Small Law Firms Channeling New Business from Social Media
Social media is becoming an increasingly vital channel for marketing for small law firms. In fact, more than 60 percent of small law firms (1-9 attorneys) who maintain blogs reported that they obtained new clients as a direct result of the blog, according to the American Bar Association's 2011 Legal Technology Survey.
Meanwhile, more than 19 percent of those small law firms surveyed by the ABA reported generating new business either directly or via referral from their involvement on social networks (e.g., LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.), and approximately 25 percent reported landing new clients directly from their use of Twitter or other micro-blogging services.
Generally speaking, overall social media participation is increasing in the legal industry. The 2011 Hildebrandt Institute Marketing and Business Development Survey found that last year law firms increased their use of LinkedIn and Twitter by 85%, of Facebook by 74% and of law firm blogs by 72%. Though this survey focuses mostly on larger law firms, that level of activity is rather dramatic.
For more and more attorneys, social media is clearly no longer considered a passing fad.
Social Media = Competitive Differentiator?
Despite the inherent value in blogging and online profiles, there are still many small firms sitting on the social media fence. Less than 10 percent of small law firms report having a blog, while less than 50 percent of those small firms maintain a presence on online communities or social networking sites, according to the ABA.
Yet, as the ABA data indicates, more small law attorneys are not only honing their reputations and enhancing search engine results for their websites, but are now starting to generate leads.
A blog and a social media participation does enable your firm to stand out from a crowded pack. These interactive media channels provide a powerful way to establish new relationships with prospective clients, demonstrate relevance and credentials, tap into the conversations they're having, and engage with people in a way that involves two-way communication. When you consider the relatively low cost of social media participation, versus more traditional forms or marketing and advertising, the cost to value is that much more dramatic.
How to Get Started
To assist firms with this challenge, LexisNexis created a new Social Media Visibility service. The service enables solo practitioners and lawyers at smaller law firms to build a credible social media presence with engaging blog content and exposure on top social media sites. The service includes creation of an exclusive blog page, as well as guidance and assistance in crafting profiles, generating appropriate content and posting it on major social sites, including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. To learn more about the LexisNexis Social Media Visibility service, please click here.
With nearly 80 percent of people who use the Internet reporting they will use it to research products or business services, according to Hubspot's 2011 State of Inbound Marketing survey, how long can your firm afford to abstain from the conversation?
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