Archive for October, 2009

Blog & email blasts: coordinate your efforts

October 31, 2009

Too often social networking and email communications are seen as separate efforts, silos that compete rather than complement one another.  This is more reason why having a social networking and online marketing strategy is important.

Example:  I blog about legal issues related to social networking.  I’ve posted about lawsuits filed against Facebook and have found there is huge interest in the topic.  Say there a significant ruling in one of these lawsuits I’m following and I email my contact list about it.   In the email I post a link to my blog so that folks to track breaking news about the suit.  

Subsequently, on my blog I can alert readers to an in-depth review of the lawsuit by signing up for my email blast.  Furthermore, I post significant news items from my blog to my website home page.  This way people who see the item on my homepage can visit my blog and see the value of signing up for an email alert.  People from my contact list and blog can visit my homepage and learn more about my legal practice.

This is the power of social networking: tools that work together to build awareness and offer clients and prospect value about issues they are following.

Legal industry still waiting for turnaround

October 30, 2009

Attended an Alameda County Bar Association seminar about where the legal industry is at today.  It was mostly attended by attorneys from smaller firms and solos.   Some of the solos were a product of the layoffs decimating the legal industry.

Takeaways:

Bad news: legal industry revenue way down, big law firm are hurting and there maybe more layoffs to come.  Things have not turned around, yet.  Areas hardest hist are M&A, transactional, real estate law.  Litigation hasn’t been as recession proof as reputation suggested.  Big companies pushing lawyers to settle cases because they don’t want incur costs of ongoing litigation.

Good news: Not clear that smaller firms and solo are being hit as badly.  Push for by Fortune 500 companies for alternative fee arrangements impacting big firms and may lead to innovation in the industry.  Promising practice areas are: bankruptcy, employment law, IP, tax and immigration.  Smart, targeted marketing still works.

SEO still a mystery? You are not alone!

October 29, 2009

Has anyone else notice how many articles, books, seminars, white papers there are on unlocking the secrets of SEO?  Have you found when you’ve started reading or listening that the secrets remain unlocked?  I have.

But I did find a couple books I can recommend that truly make sense in penetrating the mysteries.   

“Search Engine Optimization: An Hour a Day” by Jennifer Grappone.  This is a very practical guide to setting up an SEO program.  One aspect to SEO is that it requires a strategy, program and ongoing attention.  This book will help you get started with this.

“Search Engine Optimization: Your Visual Blueprint for Effective Internet Marketing” by Kristopher B. Jones.  This book is very practical and gives you actual action items and provides screen shots to implement them.

Downside to both books is freshness.  The hour a day book was published in 2006 and the visual blueprint book was published in 2008.  However, these books have such depth that I think they are still worth purchasing.

Google announces Social Search

October 28, 2009

Want to know what your friends think of a new restaurant?  Welcome to Google’s Social Search.  Here is a Google video about how it works.

Already people are understandably wary.

 

Difference a year makes: Facebook pummels MySpace

October 28, 2009

According to the data from Experian Hitwise, Facebook has not only increased its share of social networking hits 200% but now makes up a majority of social networking hits, period.  MySpace has fallen to 30% from leading with two thirds of all social networking hits last year.  Twitter?  Less than 2% and LinkedIn doesn’t appear at all.  Not sure why.

Article:

Twitter costing billions in productivity – really?

October 27, 2009

A UK IT consulting firm conducted a survey that found the use of social networking by British workers was costing employers 1.38 billion pounds.  Here is the methodology as explained by the press release:

“From the 1,460 office workers surveyed over half (57%) said that they used social networking sites during the working day for personal use. On average those people were spending 40 minutes on these sites each week, equating to just under a full working week being wasted each year by employees using social networking sites at work.”

Its not clear from the press release but I assume those numbers are multipled by the average workers salary in Britian to come up with the scary figure of 1.38 billion pounds.   What would a study find if it asked how much time employees spent on the phone to their spouse or chatting with other co-workers or planning their vacations?

Isn’t the true measure of lost productivity about whether deadlines are getting missed, calls go unanswered, emails unresponded to and the decreasing quality of products and services ?  Sure social networking can be a compulsive activity for people, a time waster, a distraction from real work but is it categorically different than the many other time-fillers employees have used to get through a workday?

Lawyers should focus on industry niches

October 26, 2009

Susan Cartier Liebel writes an excellent post about how solos need to focus their practices in a down economy.  I would also say pick an industry or two as focus areas as well.  Look at the legal trends the recession has exacerbated in particular industries of interest and pitch your message to those issues in those industries.  This will differentiate your practice from those who don’t look at specific industry issues.

This doesn’t mean you don’t take work from industries outside your focus area.   Your industry focus isn’t meant to narrow your options but allow you to differentiate your practice with a more focused marketing pitch.  Don’t throw away presentations or materials that don’t focus on specific industries.  Keep them updated and use them when appropriate.  Its just that if you don’t represent only consumers, then potential clients will be attached to a specific industry and they will be impressed that you have expertise in their industry.

Unclear how Facebook settlement will impact Texas litigation

October 26, 2009

Here is an explanation for what may have happen to the Texas suits where Facebook was added as a defendant earlier this month.  It still sounds like a settlement is likely for those filing but how that might happen isn’t at all straigthforward

Article:

Court approves Facebook beacon settlement

October 25, 2009

Facebook had announce the settlement last month but last week the Court approved the deal which has Facebook completely drop the program by which advertiser got access to users account for marketing purposes and pay a $9.5 million to set up a nonprofit foundation to “fund projects and initiatives that promote the cause of online privacy, safety and security.”

How will this settlement impact the lawsuits filed in Federal Court in Texas?  My guess is that Facebook will settle.

Youngster joins social networking policy team

October 25, 2009

Nutter McClennen & Fish invited one of its young attorneys, 28 year-old Shagha Tousito, to assist with writing its social networking policy.  I hope they also brought in people with administrative responsibilities such as HR, Finance, IT and Marketing as well.

Article:


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