A boutique law firm which budgets for its lawyers to actively use and engage in social media has doubled its business in the last 12 months.
Blands Law, a small Sydney-based employment and commercial firm, began using social media to attract business to the firm because of tight budgetary restraints in regards to marketing and advertising.
The firm's general manager, Vivienne Storey, said the ploy has been so successful that the firm now makes budgetary allowances for time spent by lawyers on social media.
"We don't do any advertising anymore," she told Lawyers Weekly. "Rather than budgeting for traditional advertising, we budget time for our lawyers to spend time on social media."
Storey added that although the firm doesn't spend money on marketing, there is a time expense that has to be budgeted for.
"I think it's a fallacy that people think social media is free - it most certainly isn't," she said.
Although not free, the strategy is proving to be highly effective, with the firm even establishing a social media law arm of its practice to assist clients with the implementation of risk management policies within their organisations.
While social media law is yet to become a core part of the business, Storey said it is a rapidly growing area which she hopes will soon be more than an additional offering.
"In terms of the actual business that comes in, it is a small percentage," she said. "But it drives business to our core [offering], and we have actually doubled our business in the last 12 months. Because we are early adopters and because we are very well across it, I think it will become part of our core business and we are certainly planning for it to become part of our core business."
Storey also said the last six months have seen an increasing number of law firms recognising that social media - whether as a practice area or marketing strategy - is loaded with benefits.
"It is a great bandwagon for ... small, progressive firms that can move quickly and who want to engage," she said.
"For us, it is fantastic niche marketing. It is a huge opportunity. In the last six months, I have seen quite a few firms [taking it up], which is good. At one stage we were the only firm talking social media, and that's not good. It validates what we are doing."
Read more about Blands Law in issue 549 of Lawyers Weekly.