Social media is important. Important for the neighbour who is posting another picture of the red evening sky and important for the colleague from school days who likes to share her dog's tricks. But social media is also important for companies. Hardly any company nowadays is working without an appearance in social media. Why should they? There is probably no easier way to present yourself, your services and offers to a wide audience - and that for free. We have subjected the law firms to a LinkedIn analysis.
The type of content shared naturally differs from industry to industry. However, the choice of the platforms used also depends on the area of activity of the respective company. While many companies primarily seek a presence on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and possibly YouTube, for law firms LinkedIn is still in the foreground. Reason enough for us to keep a constant eye on how the big law firms in Switzerland perform there. How active are they? What content do they publish? How many users do they reach? What are the differences compared to last year?
In order to find answers to these questions, we have collected numerous data from 21 major Swiss law firms since March 2019. The evaluation produced interesting results. So much in advance: The appearances of the individual firms vary greatly. This is true both in terms of the regularity of new posts and the number of followers and their interactions with the shared content of the law firms - and thus also the benefits associated with the LinkedIn profile.
Of the law firms examined, all have been able to increase the number of their followers since spring 2019. This alone is not surprising, since "following" is not exactly an everyday activity for the average LinkedIn user. Followers generally remain followers. What is striking, however, is the extent of the online following that has been gained.
While the companies surveyed had an average of 1,696 followers in spring 2019, this figure is now 2,988. The number of followers has therefore increased by 76% - i.e. by more than three quarters.
This rapid increase in the course of only 16 months shows that maintaining a LinkedIn profile has become much more attractive for companies within this short period of time. One law firm was even able to almost triple its following.
One of the reasons for the sharp rise in the number of followers is certainly that LinkedIn, for its part, has reacted to the growing importance of company profiles. Since last year, the platform has enabled companies to invite other users to follow the firm's profiles.
We have investigated whether there is a correlation between the size of a firm's legal team and the number of followers. After all, you might think that more lawyers lead to a larger following on LinkedIn. This is because it is primarily the individual persons who provide the followers of their firm from their personal network.
On average, the law firms surveyed accumulated 33 followers per lawyer. On average, the rate of followers per attorney at the law firms rose by 94% from 2019 to 2020.
The differences are very large. As our analysis shows, the size of the team is by no means reflected in the number of followers for all law firms. So it's not quite as simple as that. The average legal team of the companies analysed consists of 102 lawyers. Of the three companies with the most LinkedIn followers, two law firms have a significantly smaller team. One of the largest legal teams, on the other hand, only makes it to fifth last place in this ranking.
This law firm has 19 followers per lawyer. The top value in this category is 72 LinkedIn followers per attorney.
One thing is certain: the larger the legal team, the greater the theoretical potential for increased numbers of followers. Many companies still have capacities here, which should be exploited by a clever strategy and the involvement of employees. Having a large team therefore does not guarantee increased visibility on LinkedIn.
Since the number of employees is not solely responsible for the size of the community on LinkedIn, the question arises as to which factors are essential. Most noticeable here is how often the profiles publish posts. It has been shown that law firms with an above-average number of followers are significantly more active than those with a below-average number of followers.
The increased number of contributions also affects the measurable reactions of the followers. This includes likes, comments, and the sharing of the contribution by third parties. Those who do not receive any reactions for their posts will only reach a part of their own followers. This is caused by the fact that LinkedIn uses an algorithm because of which the most recent posts do not simply appear at the top pf the followers’ feed. Instead, those posts that LinkedIn considers most relevant are displayed in the most prominent position. An important criterion for this evaluation is the number of reactions. So it is important that as much as possible is commented, shared or at least "Like" is pressed.
The performance of the contributions of the law firms varies greatly. The peak value is an average of 72 responses per post from a Zurich-based law firm. The lowest value is also achieved by a large law firm with an average of 8 responses per contribution.
In 2020, our analysis registered an average of around 25 responses per article. This is an increase of over 60% compared to 2019.
We measured the activity of followers by examining the relationship between the number of LinkedIn followers and the average responses. We found that not all law firms are equally successful in involving their followers. Having more followers does not necessarily mean receiving more reactions.
On average 1.01% of the followers react to a posted contribution. On average, the most successful law firm manages to motivate 3.38% of its followers to respond. The lowest value is 0.33%.
For the second time this year, we have also analysed how often law firms post something on LinkedIn and how the engagement rate (i.e. reactions per post) relates to it. And in fact, those firms that were more active in sharing their own posts with the community than in 2019 were able to improve their engagement rate in the vast majority of cases - in other words, they stimulated more interaction and improved their visibility. The benefits of regular posting are even more evident when viewing the profiles, which have become more inactive compared to last year. All the law firms that published posts less frequently than in the previous year now receive on average fewer responses per follower than in 2019. The extreme example: This year, a company allowed itself three times more time between posting and now receives just 18% of the responses per follower registered in 2019.
So it is clear that those who feed their followers with regular contributions will be rewarded. But beware: Don't forget the quality and relevance here too!
Among the law firms examined, there are large differences in all the areas analysed. The number of followers, the frequency of posts sent as well as the amount of responses to them vary greatly - and so does the benefit achieved by a profile. Our analysis shows that no law firm should rest on the size of its legal team. Even companies with fewer employees can build a highly visible online presence and buy the digital edge from their larger competitors.
On an increasingly important platform, successful law firms are increasing the visibility of their brand. Even more important, however, is that they enter into a regular exchange with their followers and build stronger customer loyalty. Others, on the other hand, seem to have not yet discovered the potential of an attractive profile with a targeted marketing strategy.
It would make sense to take advantage of the opportunities that LinkedIn also offers companies. Digital communication is becoming increasingly important. A development that was certainly accelerated this year by the COVID 19 pandemic. However, it was not triggered by the pandemic - and it will not stop afterwards.
That is why it is especially important for companies of all kinds not to lose touch and to open up to digitization. The correct use of LinkedIn is a component that should not be underestimated. The ability to achieve an increase in visibility goes hand in hand with an increased reach that a company can use for more effective networking. The continuous exchange with target groups, which is possible in such a simple and informal way on LinkedIn, ensures sustainable branding. All of this can ultimately support the acquisition process.
How you can use LinkedIn for acquisition, we will show you in another article.
Some law firms already implement all this with their profile in an excellent way. Nevertheless there is always room for improvement. Especially for smaller law firms it can be challenging to create enough capacity for the meaningful management of a LinkedIn profile. It is therefore important that existing resources are used effectively. If you can afford to assign your own marketing team to manage your LinkedIn profile, you will certainly have an advantage. But if you leave it at that, you also lose a lot of potential. Because in the field of legal services, a connection to the followers is always established via the individual persons of a company. It would therefore be valuable if members of a legal team were trained and involved accordingly.
It will be exciting to see how the law firms in Switzerland keep pace with the development of digital communication. We will definitely keep an eye on the situation.
You would like to use the potential of your law firm on LinkedIn? Do you want to better understand the needs and interests of your target groups and be perceived as an expert through a professional appearance? You want to generate more visibility for your services through your LinkedIn profile, but don't have the right plan yet?
For the development of marketing strategies as well as training and workshops for your team on social media: firstname.lastname@example.org