Asian firms lag behind social media trend, research finds

Local law firms in Asia, with the exception of those in Australia, demonstrate virtually no appetite for social media communication, research by benchmarking company Living Ratings has found.

The findings are the result of research into the social media trends of 60 firms, both international and local, in three jurisdictions, Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore.

King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) came out as the top firm by total criteria in Living Ratings’ league table of social media and brand content in Asia Pacific law firms. It is followed closely by Australian rivals Slater & Gordon and Ashurst Australia. The rest of the top 10 (in order) are Eversheds, Allens, Corrs Chambers Westgarth, Clayton Utz, Minter Ellison, Jones Day and Linklaters.

The research analysis shows that the social media communication of Australia’s leading law firms is well ahead of those in Hong Kong and Singapore. Seven of the top 10 firms are based in Australia.

In Singapore and Hong Kong, only one local firm, Singapore-based Rajah & Tann, is using what could be defined as effective and coordinated social media.

Among the international firms, Eversheds, Jones Day, Linklaters, Norton Rose Fulbright, Herbert Smith Freehills, Allen & Overy, Skadden, Clyde & Co, Harneys and Mayer Brown JSM has scored higher than its peers and are ranked in the top 20.

However, the research finds out that although a group of international firms have dedicated local offices and country-specific web pages, they take a global approach to social media – all communications are generated from corporate HQ in either the UK or the US. There are few exceptions, such as Linklaters. The magic circle firm’s Asia practice uses a dedicated @LinklatersAsia channel on Twitter and Facebook to engage directly with their Asia graduate audiences. It features relevant regional issues, content and local graduate opportunities.

Living Rankings used 22 criteria in its analysis. Firms were rated on 22 criteria such as the number of social media channels, the relevance of a firm’s social media content and its alignment with their brand, Twitter frequency and response time, and social media influence according to

Of the 50 firms the survey rated, 27 had an active Twitter channel (15 were international firms), 16 had an active LinkedIn page (all 16 were international), 16 had an active Facebook page (12 were international), and 12 had a dedicated channel on YouTube (11 were international firms).