2012 in-house counsel new media engagement surveyThe 2012 In-House Counsel New Media Engagement Survey from Greentarget, InsideCounsel Magazine, and Zeughauser Group sheds light on the social media trends within the legal field. When the study was first conducted in 2010, blogging and social media usage among lawyers wasn’t mainstream. While younger counsel were diving into the world of social media, older counsel still primarily ignored it. That generational divide has narrowed significantly in the 2012 study.

According to the 2012 In-House Counsel New Media Engagement Survey, which surveyed corporate counsel from across the United States, some trends have emerged that are having a big impact on hiring, marketing, research, and more. Following are some of the highlights from the study results:

Quality Blogs Influence Outside Counsel Hiring Decisions

3 out of 4 of survey respondents believe that a lawyer’s blog is an important factor when they’re deciding which firms to retain.

Client-Side Counsel Prefer to Read Blogs by Firms

84% of in-house counsel believe that blogs are credible, and most prefer to read firm-branded blogs rather than blogs written by journalists.

LinkedIn is Viewed as the Serious Social Network for Attorneys

88% of in-house counsel surveyed believe LinkedIn is credible and use it for professional and personal reasons.

New Media Usage is Mainstream

Blogs are read more often by this audience than any of the most popular social networking platforms (i.e., Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn). Older counsel are consuming far more content, particularly blog content, then they did a year ago.

In-House Counsel Are More Likely to Consume Content than Create Content

In-house counsel are often “invisible users” of social media who consume a lot of content but rarely create content or participate in online conversations.

Social Media is Becoming a More Popular Tool for Client Services

The legal industry is using social media more frequently for client services and communications with an 8% increase year-over-year.

As the research report says, “The primary utility of social media — at least for this survey’s audience — is an intelligent filter of useful information.” However, the trends cited above show that the current primary utility of social media for in-house lawyers is evolving. Content consumption and content creation are both growing in 2012.

Clearly, there is demand for high quality legal blogs like those content publishers that syndicate their legal blogs through Newstex Authoritative Content such as Lawyers, Guns, and Money. That demand will only increase in the future.