Klout score, the more free-stuff you “score.” It’s that simple and that’s why it is highly coveted”. Businesses are apparently giving away perks to those with appropriate Klout. Although this may just amount to Spotify invites or free @popchips (see: Klout is gaining clout with perks and PR). No doubt Craig Holt will be dishing out these freebies to Quality Solicitors’ members as an added perk to them 😉

Trey Pennington gives you 4 Keys to Increasing Your Klout Score. However, ignore the keys and go straight to the end of Trey’s post where he wisely states:-

Don’t worry about increasing your Klout score (or twittergrader ranking or whatever comes next). Just use whatever gifts you have to help other people accomplish their dreams. If you’ll help enough other people get what they want, you’ll have all the influence you’ll need.


69 Comments

Tessa Shepperson on 04/08/2011 at 7:33 am.

Wow thanks Brian! A bit of a surprise.

I am not surprised however that I was not mentioned by the Lawyer. Their publication is aimed at quite different firms from mine, and my sort of firm is completely off their scale.

I have to say though that I have never really understood what Klout was or whether it mattered. Still, if it does matter, good to know that I’ve got it!

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Brian Inkster on 04/08/2011 at 8:03 am.

Thanks Tessa

But DLA Piper should have been on their scale and were not.

Whilst The Lawyer is no doubt aimed at the larger firm they should not be ignoring the small ones especially when doing an article about “upstarts” that “top firms” are “losing out to”. This on the whole will be the smaller law firms like yours and mine as much, if not more so, than a particular group of high street law firms.

I don’t think Klout really counts for much (we all know who we are influenced by or influence without needing to look up a metric). However, if you’ve got it you might as well flaunt it 😉

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Peninsulawyer on 04/08/2011 at 8:24 am.

Silverman Sherliker immediately came to mind when I saw the list – not surprised to see they have more Klout…

The comments on the article are interesting – a mix of objections to the methodology and “people who tweet should get a life!”.

The original premise of the article seems flawed to me though and I agree with the commentators in this regard – how do we know if any of these firms are actually getting a return on investment of their SM use or just frittering away their time chatting.

Not one of their finest journalistic moments in my view – seems like something would expect to see on a social media marketers “flawg”.

Agree about QS – they have a decent social media presence, but they are not a law firm. Many of their member firms seem to have individual accounts with much lower Klout.

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Brian Inkster on 04/08/2011 at 8:30 am.

Thanks Jon

I think that is the problem with these tools. They can never actually measure true effectiveness on social media and especially Return on Investment. I am fairly certain, for example, that most of Quality Solicitors’ followers will be other lawyers and unless part of that group it is unlikely that those lawyers would necessarily refer work onto them.

I imagine a social media marketer came up with the list and ‘flawged’ it to The Lawyer. They should have seen it coming!

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Gavin Ward on 04/08/2011 at 9:08 am.

“One would have thought that The Lawyer would have learned a lesson from Law Firm Twitteratigate…”

After reading this I knew we were in for a cracking post! I’ve now posted a link to this article from The Lawyer magazine page itself.

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Brian Inkster on 04/08/2011 at 9:14 am.

Thanks Gavin

I did the same but got an error page from The Lawyer in response. So not sure if my one has gone through or, if it does, will get past moderation 😉

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Filemot on 04/08/2011 at 9:52 am.

Like you I was tempted to go off to Klout and check some of those scores. Thefirst problem I had was finding which Twitter account they were using to measure Klout for Quality Solicitors as several individual firms seem to have accounts. Then there is the problem that Klout scores are a movable feast and change momentarily. Since I was only really waiting for the OHIM website to load, I did not have the resolution to continue and am most impressed by your findings, which clearly demonstrate that charismatic individual lawyers fare a lot better in the social media stakes than the bland and characterless law firm brand

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Brian Inkster on 06/08/2011 at 9:55 pm.

Thanks Barbara

With a Klout of 50 you are ahead of them all.

