Those in the legal profession must tread lightly when it comes to social media, as they are bound by confidentiality agreements, non-disclosure agreements and other legal contracts when broadcasting any message publicly. But that hasn’t stopped them from signing up for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and the like.
Greentarget surveyed 334 in-house lawyers in their 2012 In-House Counsel New Media Engagement Survey to measure how they used new media, including social networks.
The survey shows that although Facebook might be the big social media leader among the general population, LinkedIn is far and away the most popular network among lawyers. It is perceived as the “serious” social network, with between 50 and 70 percent of lawyers over 40 using it regularly. However, an interesting trend shows that those between the ages of 30 and 39 have dropped off LinkedIn, from 84 percent in 2010 to 65 percent in 2012.
Twitter use is not yet common among in-house counsel. 34 percent say they use social media like Twitter “to a small extent”, up from 26 percent in 2010.
Other key findings from the report:
- Older lawyers, those in their 40s, 50s and 60s, are embracing social networks more now than ever before, and generational gaps in their usage appear to be leveling off.
- LinkedIn is seen as the most credible network, with 88 percent saying they perceived the content they received from the network as being trustworthy
- In-house counsels are largely invisible social media users, the majority choosing to listen rather than participate
- Wikipedia is used by 87 percent of respondents to research issues