Survey: Use of social media attracts new clients

A new survey suggests that social media is delivering a return on investment for law firms.

Forty-nine percent of U.S. law firms reported that blogging and social networking initiatives have helped produce new business leads and 41 percent said social media had helped them to actually land new work.

“Fans, Followers and Connections: Social Media ROI for Law Firms,” a special report released  by ALM Legal Intelligence, is based on a survey of some 180 law firm partners, marketing professionals and administrators conducted in December and January.

The report is available now at

“After a slow start to gain acceptance in the legal services industry, U.S. law firms are rapidly gaining confidence in the use of social media as a serious business development strategy,” said Kevin Iredell, vice president of research and continuing education at ALM.

The skepticism of a decade ago, he said, “has given way to a growing appreciation for the ways that blogs and various other social media and networking tools can be deployed to help build the reputation of individual lawyers and practice groups, as well as enhance law firms’ overall marketing efforts.”

Other notable findings from the survey include:

• Almost 85 percent of law firms now make use of social media and networking tools, such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Just over 60 percent said their firms now maintain one or more blogs.

• 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. Likewise, 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.

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