On the 9th Day: Be a Smart Firm & Focus Your Team on the Digital Space

SM SIG 12 Days of Social & Digital Media 

We are nearing the last few posts for the 12 Days and we thought it was only appropriate to have Molly Porter, Director of Marketing at Seyfarth Shaw LLP share her wisdom. It is always beneficial to have the sage advice and predictions of Molly. She keenly outlines what's to come for all of us marketers faced with a demand for better content, a more strategic approach to messaging, and a more encompassing view of digital media. Enjoy!

What has shifted in the last 12 months in social & digital media generally?

 I am an avid consumer of US presidential campaigns. They allow us as legal marketers to observe a branding and communication problem similar to the ones we encounter in our day-to-day work: the need to express the best version of the candidate’s personality alongside simple and direct communication of inherently complex ideas. Doesn’t this sound familiar?

Molly Porter - 2This cycle, we saw two very different approaches to social media: one more mediated and traditional; the other more spontaneous and unscripted. The effectiveness of the latter approach calls into question so much of what we thought we knew about campaigns, both political and marketing.

 And now with our President Elect, social media is front and center as means of real-time, direct communication with the electorate that completely overshadows traditional media. This ability to cut out the middleman, once and for all, is the biggest shift and it has huge implications for traditional media moving forward.

What has caught your eye recently as a smart use of social & digital media in legal or outside of legal?

 The versatility and modern quality of Hillary Clinton’s campaign branding really caught my eye. The logo is an excellent example of a “logo system” in which the logo is not static, but is instead a graphical framework for multiple brand expressions that speak directly to the audience, content or channel being used. A logo system could lend itself quite well to a law firm which has a number of functions that require unique identities for external audiences, such as recruiting, pro bono, diversity and even practice groups.

What’s the biggest challenge for law firms trying to be active in the social & digital media space, and how can they overcome it?

 Law firms have two major challenges that have almost nothing to do with social media and everything to do with substance: messaging and content.  It’s no longer a question of “are we going to use social media?” - any firm still struggling with this question has missed the boat.

 Now the questions are more strategic in nature and deal with everything from legal substance to firm culture:  “What makes us distinct, memorable and stand out from the crowd? What are we going to say and how are we going to say it?”  Lawyers struggle with simplicity in messaging; this is where savvy marketers can add tremendous value through deep understanding of the audience, coupled with a human-centered approach to storytelling.

 To meet these challenges, smart firms are focusing their marketing teams on the digital space, with an emphasis on content strategy, user experience design and customer journeys. This ensures the right content gets to the right audience in the right channel, always with a call-to-action to deepen the relationship, either online or offline. Speed and agility of content teams are critical, as is the need for tight internal communications and processes to provide direction to influencers within the firm.

What’s the next big thing in social & digital media marketing for law firms for 2017?

Molly Porter - 3Live video is everywhere now. Periscope and Snapchat began the wave, and now Facebook, Instagram and Twitter all feature integrated live video capabilities. The challenge for firms will be to find something newsworthy to broadcast and to become comfortable with “live” video production values.

 Social media platform algorithms are also critical to consider in 2017. Algorithms are data-driven rules that affect how content is displayed in our followers’ feeds. Earlier this year, Instagram introduced an algorithm-driven that favors “interesting” content and accounts the user has previously interacted with. To ensure our place on our followers’ feeds, we must always publish content that drives interaction with a strong call-to-action.


Molly Porter Bio


Molly Porter is the Director of Marketing at Seyfarth Shaw, where she oversees the firm’s brand, channels and content strategy. She is a recognized leader in digital marketing and content for the legal industry and has worked for several of the top law firms in the world.

In case you missed it:

The 1st Day of Social & Digital Media, featuring Karen Cariello of JD Supra

The 2nd Day of Social & Digital Media, featuring Stefanie Knapp of Allen Matkins

The 3rd Day of Social & Digital Media, featuring Matt Parfitt of Vuture

The 4th Day of Social & Digital Media, featuring Ryan King of Ogletree Deakins

The 5th Day of Social & Digital Media, featuring Deb Dobson of Fisher & Phillips

The 6th Day of Social & Digital Media, featuring Jennifer Simpson Carr of Lowenstein Sandler

The 7th Day of Social & Digital Media, featuring Jon Holden of Forward Level Marketing

The 8th Day of Social & Digital Media, featuring Gail Lamarche of Henderson Franklin

Save The Date! 

Save the date for Tuesday, January 17, 1 PM CT/ 2 PM ET as the Social & Digital Media SIG is kicking off the new year by tackling an important issue. "Conquering the Generational Content Divide: What You Need to Know to Reach All Generations with Your Digital Content," with presenters Molly Miller, Chief Content Officer, ALM, Helen Bertelli, Vice President, Infinite Global Consulting, and new Social & Digital Media SIG co-chair, Karen Cariello, Vice President, JD Supra.  Register early so you can get this important webinar on your calendar!


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