There has always been loads of conjecture concerning social media as a client acquisition tool within the legal landscape and other industries. In many respects, much of the discussion to date has been weighted significantly more towards the potential of social media to enhance potential client engagement and of course, marketing companies keen to capitalise on the hype. While we shouldn’t be surprised that many law firms have integrated social media into their wider marketing strategies, what is surprising is the dearth of research revealing the success or otherwise, of social media generally as a client acquisition method. The use of social media by lawyers is completely irrelevant and has been the focus of most research.
Just last month, E-Commerce Quarterly revealed a staggering finding based upon 500 million online shopping experiences via e-commerce web platforms.
Monetate, the research partner for E-Commerce Quarterly, denoted from their research that social media is not a significant source of direct traffic to e-commerce websites or purchase conversions from those destinations. In fact, it only represented just 1.55% of all traffic, and a conversion rate of less than three-quarters of one percent (.71%).
According to social media guru, Jay Baer, “Still, based on these findings it might be reasonable to conclude that social media participation is over-hyped and disproportionately resourced for e-commerce websites……So what does this mean for social media in an ecommerce environment? Well, the EQ data suggests that brand-led, direct social commerce tactics are ineffective.”
The research underwent further analysis recently on Mitch Joel’s, Six Pixels Podcast, where there was good amount of discussion on social media, particularly Facebook as still being a private medium between family and friends, of which interruption marketing in this context struggles to penetrate.
Of course, as Baer also points out, in both the research and on Joel’s podcast, the quality of those social media efforts are unknown, as also is the possible role social media played as one of many marketing touch-points that the consumer “touched,” prior to their decision to ultimately purchase.
The EQ research and the commentary around it does two things. It clearly shows that social media by itself is largely ineffective in the e-commerce sense, but it also is a reminder to firms that may consider it differently to simply measure real client conversions and guide ongoing efforts accordingly.
Social media, like any online footprint is deserving of attention and from what our experience is in working with many law firms, legal consumers will and do touch numerous marketing touch-points before making a decision to book a consultation. It’s an important channel, but one of many and brand consistency across all those channels is key!