Yes… Quality Solicitors has various individual firms with their own accounts and some with low Klout scores of 17 or 18 or the like. Perhaps to find a true Klout score for Quality Solicitors all the individual scores need to be added together and averaged. They would then I think be somewhere towards the bottom of what we now know to be the Flagship Consulting (see my Addendum written since you posted your comment) ‘Hot 100’ social media legal list.

Klout scores are indeed a moveable feast. Having just logged into Klout I am welcomed with “Ouch, your Klout score has been falling lately. Share more content and engage with your network and your Klout score will rise!”. As a result of spending time on @TheTimeBlawg rather than @BrianInkster I have apparently dropped 4 points in 1 day. Goodness knows what would happen if you decided to take a two week holiday from Twitter. This is why people should take Klout scores with a big pinch of salt.

With or without Klout though it will indeed, as you say, always be “charismatic individual lawyers” that will “fare a lot better in the social media stakes than the bland and characterless law firm brand”.

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Steve QC on 04/08/2011 at 10:03 am.

Was this actually based on a report by a marketer, or is not rather just something The Lawyer has cobbled together but plugging a load of numbers into Klout?

If so, shame on them. Lazy stuff.

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Brian Inkster on 06/08/2011 at 10:06 pm.

Thanks Steve QC

We now know that it was produced by a marketer: Flagship Consulting (see my Addendum written since you posted your comment). Still cobbled together by them though, I am afraid, and very much lazy stuff.

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Paul Hajek on 04/08/2011 at 10:12 am.

Good topic for debate Brian as ever.

I think be may be nudging the foothills of the leaderboard with a Klout rating of 44.

Admittedly, in my own name, but as a sole practitioner surely some benefit will transfer.

But, then we do come up against statistics and my supposed influence.

I think I may be pleased with the categories of lawyers and tesco (law), but I would not consider myself as an expert on San Antonio Spurs or Denmark.

Damn Americans think that references to my beloved Spurs must mean a basketball team; and after Denmark banned Marmite, I recall tweeting “Denmark: you either love it or hate it”

Perhaps more a case of “Quod non erat demonstratum”

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Brian Inkster on 06/08/2011 at 11:55 pm.

Thanks Paul

You are up at 51 today and at the top of the leader board. This is the moveable feast that Barbara was commenting on above (see also Craig’s comment below). If Klout scores can sway one way or the other by 7 points or so within a few days then how can they be relied upon and how can a leader board ever be really created from such scores.

I never realised that you were a sole practitioner. Likewise many people are surprised when they learn that I am also a sole practitioner. Social media levels the playing field somewhat for firms like ours.

As a sole practitioner with a firm name different from your own (or in my case only a slight difference) it is difficult to distinguish whether a Twitter account is a firm or an individual one. I have a firm one @inksters in addition to a personal one @BrianInkster but really the engagement takes place on the personal one. That is where the clout (never mind the Klout) takes place.

So yes… you and I will get more benefit from social media accounts in our own names than we ever will from corporate ones. The larger firms likewise will benefit more from individual lawyers tweeting rather than relying on a corporate account. If need be the two can of course be combined (Jon Bloor’s ‘Tweeting in Convoy’).

Klout seems to have got my (@BrianInkster) supposed influence about right. No basketball teams instead of football teams or countries instead of marmite. However after extensive tweets tonight with @CharonQC @loveandgarbage and @LegalBizzle I fully expect to be ranked by Klout as influential about bannocks by the morning.

@TheTimeBlawg on the other hand is, according to Klout, influential about Doctors (in general) and not just The Doctor 😉

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David Gilroy on 04/08/2011 at 10:19 am.

Great analysis Brian….saved me a job!

Regs….David.

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Brian Inkster on 07/08/2011 at 12:03 am.

Thanks David

My pleasure 🙂

See also now the Addendum written since you posted your comment.

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Jonathan Lea on 04/08/2011 at 12:34 pm.

