Social Media Is Sexy, But Don’t Forget About Search and Email

email.jpgWe have short attention spans these days. Especially in marketing. Everyone wants to be on the bleeding edge of the next big thing (yes even some lawyers). Social media has been talked and written about incessantly, from Facebook to Twitter to Google+. When it comes to digital marketing channels, social media is new and sexy. However, a Pew Internet study came out recently that reminds us search and email remain the top online activities.

The Econsultancy blog discusses the study in a recent post:

According to the study, 92% of internet users in the United States use search engines and send email. The number using social networking services? 65%.

That 65% figure isn’t unimpressive, particularly when one considers that less than five years ago, less than 20% of adult internet users in the U.S. were tweeting and liking. But when it comes to proven, sustained usage, social media can’t yet hold a candle to search and email.

The most impressive thing about search and email: usage is remarkably consistent across demographic and socioeconomic categories. Consider the following:

  • 96% of those ages 18 through 29 use search engines. On the opposite end of the spectrum, 87% of those 65 and older use search engines too.
  • 90% of those making under $30,000/year use search engines; that’s not substantially less than the 98% usage rate seen amongst those making $75,000/year and up.
  • 94% of internet users in the 18-29 category use email while 87% of those in the 65+ group use email.

All told, well over half of U.S. internet users (59%) use search engines on a daily basis, and an even higher percentage (61%) use email daily.

What Impact Should This Have On Your Law Firm’s Marketing Activities?

The implications are that if you want to have a well-rounded, effective, online strategy, you can not abandon the tried and true methods of search and email for the new kid on the block….social media.

Now don’t get me wrong, my advice is NOT to ignore social media as a component of your overall strategy. It’s just important to keep in mind that there are no magic bullets and the best results come from well-rounded campaigns that include activity across a lot of different channels.

Email marketing and search engines have been proven revenue generators and effective marketing channels for law firms. Make sure you are putting resources and effort into making these channels work for your firm even as you expand and grow your social media presence.

Photo by Ramberg Media Images (http://www.flickr.com/photos/rmgimages/)