Attorneys spend time building their businesses online—and it’s working

Attorney at Work recently published its Fourth Annual Social Media Marketing Survey Report. The bottom line from this report is that legal professionals are spending time on building their businesses online, and it is working. The usage of social media is up like crazy, with 93 percent of legal professional respondents using social media. Just four years ago, only 60 percent of attorneys considered social media to be a part of their marketing strategy, and only 38 percent believed it was responsible for bringing in new business. Now, 85 percent believe social media is a critical part of marketing and 71 percent believe it brings in new business.

Here are some other highlights from the survey of 406 legal professionals (including 183 attorneys):

  • • 88 percent of attorneys use social media
  • • 81 percent of legal professionals use LinkedIn (LinkedIn is by far the favorite) • 72 percent use Facebook
  • • Most believe LinkedIn is the most effective at bringing in new business

We know that almost everyone is on social media and sees it as important for marketing, but what are they posting, or what are they using it for specifically? A majority of respondents said they post content they have written themselves, content written by their firm, and/or curated industry news. “Staying in touch with contacts and colleagues” was the number-one reason respondents use social media, with “building a personal brand” coming in second. What ranked dead last in the survey was reading the news. Most are not on social media to stay up to date on the news, but many find it at least somewhat useful for staying on top of industry-specific news. Despite the increase in usage rates, law firms are not spending marketing dollars on social media ads. The lesson here: people want to post, see and share original content that is relevant to the industry, make and maintain connections, and build and promote their personal brand. But they may doubt the effectiveness of paid advertising on social media.

The legal industry also has been slow to adopt best practices around social media use. Although almost everyone posts and interacts there, only half of respondents are really taking full advantage of social media management tools. Right now, only 39 percent are using some form of social media management tool such as Hootsuite or Google Analytics, whereas 58 percent do not. So folks are on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn, but with some help their efforts could be so much more effective.



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