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Law Firm Marketing: Should Attorneys Outsource Social Media Marketing?

A few days ago, I posted on Social Media Examiner’s release this past week of their 2012 Social Media Marketing Industry Report (which you can find at Majority of Marketers Say Social Media Generates Leads, Increases Website Traffic & Exposure).

While digging into the data, I was particularly interested in seeing that in the past three years, outsourced social media marketing has grown from 14% in 2010 to 28% in 2011 to 32% in 2012. Thankfully, we have seen the benefits of that growth, as have some others in the law firm marketing sector.

So should busy attorneys outsource their social media marketing? Ask yourselves these questions before you decide:

1.  Can social media marketing drive your business growth?  It doesn’t make sense to spend time and money on something that won’t have a positive impact on your practice.  When considering participation in social media, attorneys should study their target markets first to see if this is a medium they can engage them on. 

2.  How well is your social media working today?  If you’ve already launched a social media initiative as part of your law firm marketing program, how’s it going?  Are you finding enough time to engage online with potential clients?  Or is it a chore that you dread facing each day?  If it’s the latter, and social media is important to you, you should consider outsourcing it.

3.  Could outsourcing free up your time to focus on your business?  Social media takes time, and small firms and solos usually don’t have much of that to devote to something other than client work and running the business.  If all your time is taken up with focusing on what you can’t outsource, you should consider outsourcing your social media to someone who can be just as effective at it – or more – than you are.

4.  How do you measure ROI?  Make sure you have measurable goals if and when you outsource your social media so you can see if you’re getting the bang you want for your buck.

And a note of caution: if you choose to outsource your social media program, make sure they have experience working with attorneys.  Keeping you “clean” in terms of the ethical standards attorneys are required to adhere to in their law firm marketing practices is critical.

When you interview a legal marketing company, be sure they meet these criteria:

  • They can point to other attorneys they work with;
  • They have a written blueprint for how they intend to generate leads for your law firm;
  • They clearly integrate blogs and social media and see one as an extension of the other;
  • They charge a flat fee that’s reasonable based on results;
  • They have clearly identified strategies to track and measure actual results from your blog and social media.
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About this Author

Stephen Fairley legal marketing expert, law office management

Two-time international best-selling author, Stephen Fairley is the Founder and CEO of The Rainmaker Institute, the nation’s largest law firm marketing company specializing in marketing and lead conversion for small to medium law firms. Since 1999, he has built a national reputation as a legal marketing expert and been named, “America’s Top Marketing Coach.” He has spoken numerous times for over 35 of the nation’s largest state and local bar associations.