The Pew Research Center recently released its Social Media Update 2013 and included in the findings were clear demographic profiles of who is frequenting the five major social networks, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

Reporting on these findings, released this chart that details those demographic profiles:

Based on its survey of more than 1,800 U.S. adults, the Pew Social Media Update reports that 73% of online adults use at least one social media site, with Facebook the clear choice (71%), followed by LinkedIn (22%), Pinterest (21%), Twitter (18%) and Instagram (17%). 

In addition, Pew reports that 42% of online adults use two or more social networks and 36% of online adults stick to just one social media site.  Here are some additional highlights by social network:


By far the largest preferred social network, Facebook has shown a significant increase in usage by online adults over the age of 65.  Pew reports that 45% of this age group now uses Facebook, an increase of 10% from the prior year, and that 63% of Facebook users visit the site every day.

Since Facebook is the proverbial 800 lb. gorilla when it comes to social media, it has a place in every law firm’s social media marketing strategy.  However, with the most growth occurring in the baby boomer demographic, it makes sense for attorneys whose practice areas target this age group – especially estate planning and family law (currently, more seniors are divorcing than any other age group) practitioners.


One key finding from the Pew report is that LinkedIn is the only social media site whose usage among those over the age of 50 is greater than those aged 18-29.  As noted in the demographic profile chart above, LinkedIn also skews male, college educated and higher income.  According to Pew, 13% of LinkedIn users visit the site daily, while 34% use it every week.


Pew reports that Twitter usage grew about 2% in 2013, and is a social media platform that is particularly popular among younger adults (18-29) and African-Americans.  Pew says that 46% of Twitter users visit the site every day.


If your practice targets higher income women, then you should be looking for ways to leverage Pinterest – a site whose users share content by “pinning” images, videos and other content to a pinboard — to promote your practice.  Pew found that 33% of online women frequent Pinterest, compared with just 8% of men. 

So what would attorneys “pin”?  Not pleadings or office photos or the courtroom, but rather things that are of interest to you as a person – your hobbies or collections, for example.  This is simply another opportunity to network.


Instagram, the photo and video sharing site, saw its usage among young adults (18-29) grow almost 10% last year and usage among African-Americans grew 11%.  If you are a younger attorney whose practice targets younger adults, then you should consider Instagram.  The Pew research shows that 57% of Instagram users pay daily visits to the site.

While attorneys do not need to be on every social media network, you do need to choose at least one – and your choice should lie with where your target market can be found.


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