On November 15th, we published the results of The Good2bSocial 2021 Social Law Firm Index, our annual whitepaper that examines how America’s top 200 law firms (as ranked by The American Lawyer) adopt and apply digital marketing in terms of outreach, engagement, and business development. The Social Law Firm Index analyzes each firm’s digital footprint and evaluates their use of social media to extend thought leadership messages and otherwise engage with clients and constituents. These factors are reduced to numerical measures, weighted, and incorporated into an algorithm to develop each firm’s rank on the Index across 8 different channels.
The full report includes overall and individual channel rankings, along with feature stories on the top ranking firms in each category: LinkedIn, Twitter, SEO, Instagram, Thought Leadership, Facebook, YouTube, and Podcasting.
Click here to download your copy of The Good2bSocial 2021 Social Law Firm Index.
Among the key findings of this year’s index are:
Law Firm Podcast Creation Has Grown Exponentially
Law firms are constantly looking for new ways to relate to their audience, and podcasts are the perfect way to connect on another platform.
Nearly 40 percent of Americans listened to a podcast in the last month, and with more than two million shows available, it’s no wonder law firms have found a captivated niche. As of 2021, 75 percent of AmLaw 100 firms had a podcast and many law firms now produce multiple podcasts. Similar to any CLE, webinar, or conference, the audience is interested and captivated. Podcasting helps lawyers further establish themselves as experts in their given field, which in turn makes them very attractive to new prospects.
The Use of Video Has Increased Across Social Media
Videos are a great form of content for law firms because they’re engaging, memorable, and more popular among consumers.
Video content is one of the most popular mediums for law firms today—and for good reason. Video gives your brand a voice and allows you to move quickly to take advantage of news stories, break down a complicated case or explain a new law in simpler terms. Additionally, video content typically performs best with most algorithms since it captures a viewer’s attention for longer. Instagram videos generate more engagement than any other content type and even tweets with a video perform up to 10 times better. Instagram still heavily promotes Instagram Reels, making it one of the best growth options on the app right now.
Increased Focus on DEI and Corporate Activism
Since 2020, many law firms are making diversity, equity, & inclusion, and activism a priority at their firm and in their digital marketing efforts.
2020 opened up a lot of ugly inequities in the country. George Floyd was murdered, the rise of hate crimes on Asians skyrocketed, masks and the pandemic became political and the public demanded more than just a statement or a black square on Instagram. Law firms issued press releases relaying their commitment to improving their diversity efforts, upped their donations to BIPOC causes, increased pro bono efforts, and showed their support with LBGTQ audiences with rainbow flags. Some firms even took the time to understand and honor Juneteenth and organized service opportunities on MLK day. As the public and clients pay closer attention to societal and racial issues, time will tell if law firms continue making racial justice aid an integral part of their firms through programs and initiatives long beyond 2021.
COVID-19 Resource Centers
While COVID-19 may not be as pressing of an issue as it was in 2020, many law firms are still ensuring their website visitors have the resources they need to navigate this legal environment in the age of COVID-19.
At the height of the pandemic and all throughout, law firms rose to the occasion serving their clients and website visitors to help them navigate the rapidly changing business and legal environment that upended their daily lives. COVID-19 resource centers offered a variety of in-depth information and insights to help clients stay up to speed on the fast-changing developments surrounding the pandemic. The firms shared one common theme: thinking like their clients. They focused on addressing the needs of their clients and new prospects and sought out ways to help them through what was a very difficult time.
Top Ranking Law Firms
The Overall Top Five Firms were the firms that demonstrated the greatest comprehensive adoption, integration, and use of digital marketing, social media, and thought leadership content. The firms topping the list are:
The top performer, White & Case had a clear and simple focus – reach their audience, both current and potential new clients and prospective new hires. They deliver the firm’s content not just where they know their audience is, but also where people may seek to find the firm.
As their audience moved increasingly online due to the pandemic, White & Case moved to social media to stay connected. On the client communications side, the team focused on providing clear and valuable information and commentary on how businesses and industries may be impacted, and how they should best prepare or react. Over time, they have continued to incorporate these elements into their content, while also returning to the market, industry and legal commentary they have always produced.
They also had to pivot their recruiting communications to focus on learning, development, and maintaining resilience. For their recruitment audiences, any content which showcases what life is like at White & Case typically receives high engagement across channels.
By far, the firm believes LinkedIn delivers the best results with current and potential client engagement. As a business-focused social channel, LinkedIn enables them to reach a targeted audience with content that resonates with them and the industries in which they work.
Overall, White & Case believes that their people are at the center of whatever they do, and this comes across in their channels.
The Good2bSocial 2021 Social Law Firm Index rankings are based on a proprietary methodology developed to assess the effectiveness of each firm’s use of social media and digital marketing. Our analysis is further informed by the depth of our experience working with law firms, our familiarity with current trends and conditions in the marketplace, and best practices used across digital marketing channels. For more insights, best practices, and full rankings, you can download a copy of the 2021 Social Law Firm Index here.
If you need help with your social media strategy or if you’re looking for ideas on how to improve your firm’s performance on social media, contact us for help today.