Calista recently produced a report called “Top 200 law firm survey…Twitter” covering the period up to 1st November 2011. It’s key findings were:

  • There are 284 Twitter accounts with nearly 86,500 followers held by the top 20 law firms (190 in the top 100)
  • 24% of top 100 firms are not on Twitter (37% of the 101+ firms)
  • Of the 284 accounts – 30% are inactive and only 50% have a following of over 200 people
  • The number of firms that are actively using accounts and attracted a successful following is surprisingly small
    • 12 firms in top 100
    • 28 firms in 101+ group
  • The successful accounts are dominated by just over 10% of the 200 firms, attracting over 70% of the audience share
  • One Magic Circle firm has 854 followers yet has done no tweets
  • Shoosmith were the first UK law firm to have a Twitter account – on 2 June 2008

(Inactive accounts are those without tweets for the last 20 days, successful accounts defined as having over 200 followers).

What this says to me is that whilst many of the larger firms (or the marketers there) recognised the potential value in Twitter, few have managed to use it effectively. This is possibly because running a Twitter account “centrally” really isn’t the point. Twitter is a social medium – it needs to have real people sharing information and engaging with other people in the medium. I suspect that amongst the top 200 law firms there are a great many law firms who have their own Twitter accounts where they have more followers and generally enjoy more success at promoting their expertise and services, recruiting new clients and keeping existing clients informed of relevant developments.

There were also some general interesting facts in the report:

  • First tweet sent 21st March 2006
  • In June 2011 there were 200 million tweets per day
  • 24% Twitter users have no followers
  • 97% of Twitter users have less than 100 followers
  • Women tweet 12% more than men
  • Thursday and Friday are the most active days

For your information, I have created two Twitter lists (the maximum allowed in a list is 500 so I had to start another) of law firm accounts. To see what they are tweeting use the following:

And for a few of my favourite law firm Twitter accounts – I’ve been active since 2009 – who may not be in the Top 200: