By Kevin O'Keefe

56% of people use social media when looking for attorney

20130630-141854.jpg Pursuant to a recent survey by The Research Intelligence Group, 56% of consumers (72% of minorities) who looked for an attorney in the past year used social media during their search.

The survey commissioned by the Rainmaker Institute found that nearly one-quarter used a social media channel such as Twitter or Facebook to ask their friends for recommendations of lawyers or firms they have used for similar matters. Not unusual in that the leading place people turn when looking for a lawyer is a person they trust.

How did they use social media in their search for a lawyer?

  • 21% of those searching for an attorney checked out the social media pages of lawyers or firms.
  • 20% used social media to create a ‘short list’ of lawyers based on referrals and recommendations received through social media
  • Almost 20% vetted the names of lawyers they were considering with their social media contacts
  • Nearly one-quarter made a final selection of a lawyer based in part on what they learned through their social media contacts

People of all ages are using social media in their search for a lawyer, though, understandably there’s a decline with age.

  • 81% of 18-29 year olds
  • 73% of 30-39 year olds
  • 57% of 40-49 year olds
  • 30% of 50-64 year olds
  • 25% of those 65+

Stephen Fairley (@stephenfairley), CEO of the Rainmaker Institute, writes that the surveys findings reflect that social media is now a part of everyday life.

Judging from the verbatim commentary from the survey, researchers found that consumers use social media to search for an attorney because it is now a part of everyday life and a natural place to turn to for information gathering.

This is especially true for younger consumers, who have grown up using social media and trust it for helping them make decisions. As one survey respondent noted, lawyers that are visible on social media “show that they are informed about the world and they are willing to communicate with potential clients through new and varying ways.”

Websites, directory listings, and ratings, though widely discussed and bought by legal professionals don’t result in connecting with real people as social media does. As Fairley says,

It is becoming increasingly clear that simply having a website is not enough to attract new clients in 2013; an attorney’s online presence must extend to social media and outreach efforts like blogging to remain relevant to prospects under the age of 50.

It’s as obvious as the nose on my face that a lawyer engaging their target audience in a real and authentic way through social media will grow their business. But it’s nice to have a growing number of surveys supporting this.

Image courtesy of Flickr by RyanDianna.

Kevin O'Keefe
About the Author

Trial lawyer turned legal tech entrepreneur, I am the founder and CEO of LexBlog, a legal blog community of over 30,000 blog publishers, worldwide. LexBlog’s publishing platform is used on a subscription basis by over 18,000 legal professionals, including the largest law firm in each India, China and the United States.

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