The 2013 ABA Technology Survey reveals the use of social media by attorneys continues to grow, but only at a very modest rate.
- 27% of US law firms now have blogs, up from 22% last year, 15% in 2011, and 14% in 2010. Only 9% of lawyers maintain a personal, professional blog outside the firm. Solo attorneys are the most likely to have a professional blog, as are those between the ages of 40-49.
- 59% of those surveyed indicated their firms maintain a presence in a social network such as LinkedIn or Facebook, up from 55% last year, 42% in 2011, and 17% in 2010. Of those firms with a presence, the breakout of channels can be seen in the chart below. LinkedIn and Facebook are the most used, but legal-vertical network use remains low.
- Individually, 81% of attorneys report using social networks for professional purposes, up from 78% last year, 65% in 2011, and 56% in 2010. LinkedIn usage is nearly universal (98%), with Facebook usage actually falling from 38% in 2012 to 33% this year.
- 19% of law firms now use Twitter, up from 13% in 2012. Individual Twitter usage by attorneys reached 14%, up from 11% last year. Twitter usage is more common in solo and small firms.
How effective is maintaining a presence in social media? When those utilizing any type of social media/networking were asked if they ever had a client retain their legal services directly or via referral as a result of their use, 19% indicated “yes” (compared to 17% last year and 12% in 2011). Solo and small law firms reported better results than larger firms.
See Volume IV: Web & Communications Technology of the 2013 ABA Technology Survey for more details.