A new survey reveals that sophisticated purchasers of legal services in major corporations increasingly are influenced by attorney-authored blogs in forming opinions that influence law firm hiring decisions. Additionally, nearly 70 percent of respondents aged 30 to 39 expect their consumption of business and legal industry news through social media platforms to increase within the next six months.
The Corporate Counsel New Media Engagement Survey, conducted by Greentarget Strategic Communications, ALM Legal Intelligence and Zeughauser Group, reinforces what so many of us already know to be true: The adoption of social media and social networking is growing and here to stay. In the words of the Borg: “Resistance is futile.” There’s a lot of rich data in the report, so download and enjoy. A couple points that resonated with me:
Facebook: A Blurring of Professional and Personal Use • 37 percent of counsel aged 30-39 have used Facebook for professional reasons in the past 24 hours, and 48 percent – nearly half – have used it professionally in the past week. This is significant on two levels. First, it signals that tools law firm marketers may have deemed irrelevant up until now may, in fact, be very relevant in the near future. Second, it shows a willingness among younger counsel to allow their professional lives to merge with their personal lives. • Facebook emerged as the third most frequently used new media platform among inhouse counsel from the largest companies ($1 to $10 billion in revenue), with 28 percent having used the tool in the past 24 hours.
Blogs Blog use, in comparison, is more consistent across age groups and company size, demonstrating broad acceptance of the channel as a viable source of news and information. Blogs are the most frequently used tool among in-house lawyers at the largest companies (revenue of $1.5 billion to $9.9 billion) with 35 percent having visited a blog in the past 24 hours, and 54 percent in the past week.
It’s also about the future buyers:
Social Media Web Sites 53 percent of in-house counsel aged 30-39 – arguably increasingly the primary purchasers of legal services over the next ten years – cited social media Web sites as among their leading sources of information.
63 percent of counsel aged 30-39 agree or somewhat agree that they envision a future in which a law firm’s prominence through a high-profile blog will play an important role in influencing clients to hire that law firm. That compares to: • 52 percent of counsel aged 40-49 • 54 percent of counsel aged 50-59 • 32 percent of counsel aged 60+ years 26 percent of counsel aged 30-39 agree or somewhat agree that a law firm’s prominence on Twitter will influence hiring decisions compared to zero percent of counsel aged 60+ years, demonstrating that the platform is in the very early stages of attorney adoption, similar to where blogs were three to five years ago. (emphasis added)
You get the idea. Rich data. Lots of evidence. All of which we know lawyers like. Basically, keep doing what you’re doing. Do more. Expand and the audience will grow to meet you … and purchase your services.