1 in 5 Consumers Use Social Media to Look for a Lawyer
Facebook is much more than an online network for reconnecting with old friends and making new ones. A recent study shows that it's also a valuable information resource for consumers when they need to gather information about a legal issue and find a lawyer to help them out.
For the past few weeks, we've been blogging about the results of a new study — the Attorney Selection Research Study by The Research Intelligence Group (TRiG) — that indicates online resources are now on par with personal referrals for how consumers find attorneys. This week, we're digging into the data regarding the role social media plays when it comes to researching and choosing a lawyer.
According to the TRiG study, the four leading social media sites — Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube — were used by 26 percent of respondents who sought an attorney in the past year, when gathering information about a legal issue. Moreover, 29 percent of consumers who sought an attorney in the past year reported consulting a legal blog when doing this same type of personal legal research. This may not be all that surprising since consumers are spending a lot of time on these sites anyway.
But interestingly, more than one in five (22 percent) who sought an attorney in the past year said they turned to a social media site to actually find a lawyer they felt might be able to help them with their legal need. Of the four leading sites, Facebook (11 percent) was the most popular site among consumers for this purpose, followed by a virtual three-way tie between LinkedIn, YouTube and Twitter (6 percent).
Social media sources become less important to consumers when it comes down to the final stages of validating a lawyer's credentials (16 percent used a site for that purpose) and selecting the lawyer that is right for them (11 percent). But for that crucial stage of finding a lawyer, it would behoove attorneys to let go of their reluctance and embrace this crucial channel for connecting with prospective clients.
If you'd like to improve your social media presence, you can get a free Social Media Evaluation from a LexisNexis® Law Firm Marketing Specialist.
In our next post, we'll take a deeper dive into what we learned about online forums for legal advice and their relevance in the attorney research process.
Source: Based on a survey of 4,000 adult Internet users (Internet users comprise 78% of the U.S. adult population** and the U.S. adult population comprises 235 million according to the U.S. Census 2010) conducted by The Research Intelligence Group (TRiG), March 2012. **According to The Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project's Spring Tracking Survey conducted April 26-May 22, 2011.
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