Not all law firm marketing is equal

According the National Post, which summarized Altman Weill’s 2011 Chief Legal Officer Survey, some forms of legal marketing are more effective at catching the attention of potential clients:

… “personal contacts” is the most effective tactic, rated at 6.7 on a scale of one to ten, followed by free seminars, webinars & CLE (6.2); written material demonstrating legal expertise (6.1); industry event sponsorship, presentations and attendance (5.8); committee work, community involvement and board memberships (5.0); website content, firm brochures and advertising (4.3); direct mail and e-mails about the firm (3.8); directory listings and ratings(3.6); and invitations to social events. Despite the hype about its importance, social media activity ranked a distant last, rated at 2.0.

Respondents were also asked to identify and rate other marketing efforts found noteworthy. The two top responses were spending time to understand the client’s business, rated at 9.3; and recommendations and reputation came in at 7.8.

Interestingly, their observations mirror the stats in February’s Lexpert, which show that Canada’s ten largest law firm’s are tweeting, liking and connecting furiously….but not to all that many people. The average number of LinkedIn followers was around a thousand, and the number of Twitter followers varied but was rarely more than thousand. Interestingly, the majority of the big firms didn’t have a public Facebook presence (reflecting perhaps that LinkedIn is really Facebook for grownups). Despite the numbers, the Lexpert article still caters to the hype, suggesting a firm who doesn’t buy in is somehow being left behind.

Social media plays a role, but it seems that expertise and quality personal service aren’t going to be replaced any time soon.

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About InfoLawyer

I'm an cybersecurity, data protection and privacy lawyer lawyer at the Toronto law firm of McCarthy Tetrault. When not writing here, I am writing restaurant reviews for Precedent legal magazine or using the backs of restaurant napkins to work out the odds of whether I can be replaced by an artificially intelligent machine (this week's odds are 70:30).
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