Top 100 Am Law Global Law firms fail to engage with online audiences 26 February 2016

A new report from Living highlights the wide variance in approaches to digital and social media engagement by Am Law 100 global firms.  The report highlights that leading firms do not lead the way when it comes to digital – with only two of the Top 20 Am Law firms featuring in Living’s Top 20 ranking.

In a challenging marketplace, the need for law firms to clearly differentiate themselves and demonstrate the value the deliver to clients is a necessity. There is a clear need for them to engage with clients and potential clients by utilizing the variety of media and channels we now have at our disposal, however for many firms this means deluging audiences with content – without any apparent thought being given to how they are engaging, the messages they are conveying, or their lack of audience-centricity. For a sector whose success is based on reputation, law firms are often failing audiences through poor communications, especially when using digital channels.

Industry leaders set a poor example

Our results reveal that industry leaders are failing to engage effectively, whilst others are excelling with dynamic digital outputs, inspirational thought-leading and engaging, audience-focused, communications.

Sadly, for many firms there is still a long way to go. Nearly 50% of the Top 100 Global Law Firms have out-of-date websites, poor social media and muddled messaging, scoring on average 47 / 100 in our ratings.

46% of law firms analysed continue to ignore mobile audiences with websites that don’t display correctly on smartphones devices. Given that 94% of the adult population in the UK browse the internet on-the-go, and global mobile internet usage is growing 14 times faster than desktop usage, are law firms neglecting a vital source of client engagement?

A staggering number of firms fail to produce content that directly targets their customers. 66% of firms’ website content fails to engage the user through client-centric messaging and 66% of firms neglect to offer a Twitter or LinkedIn channel.

Only three out of the top ten Am Law 100 firms perform well appearing in our Top 20, while smaller firms are succeeding with gold-standard websites, branding, social media content and purposeful communications.

Considering the importance of digital communications and engagement, is law firms’ lack of perspective and inability to adapt to an essential communication negatively affecting their growth?

Negative audience sentiment proves challenging

We also analysed audience response to law firms’ social media output and found that sentiment often contradicted their PR output and content strategy. Above average negative sentiment was recorded for many firms highlighting that although investment in content is commonplace, it isn’t resonating with users online, questioning whether their digital marketing investment is misplaced or not. 

Living’s Group Marketing Director, David King, comments; “Ensuring you are utilising all the relevant channels and digital technologies may enhance your connectivity, having great content might prove credibility, but without a focus on how you actively engage with audiences, how you create rewarding conversations with them, and especially how you consider what you say to them, your efforts run the risk of being ignored or at worst, destroying your reputation”.

For a copy of our report, please contact David King, david.king@living-group.com or call us on 020 7739 8899

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