Legal PR blog

Online presence: In strangers we trust

online presence
97% of consumers search the web before selecting a lawyer

Law firms should regularly review their online presence

Virgin Media has a policy of responding to anyone who mentions the company online. Complain about BT broadband on Twitter you’ll receive an almost instance response from a @btcare super agent – on your case in a speed that could rival even the slickest of super heroes. The scope for improving customer relations through social media channels has increasingly been welcomed by some of Britain’s biggest brands.

Our latest survey, a poll of 50 law firm marketing managers, indicated that 37% of firms spend less than 15 minutes managing their social media presence each day. Unsurprisingly, 64% said finding the time to dedicate to social media was one of the biggest challenges along with building a substantial following (51%). But that’s just it – building a following takes time. In the same way as building a new client relationship or making a friend demands genuine and persistent attention.

Cue instant eye rolls when the notion of revamping the practice website from 1998 is put forward at the partners meeting… And don’t even mention Twitter and Facebook!

But with 97% of consumers searching the web before selecting a lawyer it seems impossible for any firm to continue to ignore the potential of the internet. Winning new business is hard and getting found is just the first step. But it’s the most important one.

The fact is that customers and businesses are embracing social media in droves: voicing their opinions, asking questions, sharing experiences and, importantly, making recommendations. 70% of people trust a recommendation posted online by a complete stranger; a measure only exceeded by a recommendation from someone they know. With traditional print and radio adverts scoring far lower and are guaranteed to make a significant dent in the budget, new technologies and platforms that provide a better return on investment and scope for more accurate targeting should be welcomed.

As major high street brands and business to business giants announcing grand new plans to take advantage of a liberalised legal services market, traditional and smaller firms should wait not a second longer to take a long hard look at their business development efforts and consider whether their online presence is up to the challenge.

Post by: Ralph Savage / Website: http://rtsmedia.co.uk
A business journalist by trade, Ralph Savage represents a series of B2B clients on media and marketing matters. He provides strategic PR advice, media training and consultancy. He also ghost writes regularly on behalf of FTSE 250 CEOs, leading counsel and senior professionals including solicitors, accountants and brokers.