On reflection, a touch immodest, but here is my split second reaction to the original article that I posted on The Lawyer this morning:

“Social media is not about corporate brands (nobody wants to talk to a company), but about the growth of powerful personal brands who through their high level of connectivity to both other people and information can act in a far more agile and effective way than traditional bureaucratic organisations. Quality Solicitors is a franchise made up of hundreds of people, but myself and several other individual lawyers have a far better online presence than they do, and to the extent it matters, a higher Klout score.”

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Brian Inkster on 07/08/2011 at 12:05 am.

Thanks Jonathan

I concur.

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Craig Holt on 04/08/2011 at 2:19 pm.

Hi Brian,

Not wishing to get too competitive about this (!) but actually our (QualitySolicitors) Klout score is 51. It temporarily dropped yesterday because we removed facebook for a short while yesterday to update the photo on there that was linking through to Klout. I think that puts us back to the top…!

Best wishes,

Craig

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Brian Inkster on 07/08/2011 at 9:20 pm.

Thanks Craig

The fact that you can manipulate Quality Solicitors’ Klout score in that way shows how Klout should not be relied upon to rank law firm’s social media use – other than, perhaps, to show who is best at ‘playing the Klout +K game’ (see my Addendum written since you posted your comment).

I mentioned in my response to Paul Hajek last night that after extensive tweets with @CharonQC @loveandgarbage and @LegalBizzle, I fully expected to be ranked by Klout as influential about bannocks (scones) by the morning. Klout has not yet put bannocks on my list of influential topics. However, it has given me an extra 4 points. I assume that was for tweeting with three tweeps with high Klout scores rather than discussing bannocks, but who knows. Anyway, it shows how Klout scores are, as Barbara Cookson (Filemot) said, a “moveable feast”. It also puts me (at 52) one point ahead of Quality Solicitors (at 51). But hey… who is counting 😉

You will note my response to Barbara Cookson (Filemot) where I pointed out that Quality Solicitors has various individual firms with their own accounts and some with low Klout scores of 17 or 18 or the like. Perhaps to find a true Klout score for Quality Solicitors all the individual scores need to be added together and averaged. Quality Solicitors would then I think be somewhere towards the bottom of what we now know to be the Flagship Consulting ‘Hot 100′ social media legal list.

With or without Klout, however, Quality Solicitors really need to get some individual lawyers in their member firms using social media effectively. Until then they will continue to trail a good way behind the law firms that are.

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Michael Scutt on 04/08/2011 at 7:15 pm.

Hi Brian,

That’s a very interesting post. As you (and others have said) The Lawyer doesn’t seem to have learned its lesson from the previous time and its failure to look beyond the large corporate law firms is rather irritating. It would also be interesting to see the klout scores for those lawyers tweeting in their own names. Someone needs to prepare league tables – could be a job for UKBR!

Mike

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Brian Inkster on 07/08/2011 at 9:47 pm.

Thanks Mike

Given what I have recently ascertained about Klout (see my Addendum written since you posted your comment) I think it best to stay clear of Klout league tables. Klout scores can move by 6 points or more either way over night. They can easily be manipulated and give no indication as to whether the time spent producing the Klout score in question has resulted in any return on investment.

However, a list of Klout scores of individual lawyers when compared with law firm scores would show (what we both know) that, as Barbara Cookson (Filemot) put it, “charismatic individual lawyers fare a lot better in the social media stakes than the bland and characterless law firm brand” .

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Kate Gomery on 05/08/2011 at 4:53 pm.

Is it wrong that I wan’t bothered about Klout until I found out we had some? Go Heaney Watson!

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Brian Inkster on 07/08/2011 at 9:49 pm.

Thanks Kate

Nothing wrong with that. Go Heaney Watson!

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Peninsulawyer on 05/08/2011 at 5:18 pm.

Klout scores obviously move around a bit, but as I type this is seems that Flagship Consulting who produced the survey have a Klout score of 36… maybe Craig should be giving them some coaching then?

