Morrison & Foerster recently published its inaugural issue of Socially Aware: The Social Media Law Update, an electronic newsletter “devoted to the law and business of social media.” In explaining why they’ve launched this new venture, MoFo wrote:
Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites are transforming not only the daily lives of consumers, but also how companies interact with consumers. Indeed, even the largest, most conservative blue-chip corporations have begun to embrace social media; one recent study showed that, of the Fortune Global 100, 65% had Twitter accounts; 54% had a presence on Facebook; and 50% had a channel on YouTube.
It’s not surprising that the Fortune Global 100 and some large law firms are paying more attention to social media. After all, that’s where the audience increasingly is. According to reports of a recent Nielsen study, “on average, about 23 percent of our online time is spent on social networking sites, versus 8.3 percent on email.” The study tracked the online activity of 200,000 people in the US between June 2009 and June 2010. During that period, use of social media grew by nearly 50%. PCWorld reports that the study also contained some interesting demographic information:
Social networkers aren’t just teenyboppers anymore, either. Nielsen discovered that twice as many Americans over 50 visited social networks than kids under 18. That means your mom and dad aren’t the only “hip” parents out there with Facebook pages.
This demographic information also suggests that a key target group for law firm marketing is online and engaged in social media. However, until now social media use by the AmLaw 100 firms has not been extensive. It will be interesting to see how the AmLaw 100 firms decide to respond to these growing trends.