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Nearly All Small Firms Use Social Media in Legal Marketing - bodinelx

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Nearly All Small Firms Use Social Media in Legal Marketing

Feb 12, 2012 10:53 AM by
Larry Bodine
Larry Bodine
Sr. Director Editor in Chief Ask a question
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By Larry Bodine, Editor in Chief, Lawyers.com.

The era of the Luddite lawyer is over. Solos and GPs in firms of one to five lawyers are embracing social media wholeheartedly, according to new research – even more than our colleagues in large law firms.

People are joining social media by the millions.

  • LinkedIn announced in February that it had reached 150 million users.
  • This is dwarfed by Facebook, which says it has 845 million monthly active users.
  • 90 million people have registered for upstart social network Google+ since it launched last summer.
  • Twitter claims to have 107 million active users.
  • There are now 70 million WordPress blogs, accounting for half the blogs on the internet. Blogs written by lawyers account for 6,300 “blawgs” in 75 subcategories according to Blawgsearch.

Joining the crowds online, lawyers in small firms are actively sending updates, tweets and blog entries to promote their practices. In fact 91% of lawyers in small firms (one to five lawyers) plan to implement social media as part of their marketing programs, according to research by Vizibility Inc. and LexisNexis. This is a higher percentage than law firms in general, of which 81% report plan to use social media marketing tools.

When asked how important social media is in their firm’s overall marketing strategy, 59% of lawyers in small firms said it was extremely important. Respondents in small firms in the Vizibility/LexisNexis survey said they use the following social media channels:

  • 90% use professional social networks like LinkedIn and MyLegal.com
  • 88% write blogs
  • 73% use Twitter
  • 68% use consumer social networks like Facebook and Google+.
  • 51% use video networks like YouTube and Vimeo.
  • Only 19% use social question-and-answer sites like Wikipedia, Quora and Yahoo Answers.

It’s true that LinkedIn is a Happy Hunting Ground for Lawyers. Rule No. 1 of law firm marketing is to "go fishing where the fish are." That fishing hole is LinkedIn, where 100 million executives and in-house counsel have profiles. In my opinion, if you’re not on LinkedIn, you are invisible online.

The facts show that a prominent blog influences hiring of law firms. Most corporate clients attribute some level of importance to a lawyer’s blog when deciding which firms to retain, according to a new Greentarget report. Law firms that blog have far better marketing results, specifically more web visitors, inbound links and indexed pages. More website visitors mean more people to convert to leads and sales.

LexisNexis and Vizibility also asked lawyers in small firms how they measured the success of their social media program.

  • 76% of respondents measured lead generation.
  • 71% measured new business.
  • 61% measured increased website traffic.
  • 54% measured the number of followers and online connections.
  • Interestingly, 24% measured by improved client satisfaction.

As a lawyer who trained other lawyers in business development for more than 10 years, I think that lead generation and new business are the only valid measurements of social media marketing. Attracting more followers and online connections is worthwhile only if they lead to in-person meetings. Online marketing has to produce new files and new revenue or it’s not worth doing.

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    Comments (3)

    # Mitch Jackson said on 13 February, 2012 04:57 PM   Larry- EXCELLENT article my friend. Just "pinned" it at Pinterest and shared it on several of my social media platforms. What are your thoughts about whether or not these lawyers and small firms are doing about using social media the right way?
    # Nancy Myrland said on 13 February, 2012 07:29 PM   Thanks Larry...very interesting and important data and observations to share.
    # jeremy.bromwell@definition6.com said on 16 February, 2012 12:32 PM   Great content - thanks for sharing!


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