February 9, 2018 By FTI Consulting
Our first story this week concerns comms and marketing teams at 15 UK law firms who may be feeling rather pleased with themselves – they top the leaderboard this year in The Verdict, FTI’s latest report looking at social media performance in the sector. The team at Baker McKenzie will be particularly chuffed as they topped our ranking for the second time in a row. Hats off to you.
Our report shows that law firms are continuing to make strides in developing their social media presence but many are still lagging behind firms in other sectors – with use of social video and paid promotion still very much in test mode. For encouragement, we’ve included our top tips for both (see pages 14 & 18). These tips are relevant for companies in all sectors so do have a look.
This year’s report also features interviews with digital communications and public relations leads at Dentons, Baker McKenzie and Eversheds Sutherland – sharing their views and insights of the latest trends. Worth a read, even if we do say so ourselves.
STOP PRESS! Twelve-year-old global business finally posts profit. Yesterday, Twitter announced that Q4 2017 was its first quarter posting profit ($91m) since it launched in March 2006. Markets were suitably impressed – a bump of as much as 30% over the day’s trading. So what’s changed, and why does it matter?
Despite average monthly users (clearly a crucial underlying measure for the health of any platform) remaining flat from Q3 at 330m, and other well-documented struggles in recent months, the leader of the free world’s favourite soapbox has made product and governance changes – going to 280 characters and making moves to curb harassment.
Other suggestions are that Facebook’s recent ills (and more) have translated positively for Twitter, with Zuckerburg’s baby taking significantly more flack than its pithier counterpart. The 280 limit has gone down well, with people tweeting more, and not longer. While they were announcing their best ever quarter, however, certain representatives were being grilled by a DCMS committee of MPs on a jaunt over to Washington over the role of social media in society, suggesting that there are still more challenging quarters ahead. For now, though, Jack can celebrate a long-awaited bottom line in the black.
You can’t move these days for mention of investigations into Facebook’s transparency around advertising funding (they even managed to elbow their way into the second story). In a rather unexpected turn of events, however, the first group to follow through with talk of online political ad regulation? The city of Seattle.
Citing a 1977 law that states that any companies selling election advertising (think radio, television) must keep public records of payment, Seattle has extended this principle to social ad spend. When pushed, Facebook provided a 2-page spreadsheet, which “fell short of providing information required by law”.
Now last year’s Seattle city elections weren’t the seismic democratic shift we’ve seen in other parts of the world in recent years (no offence Seattle). Even the purported fine of $5,000 per misdemeanour isn’t even a rounding error on Facebook’s balance sheet. But the implications of the city’s actions against Facebook are perhaps wider ranging. Setting a precedent for holding platforms to account could have a significant impact on how campaigns, political, corporate, or any other, are run, especially if the US Senate-proposed Honest Ads Act gains traction in 2018.