Archive for November, 2009

Harsh realities of social media marketing

November 30, 2009

I’m linking this article because it promotes a message that is critical for effectively utilizing social networking.   I would boil it down to the following:

*Have a strategy

*Have a plan 

*Keep your activities focused on the strategy and plan

And what the article doesn’t include:

*Integrate social networking into your everyday marketing


Social networking as just another tool

November 29, 2009

I find Kevin O’Keefe’s blog, “Real Lawyers Have Blogs” insightful and practical.  I often agree with his take on social networking and blogging.  However, I think this post, sets out the wrong framework for looking at social networking.  Its the gee-whiz approach, the breaking down barriers, taking big risks for big awards take on social networking.  At one point he even quotes Seth Godin about types of “artists.” 

Social networking is simply another way to connect to clients and prospects.   As such, justification for its use needs to be based on its value as a tool.   Social networking for attorneys and in particularly blogging is a time intensive but low expenditure marketing approach.  It also integrated nicely with other forms of marketing. 

For example, if an attorney writes an article that gets published in a legal journal, he or she can break the article down into bite sizes suitable for multiple blog posts and reference people to the entire article or even make a PDF of the article available to people who sign up for his or her firms mailing list.  This points to social networking’s value in extending and broadening traditional marketing approaches.

But treating social networking as a thing to worship or to wear as a badge of revolutionary courage is counterproductive.  As I have written elsewhere, the sooner its treated as just another part of doing business, the more value it will have.

GINA law’s impact on social media under review

November 28, 2009

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act which went into effect on Nov. 20th is being reviewed by the EEOC in terms of its impact on social networking.  As written, it could lead to a ban on employers using social networking sites to screen potential job candidates so the EEOC is soliciting public imput on how social media should be handle by the act.


Inc. 500 embrace social networking but why?

November 27, 2009

This article show that 91% of Inc. 500 companies use various modes of social netowrking with the Twitter the most commonly utilized service. 

But why?

The only reason given why they utilize social networking here is to monitor the company’s professional reputation.  The other question that should have been asked is:

Do you report on social networking ROI to management?

Its time move beyond the “everyone is doing it” phase and start looking at these tools as tactics that support key strategic goals.

Worst lawsuit involving turkeys

November 26, 2009

Not good:  The employees or contractors hired by O.E. Bryant allegedly crashed a truck containing 40,000 pounds of turkey meat.

Even worse: The company allegedly delivered the meat to the plaintiff a week later!  Can you say, “spoilage?”

And here comes the lawsuit: Prestage Foods filed suit this year against O.E. Bryant in North Carolina federal court for delivering the contaminated meat.

Happy Thanksgiving all!

How big a deal is social networking?

November 25, 2009

Here are three stories I found today on the impact of social networking:

Facebook destroyed my marriage

Should cities have friends?

How big a danger are LinkedIn recommendations to employers?

These stories all suggest that social networking has caused a major societal shift affecting marriages, government and employment but how scared should we be of this change?

I wrote in a recent article:

“The rise of social networking, like all innovations, follows a predictable pattern. There is the initial gee-whiz factor and the blank stares from most people when early adopters enthuse over the latest innovation.  Then there is broader adoption and the ensuing hype over how Twitter is a panacea.  Then a backlash develops based on exaggerated claims, ignorance and fear.  Finally, the technology becomes such a basic part of doing business that it no longer garners unusual attention. ”

So we are in third of four stages, the backlash period when people worry about the new technological monster.  But really, all that has happened is that technology has made communication cheaper, quicker and more pervasive.  That’s something that’s been happening for a very long time. 

Really, which is truly scarier: a city with Twitter fans or city that sells the name of its civic auditorium so it now known as “Acme Construction Hall?”

Think before creating LinkedIn company profiles

November 24, 2009

What I learned when trying to setup a company profile on LinkedIn:

1.  You can’t use gmail, yahoo or the like as your contact email for a LinkedIn company profile.  While this is probably a vetting tool for LinkedIn to make sure that a company profile is legitimate, for small businesses that haven’t set up such an email website domain, this is problematic.

2.  LinkedIn doesn’t make it easy to remove a profile once it’s created.  If you are a small operation and you might either go back to full-time employment or merge into another small business, LinkedIn makes it difficult to remove a company profile.  In the email they sent when I inquired about this, they wrote: “I have received your request to remove a Company Profile however this is usually a request that is only granted in extreme cases.”

3.  Don’t create a company profile on LinkedIn without seriously considering that it will not be as easy as clicking on a “remove” button should you change your mind.

4.  LinkedIn doesn’t provide much guidance about the business considerations for creating such a profile in its FAQ.  This seems like a no-brainer.  Questions like what, “what are the benefits of creating a LinkedIn company page?” and “What size companies should consider creating such a profile?” come rushing to mind but not to LinkedIn.

More on Canadian woman’s Facebook debacle

November 24, 2009

Yesterday, I posted about the Canadian woman whose long term disability benefits policy was terminated after photos on her Facebook profile showed her having a good time at Chippendales.

Today, more information has come out that her profile photos were private so that Manulife, the insurer must have surreptiously obtained access to them.

Double-edged sword of social networking: employers will lose in court when they violate individual’s privacy in this way not to mention the court of public opinion if their behavior gets out.  Customers aren’t going to appreciate their insurers snooping around their Facebook profile.  BUT, the person who posts photos without considering the implications, can also lose job or benefits AND have to go to court to get back what they lost.

How to roll-out a team blog

November 23, 2009

This is a useful post about how best to approach a team blog and could easily be used as a template for law firm practice groups or task forces.  It also includes useful steps for any business oriented blog whether written by multilple people or not.  One issue it didn’t cover was how to name the blog.  I don’t think there is a “right” answer but here are things to consider.

1.  Do you want to promote the name of the firm?

2.  Do you want to further your firm’s SEO efforts?

3.  Do you want to create a catchy name for the blog to attract readers?

4.  Do you want the firm to be associated with a particular niche or practice specialty?

5.  Are there ways to incorporate several of these goals into your blog name?

6.  What are the naming conventions of other similarly situated blogs?

Facebook photos used to deny coverage

November 23, 2009

According to a Canadian woman, Nathalie Blanchard, the longterm disability insurance she obtained for severe depression was terminated because she post photos of herself having fun on her Facebook profile.  One of them showed her having a good time at a Chippendales bar on her birthday.

Why would Ms. Blanchard post such photos when she was so depressed? 

“I’m sick and I don’t need everyone to know it – people who need to know I’m sick know and the other 500 (friends) I have on Facebook don’t need to know I’m suffering from depression.”

Sounds reasonable to me.