As I said before the figures don’t mean a great deal without being tied to some ROI data… are firms receiving more enquiries, converting more of them or making more profit? Klout scores don’t really address this at all.

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Brian Inkster on 07/08/2011 at 10:06 pm.

Thanks Jon

It appears that Flagship Consulting are not even registered with Klout (when I logged into Klout it suggested that I might like to invite them to join to increase my verified connections!) so I am unsure how they managed to obtain the Klout data that would have been required to compile the list 😉

Agreed that there is no tie up with ROI. The Lawyer ‘Hot 100’ list is, of course, based on revenue generated. The social media ‘Hot 100’ list should therefore perhaps be based on revenue generated from social media activities. The Lawyer may want to ask that question when compiling its next ‘Hot 100’ list so that they (rather than a PR agency) can produce an alternative and accurate social media list based on actual information.

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Charon QC on 05/08/2011 at 9:58 pm.

A Klout of 66…. although as far as I am concerned Rout 66 would be better and a Peerindex of 55…. I only checked because @FlagshipCons raise it … is absolutely no interest to me or any of the people (I hope) who read my blog

I do, however, think that the research done by @FlagshipCons was a bit ‘lazy… given what has come out… but in the great scheme of things: Famine in Somalia, the collapse of the global economy, the imminent collapse of many people’s lives through unemployment and so it goes on – not really worth wasting any more time on.

Have a good weekend!

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Brian Inkster on 07/08/2011 at 10:13 pm.

Thanks Charon

Despite your best advice I delved deeper. The more research you do the more astonished you get. Free @popchips for Klout! (see my Addendum written since you posted your comment).

BTW: I see that “Klout believes Charon QC is influential about cars”. Not a topic I have noticed you tweet about or have I missed your Top Gear tweets?

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Chris Sherliker on 06/08/2011 at 7:55 pm.

Brian, Peerless bloggery as usual …but what is Klout? Can you eat it?

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Brian Inkster on 07/08/2011 at 10:18 pm.

Thanks Chris

You can eat a Clootie Dumpling:-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clootie

🙂

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JE Marshall on 08/08/2011 at 9:24 am.

That dumpling looks like a bowling ball 🙂

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Trey Pennington on 07/08/2011 at 10:25 pm.

Thank you for including my post. What a scholarly, rich post you’ve crafted. Well done. Thank you for concluding your with the real essence of what I really wanted to say in mine!

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Brian Inkster on 07/08/2011 at 10:45 pm.

Thanks Trey

That essence is indeed what we should all be striving to do via (and outwith) social media.

Hope to see you again the next time you are in Glasgow.

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Charon QC on 07/08/2011 at 11:02 pm.

It was a typical Klout Typo Brian… should have read.. Charon QC is influential about bars” !

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Brian Inkster on 07/08/2011 at 11:29 pm.

🙂

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Mark Smith on 09/08/2011 at 8:02 am.

Really interesting post Brian, and the comments below. The profession can gain a lot from effective use of social media, and I think dialogue like this definitely helps.

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Brian Inkster on 09/08/2011 at 9:35 pm.

Thanks Mark

I agree that the legal profession can gain a lot from effective use of social media. My firm certainly has. I am very happy to raise these issues at The Time Blawg and keep the dialogue going.

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Gary on 09/08/2011 at 2:31 pm.

New entry at #21. I am not sure how we got on the list or what we did to get to the position that we did. In any event, I question what any of these lists really do other than provide some news and then discussion. If the discussion had taken place on Twitter would our Klout score have increased?

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Brian Inkster on 09/08/2011 at 10:33 pm.

Thanks Gary

On 3 August you (High Street Lawyer) had a Klout score of 32. That was higher than the law firm ranked second by Flagship Consulting. It would have put you 9th equal on the Flagship Consulting top 10 list (that is if we ignore other firms lower down the list who may actually have had a higher Klout score as that attributed to them by Flagship Consulting and also ignore Peer Index which The Lawyer decided to ignore).

