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Clyde & Co and Eversheds have both launched sector-focused social networking programmes aimed at increasing business development activities, particularly among the firm’s associates.
The firms have separately hired social media consultancy eSocialMedia to advise them on how best to raise the profile of specific practices and sector groups.
Clydes began working with the consultancy last November, with London marine and energy insurance team head Nigel Chapman taking the lead on the project internally for the firm.
“I can’t say we’ve won work off the back of it yet, but it hasn’t cost a lot either,” confirmed Chapman. “I’m a bit of an old dinosaur so it’s a bit of a joke that I’m the one that’s leading it. Initially one of my concerns was that it might end up taking a lot of time away from associates but they’ve really taken to it. It’s easy enough for partners to get profile but much harder for associates. And what’s really important is to make sure your young people are connecting with your client’s young people. Hopefully that’ll create relationships that will last for years.”
eSocialMedia is understood to have charged £15,000 for its advice to Chapman’s team. If Clydes decides to roll out the project across other departments that fee may increase in line with take up.
Chapman said the social media push was effectively a continuation of business development activities the firm was already doing.
“We like to talk to clients and listen to their concerns and what they’re concentrating on so we can understand their business better,” added Chapman. “Social media enables us to have those conversations in potentially a more effective way. What’s changed is that we can reach so many more people via things like Twitter. Also we haven’t done this before in a sector-oriented way – that’s what’s different. We do have a firmwide Twitter feed but that puts news out about Clyde & Co. So this was a new approach.”
Eversheds’ project is understood to be targeted at the clean energy sector. The firm, which last week announced a redundancy consultation putting 166 jobs at risk (24 January 2013), declined to comment.
This month Clydes also announced a redundancy consultation, with around 10 support staff jobs at risk (30 January 2013).