October 26 2012

Social Media, Use It Or Lose It?

Let me hit you with the stats. A recent survey done by lexis nexus shows that more than 75% of people in the U.S. looking for a lawyer did so online and Facebook proved to be the most popular resource used by the masses. So, lets contextualise this. Basically social media is key when considering your online marketing strategy, simple. Right? So why are so many law firms so cavalier or completely ignoring its potential?

Lucy Penn, Head of Marketing at Reflect Digital says, “Social media has grown at a substantial rate over the past few years and there are many firms that are being left behind. Social media is a key component of the online marketing mix and needs to be embraced by law firms wishing to succeed in the competitive online environment”. It seems Lucy has the same hymn sheet as those taking advantage in the U.S. are UK law firms taking heed of this sound advice?

Digital marketing director Steve Simpson from Manchester firm Pannone says “Off-page is very important,” going on to say, “Getting quality links back to the site for our chosen terms, blogging on our website, articles and really important press releases, and all these then get pushed via ‘social’, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google plus and, where suitable, YouTube.” According to Simpson, over 30% of the firm’s business is generated from the firm’s website. Clearly some, not all of course, need to buck up and get involved. 30% is not to be sniffed at and in a time of uncertainty in terms of new business within the legal industry, with the bigger boys muscling in, a greater emphasis has been put on marketing and utilising every resource possible.

Mr Simpson not only highlights how social media can be effectively used, he also quantifies the potential for return of investment. I think a lot of law firms are of the opinion, understandably so, ‘Where is the return? How does it translate into fresh business?’. I challenge law firms to a more forward thinking approach to marketing. “But what’s right for one isn’t necessarily the solution for another’ I hear you cry. Absolutely, couldn’t agree more. You figure out your specific marketing goals and then plan what solution best fits to achieve those goals. Social media isn’t a one trick pony, marketing executive Yasemin Kaynakci from Thomas Eggar uses social media icons on its site to encourage users to share content and a Twitter feed is a home page feature. Kaynakci says: “We want to build communities around topics of interest by providing industry comment, events, blogs or news items that benefit existing and potential clients and other target audiences. We also believe it’s vital to offer a mix of communication mediums that cater for different preferences.”

General consensus screams, use it.

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