If the discussion had taken place on Twitter (some certainly did) then your Klout score would no doubt have increased. It has already gone up to 35. Perhaps as a result of you tweeting the link to this post 😉

I would recommend tweeting with @CharonQC about cars (to please Klout, he will understand it means bars), @loveandgarbage about fishing (Klout reckons he influences that topic although he has only ever mentioned fish in one tweet) and @LegalBizzle about coffee (even though bears prefer honey) and your Klout score could double over night. If they tweet back to you about Tesco (which you influence) then you might just hit @justinbieber’s perfect Klout score of 100. After all I gained 4 extra points by just tweeting with those three about bannocks (scones) 😉

You could also join in Tweets about #GlobalTG (The Global Twitter Game), the new hot topic on Twitter. Given that it is organised by top legal Klouter @London_Law_Firm that is bound to increase your Klout score 😉

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Gavin Ward on 09/08/2011 at 6:42 pm.

Soon we’ll all have Klout about Klout – is that the circulus inextricabilis that will finally destroy it?

@CharonQC, I can’t give you Klout about ‘bars’, but I can repost the link to your great observation: http://thetimeblawg.com/2011/08/03/uk-law-firms-with-klout-%e2%80%93-a-clearer-picture/#comment-2446

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Brian Inkster on 09/08/2011 at 10:44 pm.

Thanks again Gavin

According to Klout even Klout is not influential about Klout!

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Simon Ellison-Bunce on 11/08/2011 at 9:32 am.

Inspired by Brian’s analysis of the figures from thelawyer.com, I’ve created a new web site to publish comprehensive and unspun social networking metrics from Twitter, Klout, PeerIndex and LinkedIn. Read more about it at http://blog.fellsoft.com.

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Simon Ellison-Bunce on 19/08/2011 at 5:55 pm.

Not sure if my initial comment was welcome or not as it’s still in moderation limbo! Hoping it it was merely overlooked, in which case this might be a memory jogger 🙂

Anyway, we have Klout scores and more for 400+ worldwide law firms at http://apps.fellsoft.com/SNMetrics.

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Brian Inkster on 21/08/2011 at 1:28 pm.

Simon

Your initial comment was very welcome and has indeed simply been in ‘moderation limbo’. My mind and activity has been on the ‘Cloud’ (blog post coming up on that soon) rather than on Klout of late and I have not, as a result, had a chance until today to log onto The Time Blawg since you posted your initial comment.

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Brian Inkster on 21/08/2011 at 1:22 pm.

Thanks Simon

Your metrics appear, on the face of it, to provide a truer picture of the legal social media landscape. Pleased to see my own firm, Inksters, and others prominent in Social Media featuring unlike the Flagship Consulting table which concentrated only on The Lawyer’s top 100 law firms (many of which have no real social media presence).

Your table is likely to become the one that is looked at for those interested in such matters as the basis on which it has been prepared is clear and unambiguous. However, we do all have to bear in mind how these metrics can sway from day to day and can be manipulated by those inclined to do so. They also, as Jon Bloor has pointed out, cannot necessarily reflect the ROI obtained by the firms in question.

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Brian Inkster on 21/08/2011 at 1:35 pm.

Simon

Just noticed that your table appears to omit sole practitioners such as T J Shepperson (@TessaShepperson) and Steven Williams (@MotoringLawyer) who I mentioned in my top ten Klout table. You may wish to consider including them.

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Simon Ellison-Bunce on 21/08/2011 at 6:08 pm.

Thanks Brian.

As I mention in my own blog item that accompanies the figures, I’m something of a metric sceptic for exactly the reasons you mention. But if people are going to attempt to draw any conclusions from these stats, it seemed to me there ought to be a bit more clarity about the data sources. Our list is by no means complete but I’m certainly open to suggested additions.

