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Above the Law and Good2BSocial recently conducted a study of law firms, mainly large ones, to determine how effective the law firms' use of social media is. The findings? Not so rosy, reports CMS Wire.
The methodology was simple: assign points to each firm based on the firms' social media reach and engagement. As a starting point, the 50 largest U.S. law firms, as identified by The American Lawyer, were surveyed, as well as readers of Above the Law.
The study resulted in 10 findings that could be summarized in three categories: (1) large firms; (2) small firms; and (3) suggestions for making social media use more effective.
Findings Related to Large Firms
Though a majority of law firms use social media, and even create substantive content and are committing resources to updating content frequently, there is a very low social engagement. The Social Law Firm white paper notes that law firms "are doing little or nothing to make content appealing, usable and shareable in the social media platform," and points to a trend of law firms using non-editable .pdf formats which are not great for sharing.
Findings Related to Small Firms
On the other hand, smaller firms are better at using social media, are more aggressive, and are better at "encouraging lawyers to use social media for business development purposes and providing training to encourage use."
How to Make Effective Use of Social Media
The study cites Greentarget's 2012 In-House Counsel New Media Engagement Survey for the notion that general counsel "perceive blogs as credible ... and attribute some level of importance to a lawyer's blog when deciding which firms to retain."
With so much to gain by investing in social media, it seems big firms have a lot to learn from small firms. That is, large firms should take a cue from small firms and encourage their attorneys to participate in social media, and train them appropriately. Large firms should also get the most bang for their buck and make the substantive content they create more shareable.
You can download your own copy of the 19-page Social Law Firm White Paper by clicking here and registering. If you're interested, Good2BSocial also posted a follow-up report, the Inaugural Social Law Firm Index, which ranks law firms according to their social media savvy.
For more help on making better use of your firm's social media outreach, be sure to look into FindLaw's Lawyer Marketing services. You can focus on your clients, FindLaw can help you with marketing.