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The Hottest of the Hot 100

The Hot 100 and the holy trinity of social media posting

This week, The Lawyer announced its Hot 100 roll call of 2024, which celebrates the magazine’s pick of the 100 hottest legal sector professionals who are a combination of excellent at what they do, and relevant as “the work they are doing is important NOW”..

If you made the list this year, then congratulations: It’s a huge accolade and one you should be rightly proud of if you’ve been listed. And since it’s such a fine achievement, I do hope that you’ve been shouting about it, effectively, ever since.

Sadly, every year when The Hot 100 is announced, I see many of the winning legal professionals and their firms miss a trick or three when it comes to maximising the brand-building opportunities afforded to them by The Hot 100.

So I have turned over this edition of Si’s Matters to spell out how best to amplify the news of your – or your employee’s – accolade using the holy trinity of social media posting: media posts, personal posts and company page posts.

I’m a data geek at heart, so let’s roll up our sleeves and dive right in to how the issued posts have performed.

This year’s The Hot 100 as it’s played out on LinkedIn

On Tuesday morning, The Lawyer magazine issued one post for every person it had listed in this year’s Hot 100. It issued all 100 posts within the space of a few hours.

When we train people on LinkedIn, we show them data that proves that more than one or two posts per day produces a worse result overall. Most law firms in the top 100 issue too much content every day to the detriment of their own overall impressions.

So to issue 100 posts in a morning would appear an absolute no-no, as it runs the near-certain risk of resulting in complete content overload for the audience and confusing LinkedIn’s algorithm as to which posts to show to which audiences.

However, The Lawyer has got away with it in this instance due to the following cascade effect:

  • The Lawyer tagged the respective individual in each post;
  • Given it’s an award, the people tagged will like the post, comment on it and share it with others; which means that
  • Most of the 100 posts travel across the LinkedInosphere despite all being issued on the same day.

For those who run company pages for law firms, it’s worth remembering that it pays to make posts personal and to tag the relevant people, and that it’s also a great idea to post some success stories rather than purely amplifying technical legal changes.

So far, so good: 100 media posts that have drawn 1964 likes and 316 comments.

But what about people and firms’/chambers’ posts?

Personal posts and company page posts: Original content is king

At the time of writing, 69 nominees have issued personal posts about their new status, but only two of them were original posts.

That is to say, only two out of 100 people have written LinkedIn posts about their nomination without recycling their employer’s post (seven did this) or The Lawyer magazine’s post (59 did this).

This is a little baffling to me. You’ve worked hard for years, struggled through law school, risen to the top of your game and now, having achieved the top accolade of your professional career, you repost a magazine’s posts without any words (three of you did this) or write a single sentence saying how you’re “delighted” to be nominated.

What should people have done on LinkedIn instead? I asked one of the leading legal voices on LinkedIn, DLA Piper US Finance Practice Group Leader Matt Schwartz, what he’d have done if he’d been included in this year’s list. His reply:

“If I were nominated in The Hot 100, I would use the opportunity to create a LinkedIn post thanking everyone who helped me on my path in biglaw and highlight the power of mentoring, leadership and focus on working parents in the legal industry.”

Which sounds like much better advice than simply “repost with the word delighted in it”. Those who climb to the very top always take the time to recognise what and who put them there. This week, I wish we’d seen more original posts like that. It’s a missed opportunity for individuals and firms alike.

Let’s turn to the 54 company page posts which have thus far been issued. Of these, we can see that the stats at least look a little better, with 37 being original posts by the employer. This is likely because they were written by the firm’s comms team, which recognises the brand-building power of original content. Of the remaining company posts, 16 are reposts of The Lawyer magazine’s post, and only one is a repost of the nominee’s original post (take a bow Excello Law and George Bisnought) – which is a really cool thing to do as an employer, as it generates more coverage for your both employee and for you. Others should take heed of that human-first approach.

This year’s top-performing company posts were all issued by law firms (as opposed to corporate brands or chambers). From first to fifth place, we had posts by Fieldfisher, Squire Patton Boggs, Burges Salmon, Freeths and Mayer Brown.

As you can see in the table below, the personal posts well outperformed the firm and magazine’s posts both in totals and averages per post. Note, in particular, the difference in comments per post for personal posts versus the other types. It’s because all business is personal. Your friends, family, colleagues, ex-colleagues, law schoolmates and more all come out of the woodwork to celebrate your success if you post a personal post.

The breakdown of stats for magazine posts, company page posts and personal posts

Breaking it down

The best course of action is, of course, to combine all three elements: personal, employer and media posts to produce the best overall result.

The simple truth of this is reflected in the fact that the five of the most visible Hot 100 nominees – Sally Hulston, Rachel Broquard, Adam Rose, Harold Brako and Louise Bloomfield – all availed themselves of this triple play to triumph in our breakdown of all the posting data, which you can see below.

All of our top five ranked individuals used the triple play

I hope you enjoyed this breakdown and can put it into practice in your own LinkedIn strategy in future. Maybe bookmark it for when you win that next award?

In other news

Linklaters gets tough on departing partners

On Tuesday, The Times reported that Magic Circle firm Linklaters plans to financially penalise partners who exit for pastures new. The story was originally broken by The Lawyer on Monday here.

Much ado about nothing?

Speaking of Linklaters and in light of our piece on this and other MC firms in last week’s edition of Si’s Matters, readers may be interested to listen to the latest episode of The Lawyer podcast, in which editor Catrin Griffiths and guests discuss what – if anything – is going wrong at the Magic Circle firm.

Journalists finally permitted into family courts

Writing in The Guardian on Wednesday, journalist Louise Tickle reported on her successful campaign to allow reporters access to family courts as part of a new pilot scheme.

The great IPO drought

On Thursday, Law.Com International posted a thought-provoking piece on five ways that firms can manage their UK capital markets lawyers as the dearth of IPO work continues.

Clydes swings the scythe

As reported in The Lawyer yesterday, insurance behemoth Clydes is set to give up to 14 partners the chop as it restructures its UK operations.

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