This year, we again analyzed the LinkedIn activity of various Swiss law firms. Our findins reveals clear differences between the strategies of the individual law firms. This is an article about "frequent posters", "engagement queens" and a consistent leader quintet.
Note on data collection: The following data were each collected at a specific point in time in 2019, 2020 and 2021 and 2022. The data collection for the current analysis took place in July 2022. Deviations are therefore naturally possible and the figures on which this analysis is based already no longer correspond to the current status at the time of publication of this article.
The graph shows once again that an enormous development has taken place since 2019. The comparison between 2021 (green) and 2022 (yellow) also shows that the growth in follower numbers is continuing. This means that LinkedIn is becoming increasingly important in communications for law firms. Firms continue to expand their reach and we are approaching the day when the first law firm will break the barrier of 10,000 followers on LinkedIn.
As in previous years, Lalive remains in pole position in 2022. Lalive is the only law firm to reach over 9,000 followers – followed by Schellenberg Wittmer, Lenz & Staehelin and Bär & Karrer (all over 8,000 followers).
There were no major shifts or jumps in the rankings this year. Occasionally, places were swapped: Baker McKenzie Switzerland and Wenger Vieli were each able to jump up one rank. Otherwise, growth – especially at the top – is now very constant and even. The first five law firms were able to increase their follower numbers in a similar proportion.
Over the period of a year, there are clear differences in the number of posts published on the company profiles. The law firms distribute themselves over a range between 24 and 259 posts in the last 12 months.
This is a clear sign of different strategies of companies on LinkedIn.
It is particularly interesting that the Swiss law firm with the most followers on LinkedIn (Lalive) posted the least: 24 posts mean an average of 2 per month, i.e. one post every two weeks. In contrast, MLL leads the pack on the other side: 259 posts in a year is a good 21.5 posts per month – more than 10 times that. Despite this difference in the number of LinkedIn posts, both firms were able to further increase their follower numbers: Lalive by 13% and MLL by 22%.
This statement is not judgmental. Both strategies have their justification and seem to work. The number of posts is not the decisive criterion: The important thing is that the communication concept is right, the posts are interesting and the content is tailored to the target group.
Also very active alongside MLL were Baker McKenzie Switzerland, Walder Wyss and MME (all over 200 posts in the past 12 months).
The ideal number of posts is a function of various aspects. In addition to the target groups and messages, the internal organization of a law firm also influences the frequency of communication. It needs a concept that can be implemented by the law firm's LinkedIn team and the people who deliver content. There is no point in obsessively pushing through 20 posts per month if there is no interesting content or no one to manage the profile.
Over the period of one year, Bär & Karrer has received almost 9,000 reactions to the posted contributions. With this great result, the law firm is the most successful engagement collector of 2022. Lenz & Staehelin and MLL also collected very diligently with over 8,000 reactions as well as Walder Wyss with over 7,500 Likes, Comments, Shares.
Of course, the "frequent posters" have an advantage in this regard: those who post more offer the audience more opportunities to interact with their content. The total number of responses received is an important metric. However, we also examined how this total number relates to the number of posts posted.
We then analyze how many likes, comments, etc. the law firms received on average for the individual posts: Engagement per Post. The following graph shows a surprising picture: While we recognize a larger group with between 20 and 40 reactions per post, one law firm shoots high:
A whopping 140 engagements per post in the past 12 months. That's more than twice as much engagement per post as the closest followers with around 60 likes etc. per post.
Not surprisingly, this outlier is Lalive. For the 24 LinkedIn posts posted, Lalive has received more than 3,300 reactions. This is a very nice result especially in relation to the time period considered. Even if not all individual posts have received so many likes: The duration of one year proves that the content has consistently generated reactions. So we are not talking about a flash in the pan or a single attractive post with an exceptionally high number of reactions.
On the other hand, there is potential for many firms to increase. We see that even law firms with sometimes well over 100 employees (most of whom also maintain a LinkedIn profile) produce less than 40 likes per post on average. Activating and engaging these resources is one (of several) ways to further increase the number of reactions per post.
The average engagement per post across all law firms over the last 12 months is around 40 likes, etc. per post.
The 2022 analysis showed that law firms can further increase their reach on LinkedIn. This means that the importance of the network in communication, business development and also for acquisition continues to increase.
The law firms have thus recognized the great importance of LinkedIn for increasing the visibility of the company brand. In doing so, they are obviously pursuing very different strategies. While individual firms post a lot, other firms use LinkedIn very selectively and with a lower frequency of posts.
Important: These different strategies all have their justification. How successful the LinkedIn activity of the individual companies is in the end cannot be judged conclusively from the outside.
Also, the number of response received or engagement per post are just metrics that don't contain all the information either. The effect of branding extends beyond the number of likes. A simple example: Those who pursue a niche strategy automatically address a smaller target group and accordingly receive fewer reactions. Or: Whoever discusses more complex topics on LinkedIn and also addresses a specific group with it, will likely generate fewer Likes than law firms with more easily digestible content with images.
In the end, the effectiveness of the communication is crucial: Does what is to be communicated effectively stick with the right target groups? This is very difficult to measure, even with likes.
Therefore, the following often applies to reactions as well: quality before quantity. A lot of reach (i.e. a lot of engagement or a large number of followers) is not always the most important thing.
We have also already published on the importance of reach on LinkedIn.
Finally, LinkedIn is not only an important tool for communicating with existing or potential clients. The platform also plays a central role in terms of branding for talents and for the general commitment of existing employees. Especially for younger colleagues, LinkedIn is a useful tool for building their own business case.
Finally, let's look a bit further: Which firms entertain other social media profiles?
While all of the law firms we examined have a company profile on LinkedIn, things look a little different on Facebook, Twitter and the like. We found the following profiles:
Kellerhals Carrard is very broadly positioned. Anyone who wants to follow the law firm can do so on all the platforms mentioned. Two law firms only maintain a YouTube profile – after all, the video streaming platform is considered the world's second or third most important search engine after Google(here is an article on the discussion surrounding YouTube).
Facebook will hardly play a role in 2022 either. Only four law firms use the once dominant social media platform. In the coming years, it will be exciting to see how this gigantic network will position itself against the other platforms. In any case, Facebook is currently hardly an issue for the legal marketing of law firms.
Note: We have not structurally searched TikTok, but are definitely keeping an eye on developments there. As is well known, the platform is touted everywhere as the only effective network for reaching the next generation. It will therefore probably not be long before we see successful attempts to walk there as well. Outside of Switzerland, there are already a few examples of legal marketing in use. Here is an example from Harvard Law School: @the.law.says.what
At HeadStarterz, we specialize in legal marketing. This includes support in the digital marketing of company brands (e.g. on LinkedIn). For law firms, we analyze the previous activity and develop profitable concepts to increase the effectiveness of LinkedIn activity – tailored to the goals of the company.
HeadStarterz trains employees on how to use company profiles, helps implement social media tools, and also helps individual professionals optimize LinkedIn activity.
If you are interested or have any questions, our contact person Tobias will be happy to help you: firstname.lastname@example.org