Do we really still need to answer this question?
If you haven’t yet downloaded it, go get the Clio Legal Trends Report. At first glance, you might conclude, as some have:
The overwhelming majority of legal services consumers don’t use social media to find a lawyer.
You’d be wrong.
Okay, only about 5% of respondents surveyed reported using social media to search for a lawyer. But let’s dig a little deeper.
Let’s start with the other “Searched on their own” responses.
The leader here was lawyer’s website. But how did they get to the website? My hunch is that most of them used a search engine, the second most common response. But I also suspect that many of the respondents would actually arrive at the lawyer’s website via a social media site. But this still probably doesn’t represent a significant number in the overall scheme of things.
Because I’m a law firm SEO consultant, I would be remiss if I didn’t spend a few sentences on the next most popular response: Online search engine.
I mean, duh, right? And yet, I’ve seen people posting about how this data proves that people largely don’t use search engines to find lawyers. Come. On. People. I suggest to you that the overwhelming majority of the “Searched on their own” responses involved a search engine (I’m dumping online, because, seriously).
Lawyer’s Website? We covered that.
Online reviews? What’s the biggest online review website? Hint: It’s Google My Business (Google is an online search engine, I can’t resist). Plus, you really think that these other online review respondents are going directly to Yelp, Avvo, etc? They’re not. They’re searching first (ask Mark Britton).
Phone book? Okay, there’s one in the “not the internet column,” although I could argue we should distinguish “phone book” from “Yellow Pages online” (release the underlying data Clio).
Lawyer directory? See online reviews (it’s search).
Lawyer blogs, articles, videos? Admittedly, some blogs have actual subscribers. Most don’t. How do people get there? Altogether now: Online search engine!
Advertisement? I’ll even give you this one, even though it doesn’t distinguish between pure offline and multi-channel attribution (i.e. see a TV ad and pop open my phone to perform a search).
Online map service or app? Summarily dismissed.
If you’re still not convinced (I know you’re not because you’re a lawyer), let’s talk “Used a referral.”
Do you read this as all of these referral respondents meant, “didn’t use social media to get a referral?” Come on.
Go search for “lawyer recommendations” (and permutations) on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. See, I told you.
Are you a lawyer? Are you in any private social media groups? Oh good, then you already know that lawyers are referring clients to each other there on the reg.
So, does social media marketing work for lawyers? Maybe it’s not working for you, but legal services consumers are there looking for lawyers every single day. You think it’s social media? Or maybe, could it possibly be, how you’re using it?