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4 in 10 law firms report landing new clients through blogging and other social media

Social Media Blogs ROI law firms attorneysBlogging and other social media deliver a return on investment for law firms. This per ALM’s Legal Intelligence just released special report on law firms’ use of blogs and other social media.  I commented on the report last week upon receiving an an advance copy. ALM Legal Intelligence, offering detailed business information for and about the legal industry, found that 85 Percent of leading U.S. law firms are now making use of social media and social networking as part of their business development strategy. Highlights from a press release regarding the report from Daryn Teague (@darynteague) include:

  • Just over 60 percent said their firms now maintain one or more blogs.
  • Almost 85 percent of law firms now make use of social media and networking tools, such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.
  • 49 percent of U.S. law firms reported that blogging and social networking initiatives have helped produce new business leads.
  • 41 percent reporting that social media and blogging had helped them to actually land new work.
  • Nearly 90 percent believe that the integration of social media into their firms’ marketing, business development and recruiting efforts should be an important priority, with more than 40 percent rating social media initiatives as very important.
  • More than half said that their firms plan to increase their budget for social media initiatives in 2012 and just over 20 percent said their firms already have a full-time social media specialist on staff.
  • More than 40 percent said that blogs and social media networks have helped to increase the number of calls their firms receive from journalists in traditional and new media.
  • Roughly the same number said their presence in the blogosphere and on social media networks had also increased the number of speaking invitations their lawyers receive.

Why is that some firms are not experiencing business development from blogging and other social media? I can think of any number of reasons.

  • Many firms have never developed a strategy nor defined success before hand.
  • Many lawyers and law firms don’t know what they are doing. In some cases their blogs and attempts to use social media are unknowingly embarrassing the firm and its lawyers.
  • Many firms look at social media as marketing, as opposed to networking. Pushing content at people through social media, whether it be via a blog, Twitter, or Facebook, as a form of marketing does not work for social media. Social media, social networking, and blogging is about personal networking to build relationships and enhance one’s reputation.
  • Many lawyers and law firms are not prepared to spend the time. Like any business development effort, blogging and the use of other social media/networking takes time. Unlike advertising for which people expect immediate results, networking through the Internet to build relationships and a strong reputation can take a year or two. Though that’s faster than doing so offline, many attorneys and firms do not have the patience nor are they willing to dedicate themselves to true business development.
  • Many look for the easy way out. Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn take less time than blogging, but do not do near as much to establish yourself as a subject matter expert and bring in work. Using short form social media alone is unlikely to prove successful for business development.
The good news for the many lawyers, marketing professionals, and business development professionals who believe blogging and social media/networking works for business development, you’re now armed with a strong report which will support you when you make the case to your law firm.