The results are in and we at Good2bSocial are very excited to announce the release of the 2016 Social Law Firm Index. This study analyzes the use of social media and digital marketing at America’s largest law firms. Although our analysis focused on the firms that comprise the AmLaw 100, our study reveals some very interesting findings that every firm of any size can learn from and apply to their own outbound lead generation efforts. Is your firm a social law firm?
Most large U.S. law firms now appear to appreciate the value social media brings to their operation. Participation and usage by lawyers and legal professionals at the major firms is now more norm than exception. Yet not all efforts are effective. Some law firms are demonstrating a clear understanding of how to properly harness social media to grow their businesses; other firms are notable for how little impact they’re making with social media.
How does your firm compare? In examining social media marketing as practiced by the AmLaw 100, it became apparent which best practices among social law firms are most critical to their success:
- A focus on business development – For the most successful firms, their activity and presence on social media mirrors their lead generation strategy across other business development initiatives. By remaining true to their primary business objectives and core brand messaging, social law firms are most effective at extending their reach and engaging with their target audience.
- Thought leadership – Social law firms understand that their own in-house skills and experience are their core differentiators from other firms, and they effectively harness their knowledge to convey these distinguishing characteristics in all of their outbound communications.
- Education, not promotion – Communicating thought leadership is not as simple as publishing announcements of a firm and its attorneys’ appointments and accomplishments. The social law firm gets that its content must be client-centric, delivering information that is valuable and relevant not to the firm but to the prospects drawn to the firm’s instructive articles and guidance.
- Know your medium – Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are by far the most popular and impactful of the myriad social platforms out there. But the social law firm recognizes that each medium has its own particular strengths and weaknesses when it comes to outreach. LinkedIn is a great billboard for your firm; Facebook is outstanding for recruitment and employee engagement. Twitter is a great channel to establish relationships with reporters and other influencers.
- Frequency of outreach – Even the best firms can fall backwards in outreach if they are not routinely putting out new content. An unwillingness to commit to a regular publishing schedule can ultimately damage a firm’s SEO – as content grows stale, competitors posting more frequently will start to appear higher in search results for a particular practice area. Over time this can dampen lead generation.
- Training and more training – Social media present the most cost effective channels to market to your constituents. But investment is required to master the platforms and their nuanced features to fit a firm’s requirements. The social law firm grasps that social media marketing is a unique skill set and provides extensive training and preparation to all legal professionals within a firm.
A critical take away for any law firm — size doesn’t matter. In our analysis, one clear fact was evident: Smaller firms can be equally adept, and in some cases, exceed larger firms with larger budgets, to effect an outsized presence via social media. Best practices and proper training are most important to ensure that social media marketing efforts generate the leads you seek.
Is your firm a social law firm? To find out, start by downloading this year’s report, which includes rankings of the AmLaw 100 firms for social media excellence.