Social media can clearly allow small organisations to have an impact out of proportion to their size. That said, I’m not sure there’s much more than entertainment value in a comparison between @motoringlawyer and @allenovery for example (no disrepect to either!). But comparing @allenovery to @jonesday, or @motoringlawyer to similar sole practioner practices that aren’t using social media as extensively, is more interesting. I’ll probably add some sort of size filtering option. If people find the data useful, get in touch via the site with suggestions.

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Brian Inkster on 21/08/2011 at 11:49 pm.

Thanks again Simon

Social media does indeed allow small organisations to have an impact out of proportion to their size. This is exactly the point that social media metric tables that include those small organisations bring out. This was the problem with the Flagship Consulting table in that it only looked at the top 100 (by turnover) law firm’s in the UK (with Quality Solicitors and High Street Lawyer thrown in to create a story) rather than include the law firms (whatever their size) actually active in social media. Intendance made the same mistake with their Report which included a law firm in the top ten that had never actually Tweeted.

Surely if we are to look at social media metrics the size of the firm is irrelevant? It is their social media activity that is putting them above the others that counts and not their respective size. That does not provide entertainment value (well perhaps some at the expense of the larger firms) but brings home the fact that the large law firms simply are not as effective in using social media as the smaller ones are.

You may not be aware but I am a sole practitioner (all be it one that employs several solicitors). Yet in your metric tables my law firm, Inksters, comes in at 10 (Twitter), 16 (Klout) and 8 (Peer Index). Are Inksters to now be excluded as a result of being a sole practitioner? Where do you draw a line between larger firms and smaller ones (whatever the size).

Many of the other law firms ranking high on your tables are small to medium sized firms compared with @allenovery or @jonesday (who bizarrely protect their tweets and have only one follower). A comparison can easily and clearly be drawn between @jonesday and the smaller law firms who are active in social media. Indeed that same comparison exists between most small law firms who are active in social media and almost all the ‘big’ law firms. I don’t think it is necessary or helpful to draw a distinction by filtering according to size. Also difficult to measure size without checking this against each firm listed. Do you look at turnover or number of partners or number of fee earners?

Law firms do better, in any event, through individual lawyers tweeting and you may want to consider how to add those alongside or in addition to the table that you have already produced. You will find individual lawyers having a much higher score than the firms you have already listed. This is why the sole practitioners and smaller firms where an individual lawyer tweets on the firm’s behalf come off better.

If law firm social media lists are to be created then they should be all inclusive and ensure that those firms who are actually active in social media are included regardless of their size.

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Simon Ellison-Bunce on 22/08/2011 at 11:43 am.

Hi Brian,

I agree re inclusiveness (@motoringlawyer & @tessashepperson have been added to the data).

My point re filtering was just that effective use of social media ought to bring competitive advantage and act as a market differentiator. Smaller firms will of course seek to exploit any advantages they have when competing against larger ones. But equally it’s hard to imagine a scenario in which @jonesday and @motoringlawyer (for example) would be competing for the same type of work, and in that sense the fact that their approach to social media is so different is of rather less interest than the difference between @jonesday and @allenovery (for example).

The firm vs individual point is really interesting. I’d like to find a way to represent that better (also applies to firms that have several firm Twitter accounts either for different regions or specific practice areas).

There are a fair few firms that (like @jonesday) have created a Twitter account for the firm and then “locked” it. My guess is that they wanted to protect their chosen user name but just haven’t figured out what else to do yet. Doesn’t create a good impression though!

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Brian Inkster on 22/08/2011 at 10:26 pm.

Thanks again Simon

I see that Steven Williams’ (@motoringlawyer) Klout score has increased from 48 (when my post was written) to 62 (on your metric table today) . That is a 14 point increase in just under three weeks. Again this shows how easily Klout scores can fluctuate greatly over relatively short periods of time.

I take your point re. filtering but wonder how easy this would be to achieve. The challenge is all yours!

Good point re. firms that have several firm Twitter accounts. We are operating 4 practice area specific accounts at the moment at Inksters in addition to the main corporate account. We also have 7 individual lawyer accounts. How easy it is to reflect this on a metric table is another matter. I believe some much larger firms are now operating upwards of 50 Twitter accounts.

