A new survey by The Research Intelligence Group has found that 56% of consumers who looked for an attorney in the past year used social media in some way to conduct that search.

The survey of 1,000 U.S. adults was conducted in March by the international market research firm on behalf of The Rainmaker Institute. It found that 25% of those surveyed said they had sought an attorney in the past year. 

Among those who looked for an attorney, 56% said they used social media during their search. The use of social media was higher among males (71%) than females (38%) and highest among younger adults. In the search for a lawyer, social media was used by:

  • 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+

In addition, 72% of minorities who sought an attorney used social media. 

How Social Media Is Used to Search for an Attorney

According to the survey, here is how consumers used social media during their search for an attorney:

21% of those searching for an attorney checked out the social media pages of lawyers or firms and 17% indicated that the information they found on the social media pages made a difference in their final selection

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

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

Social Media 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.”

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.

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