Friday, December 23, 2011

Large Large Firm Use of Social Media (Including Legal Blogs)--An Infographic

Vizibility and LexisNexis teamed up to produce a new report on the use of social media in (mostly) large firms.  On one hand, we are not the usual legal marketing junkies who see the phrase "social media" and begin to salivate.  After all, we were lawyers before entering the world of marketing planet.  The term "social media" has become so broad that is seems virtually meaningless to use.  The internet is all about connectivity, so its hard to say how any firm with an online presence at all isn't "using social media" in some form.

But it still is worthwhile to take a peak at this infographic published on the survey to get a flavor for what the biggest firms seem to be focusing on in the online world.

A few caveats for the statistically inclined: the data was collected via online survey requests sent to members of the Legal Marketing Association (LMA).  As expected with that respondent pool, those involved were largely the biggest firms.  Roughly 60% of respondents were firms with more than 50 attorneys.  When it comes to legal blog writing, this is, of course, an important distinction.  The value and purpose of certain types of social media, including blogs, are highly dependent on the size, location, and practice area of the firm.

Anyway, a few findings that caught the eye of our legal content writers:

*Among this group of large firms, blogging seems to be the second most widely-used form of social media, behind professionals networks (mostly LinkedIn).

*While the majority of firms use blogging in one way or another (about 83% total), smaller firms seem to use them a bit more.  Firms with 20 or fewer attorneys show about 5-7% higher rate of blog use.

*The smallest firms show the largest total use of blogs (roughly 89%).

* Most firms measure the effectiveness of their online efforts by lead generation, increased traffic, and, actual new clients.  However, smaller firms are much more likely to also consider the effect of the efforts on the overall level of client satisfaction and the effect on the firm's public perception.  This is encouraging.

Beyond these stats, the research also provides some benchmarks with other Fortune 500 companies for which to compare the legal market.  On that front it seems that the legal world is far ahead of the game when it comes to blog use.  Only 23% of Fortune 500 companies have a consumer facing blog.  Surprisingly that number has actually stayed stagnant over the last three years.  This should be compared to the roughly 80% of the largest law firms which are using the content building tool.  We admit surprise at see that only 23% of non-legal mega companies are using these blogs.  The low number is somewhat shocking but the comparison to the legal world is not.  Unlike many of the other biggest companies, lawyers provide personal services.  Blogs are one way to sell that personalization to the roaming consumer.  Hence the value of the blog to the firm as opposed to others in the Fortune 500.

Infographic courtesy of Vizibility Inc.

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