The opening of an account to secure your name and not using it (especially protecting it) defeats the purpose of social media. It certainly does not give a good impression as you say. However, as we all know, Norton Rose got into a top ten table (Intendance) by doing just that (not tweeting that is – they at least did not protect the account).

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Steve Williams on 23/08/2011 at 9:34 am.

Coming late to this as I have been away from twitter and social media generally for the last 3 weeks or so (which probably explains why the Klout score dropped to 48, my empire avenue shares plummeted too ;-))

I think that all of these score boards miss the point, I don’t think there is a reliable way of measuring real social media influence. It isn’t just about numbers. You do need a certain amount of followers to make use of social media but it is more about how you use it than how many you use it with.

It seems to me that a lot of the big firms are missing the point of twitter, they have been told ‘they need to be on twitter’ and have registered an account and either ignored it or left it to a marketing manager. Social media, but especially twitter was a game changer. No longer was marketing seen purely as broadcasting, the buzz word was engaging. It gave companies a chance to engage with their customers in a way that was not possible before.

Few of the big firms in my opinion make the most of twitter, or other social media. Some very big non law companies use it very well. @jura_whisky is a great example of how to use social media, a combination of broadcasting and engaging.

In fairness I think it is harder to promote law firms via twitter, we can’t really have competitions to win a free motoring defence and it’s harder to get people to sign up to a drink driving fan site on facebook. We can however engage, if you look at some of the accounts with higher scores you will see very few replies to anyone else.

Twitter moves very fast, if you follow any more than 1000 people it is easy to miss what some people say unless you are logged in all day. Equally it is very easy for people to miss what you say. Broadcasts and announcements are often ignored as yet more noise. The only way to make proper use of twitter is to interact with others.

I agree with Simon that there is not much value in a comparison with me and @allenovery in terms of twitter. One of the reasons why I engage as I do on twitter is because my clients buy me as opposed to the firm (the main reason I engage as I do though is because I enjoy it and the people on there). Allen and Overy take a different approach, they broadcast with a view to raising the firms profile (I assume), there is however a middle ground, their account could be staffed by individuals, each with an individual but firm branded account. Blacks solicitors do this very well (@CAllenBlacks) each solicitor has an account but the profile pic is branded with the firms name.

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Brian Inkster on 24/08/2011 at 11:31 pm.

Thanks Steve

Some good points there.

Now following @jura_whisky and will be interested to see how they use Twitter. Already following @CAllenBlack but did not realise there were more individual solicitors within the firm tweeting. Twitter accounts don’t seem to be listed on their website but will attempt to track them down via Twitter.

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Peninsulawyer on 23/08/2011 at 9:41 am.

Opening an account and not using it is also rather risky (maybe these firms should take a look at the Twitter T&Cs).

It is quite possible (and I know people who have done this) to have a dormant account closed and transferred to you if you want the user name. Twitter’s terms specifically provide for this.

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Brian Inkster on 24/08/2011 at 11:33 pm.

Good point Jon

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Simon Ellison-Bunce on 24/08/2011 at 10:38 am.

Steve makes some excellent points.

Not everyone has the same goals from their use of Twitter and for a big firm maybe a simpler initial aim for their organisational account is to use it simply as another broadcast channel to broaden their reach. I’m sure we’d all say there’s lots more value to had from real engagement, but that requires investment of time & resource and for a big firm probably a management decision, and that may be a bit of a leap when the benefits aren’t immediately obvious. Things could be changing though – I know of one large US firm who have recently appointed someone with a job title that includes the role of “Social Media Manager”.

Having individual lawyer accounts is certainly closer to the “spirit” of social media but it would shine a very bright light on the personal vs employer brand issue that I think is an underlying concern for large firms. Nice illustration of this recently when the BBC’s political report Laura Kuenssberg jumped ship from the BBC to ITV: http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/pda/2011/jun/22/laura-kuenssberg-twitter-account

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Brian Inkster on 24/08/2011 at 11:47 pm.

