It’s hardly news. Social media is growing in importance year after year. But while every business has heard the numbers by now, it’s becoming clear that the popularity and influence of social media extends beyond big brands.
Indeed, attorneys and law firms of all sizes should pay attention. Social networks like Facebook and media channels like YouTube carry a lot of weight. Learn to balance them, and you’ll see the scales tip in your favor.
In fact, a recent survey of U.S. consumers from FindLaw revealed just how broad social media’s reach has become:
- 84 percent of respondents said they have used social media in some form or another. As expected, Facebook is by far the most popular at 73 percent of respondents. Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn also make an appearance at roughly 25 percent each.
- 72 percent of baby boomers are using social media. Once again, these are primarily Facebook users.
The lesson for lawyers? We are all social media users.
The idea of social networks as the sole domain of millennials and Gen X is simply flawed. Baby boomers – the demographic with some of the most common legal needs like estate planning and legal document preparation – are nearly as active on social media as those born into the internet age.
The relevance of this information goes beyond mere user volume. This same survey revealed that social media is well on its way to influencing the majority of legal consumers.
- 45 percent of consumers across all groups had used social media to evaluate professional services.
- 40 percent of respondents said an active social media presence would make them more likely to hire a lawyer
The takeaway? A social media presence can indeed influence a hiring decision.
Legal consumers in particular tend to search for and evaluate attorneys in relatively short order. Taking advantage of this information and developing an active, genuine social media profile can benefit attorneys and prospective clients alike.
Legal consumers are looking for help, not only with their legal issues, but with their hiring decision as well. By providing valuable business information and interpersonal credibility on social media, law firms can give legal consumers what they’re looking for in the format and environment they prefer.
The full story on the growth of social media and its implications for law firms is available in FindLaw’s recent white paper, From Novelty to Necessity – Pragmatic Social Media for Law Firms.