Law Firms’ Digital Footprints are More Important than Ever
Vancouver BC, September 28, 2016 — Social Media, LinkedIn, blogs and lawyers’ online bios have become crucially important to in-house counsel looking to hire — this according to a new report released today by Vancouver-based consulting firm fSquared Marketing.
The second annual Canadian Legal Digital Survey report analyzed data gathered from in-house counsel at medium to large Canadian companies and from the chief marketing officers and other senior legal marketers of national and large regional law firms.
“Canadian in-house counsel are increasingly reliant on social media and online portals for their legal information,” says Lynn Foley, partner and co-founder of fSquared Marketing. “This tells us that it is critical for legal marketers to understand the best ways for their firm to use digital tools.”
The survey documents the usage and importance of websites and social media as well as digital content marketing, client feedback programs, electronic billing, client portals, and directories.
“A lawyer’s online professional presence is now under constant surveillance,” Foley says. “This gives lawyers and legal marketers a tremendous opportunity to capitalize on digital tools for their business development.”
About fSquared Marketing
fSquared Marketing provides strategic consulting and marketing services to law firms. They offer clients a full spectrum of services, including strategic planning, digital strategy, business development, client management, branding, website design and lawyer training.
fSquared Marketing’s expertise comes from their thorough understanding of the North American legal marketplace and detailed knowledge of the particular needs of Canadian firms. They take pride in offering practical, measurable and proven solutions to the challenges their clients face.
Highlights from the 2016 Canadian Legal Digital Survey
• Responsive, user-focused law firm websites are essential.
76% of in-house counsel use the internet daily or weekly to find legal industry information. Increasingly, they’re using their mobile phones and tablets. The importance of blogs and client portals are also growing.
• Online Profiles are a lawyer’s resume
83% of in-house counsel (up from 78% from last year) ranked lawyer bios as important when researching outside lawyers and law firms. Website bios and Linkedin profiles need regular updates to stay relevant.
• Thought leadership counts
71% of in-house counsel use articles and speeches written by lawyers to research outside counsel. 46% use blogs published by lawyers, on topics relevant to their business.
• A lawyer’s reputation is everything
Unsurprising, word of mouth is still the top influencer when in-house counsel are deciding which outside lawyer or law firm to hire.
• Client Feedback is increasingly important
However, is not enough to simply collect feedback. It is crucial for firms to have programs in place to analyze the data generated and to provide timely solutions for clients.
• Social Media’s stature is growing
An increasing number of in-house counsel view LinkedIn (61% up from 49% last year) and Twitter (29% up from 20% last year) as credible sources for legal industry news.
• Email is still alive
80% of in-house counsel read newsletters and/or client alerts sent via email somewhat often or very often. 78% of Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) respondent’s firms publish client alerts, and 56% publish a firm-wide newsletter for clients.
• But CASL (Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislations) greatly impacted law firm marketing
55% of CMO’s reported that 25-74% of their e-mail marketing subscribers were lost due to CASL compliance.
• Legal Process Outsourcing is Not Standard Procedure
77% of in-house counsel respondents do not engage the services of a legal process outsourcing firm. 47% said that bios on the legal process outsourcing firm’s website are important in helping them to research the right provider.
• Client Portals are underutilized
50% of CMOs say that their firms offer a client portal while 56% of in-house counsel say their law firm offers one. Of those who were offered a client portal, 57% indicated that they use them.
• Firm-Wide Social Media strategies are being implemented at larger firms
73% of CMOs report that their firm has a social media strategy in place. 78% of survey respondent’s firms have a social media policy that concerns all lawyers and administrative staff. In addition, 78% of respondents say that their firm provides training for social media tools.
• Content Marketing is on the rise
89% of CMO participants either have a current content marketing strategy, or one in the works. 94% say content marketing is important, and 78% anticipate an increase in content marketing in the next year. 39% of respondents indicated their marketing department spends 20 or more hours per week on content marketing.