Thanks again Simon

Not sure if the firms with Social Media Managers will fair any better. Still will ultimately require some individual lawyers being willing and able to tweet on their own account but for the benefit of their law firm.

The larger firms need to become more relaxed with this.

On the question of metric tables and the inclusion of individual lawyers you may be interested to see that Architects are mixing individuals and firms together in their table:-

http://www.architectsjournal.co.uk/news/daily-news/aj-launches-search-for-the-most-influential-architect-on-twitter-ajtcn100/8615806.article

and the table:-

http://www.peerindex.net/tcntweets/group/ajtcntwitter100

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Simon Ellison-Bunce on 25/08/2011 at 9:33 am.

Re personal vs firm – I was just looking at the way @taylorwessing do this. They have individual lawyers tweeting on their own behalf, with profiles saying they work for Taylor Wessing but the views are their own, with a mix of professional & personal content. The firm account then retweets anything that they think is of wider general interest from their individual lawyer’s accounts, as well as the more usual firm announcements. Seems like the best of both worlds?

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Brian Inkster on 27/08/2011 at 10:25 pm.

Thanks once more Simon

Yes… that is ‘Tweeting in Convoy’ (as coined by Jon Bloor) in action. See Jon’s seminal post on the topic:-

http://www.peninsulawyer.com/blog/2009/9/30/tweeting-in-convoy.html

I regularly use Jon’s analogy in presentations and recently discussed this in ‘Playing Battleships’ for Inside Knowledge:-

http://www.ikmagazine.com/display.asp?sid=0&articleid=695044E1-0777-43B1-8D7B-965BDBAB13AE&eTitle=Playing_battleships

Personally I don’t think the “views are their own” rider used by Taylor Wessing and other firms is necessary. We don’t do this when Tweeting in Convoy at Inksters.

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Brian Inkster on 27/08/2011 at 10:44 pm.

It came to my attention today that Mike Briercliffe (@mikejulietbravo) has created a list of Klout scores of Twegals (Legals who tweet). This is a good list of individuals and firms who tweet according to their Klout ranking. You should, however, bear in mind that ‘Twegals’ includes anyone interested in or associated with the law and is not limited to lawyers. Mike’s list can be found at:-

http://klout.com/mikejulietbravo/list/21739

Mike has pointed out that this list is “a straight import from one that needs a bit more care”. Despite this fact it is still a far more reliable list to refer to than that produced by Flagship Consulting. It also has the benefit of including individual lawyers who do, of course, have far more impact on social media than law firms do.

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Simon Ellison-Bunce on 28/08/2011 at 12:14 pm.

Thanks Brian – both excellent articles, obviously I’m playing catchup here!

It does seem like the best way to handle a general firm account. Apart from Taylor Wessing I haven’t noticed any of the other large firms doing this, but I’ll keep an eye out for it now.

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Gavin Ward on 14/09/2011 at 4:42 pm.

Great list by Mike! I’ve created a similar one here http://klout.com/#/GavWard/list/legal-connections?n=tw&v=list_page_new_share . Althought this is a straight import of one of my legal lists containing around 500 Twegals, created by Formulists, it’s impressive the way that Klout manages to rank these according to how much Klout they have – again, thanks to Mike for pointing this.

Hope this is useful. Also, I’m looking forward to the Tweeting in Convoy seminar “teaser” video later, Brian!

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Paul Hajek on 18/09/2011 at 10:13 pm.

I’ve now been omitted from 2 klout lists.

Disappointed Klout 51

Paul Hajek

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Brian Inkster on 04/10/2011 at 10:46 pm.

If it is any consolation Paul, I mentioned you today in my article for The Firm Online on Beware of Law Firm Klout lists 🙂

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Gavin Ward on 14/08/2012 at 6:14 pm.

Just fyi if you haven’t heard already – A significant update to Klout happened today http://mashable.com/2012/08/14/klout-update/

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