5 Tools LinkedIn is Giving Away for Free

LinkedIn’s publishing platform has been an absolute gift to a lot of people in the B2B (Business-to-Business, for those, like me, who had no damn clue until a few weeks ago) world. If you’re on LinkedIn (we’ve been over this… if you’re a lawyer, you’re on LinkedIn!), you’ve seen the updates come through when one of your connections posts something new. While I particularly enjoy my WordPress platform, there’s a lot to like about LinkedIn’s publishing system (as I’m learning – a version of this post will be my first LinkedIn article!). However, what really caught my eye this week was a recent update to their already impressive (but not yet Google Analytics-like) trackers. A good analytics program will give you information about what happened in the past. A really good analytics program will thoroughly educate you about why those things happened in the past. But a truly great analytics program will tell you all those things, and give you the tools to be even better tomorrow. Wow. Ok, motivational speaker mode OFF. Here are 5 Tools LinkedIn is Giving Away for Free:  1) View performance statistics for each post you’ve published There’s only one real way to know what your connections are interested in. Try a bunch of different things, and see what gets the best response. There are no guaranteed winners, and frequently you’ll be surprised by what makes the biggest splash. (My biggest post, by far, was a relative afterthought on a Sunday afternoon). LinkedIn Publisher’s update allows you to view analytics for any of your old posts, with data and stats going back six months. Oh,... read more

A Better Firm Website: Keep Your Website Content Up-To-Date

On the day your website was created, it was beautiful to you. After spending a few thousand bucks, your firm officially had a real estate on the internet. Your attorney bio pages were filled with all of the self-promotional puffery your attorneys could think of – class ranks, Martindale rankings, awards from local bar associations. It was beautiful. To you. But it never really drove business to your law firm. You didn’t understand why, but it never really troubled you either. You could find your law firm website on Google whenever you typed in the full name, and that’s all you needed. That was seven years ago. This is what your law firm website looks like to people today: Why it’s important to have updated website content 1) To ensure you have the correct information What good is spending any time or effort on a website, which is your primary real estate on the internet, if the information isn’t accurate? An out-of-date website is likely to cause those who visit considerable confusion if the information isn’t correct. I recall having difficulty convincing a client that I worked at my firm because the website hadn’t yet been updated to list me as an attorney. Worse, if your website fails to list – or lists inaccurately – your law firm’s practice areas, you could lose out on the business of people who intend to hire you, but don’t see their particular type of problem listed on your website. 2) To avoid ethical pitfalls Attorney advertising can be a little like walking through a minefield, but with shifting conditions. Walking a specific... read more

5 Proven Tips for Better Social Media Marketing

Sunny San Diego. I’d quote Ron Burgundy, but that seems a little inappropriate. Last month, San Diego was host for Social Media Marketing World 2015 conference. Many of the world’s top social media marketers gathered to talk about the current and future world of social media. (For anyone interested, they have put a lot of the presentations from the conference online. It’s worth a look.) There were plenty of important takeaways for anyone who uses social media for any aspect of their business. For lawyers and law firms, an industry that hasn’t really jumped on board with social yet, there may have been more. Among the important aspects, the conference gives our profession the chance to innovate with strategies that have been tested by some of the best in the social media marketing industry. So lawyers, here are 5 Proven Tips for Better Social Media Marketing: 1) Video is the king of content… on all networks. There’s really no way for me to say (again) how critical video content is for effectively marketing your law firm. Whether it’s on your website, in your ads, or in your social media content, you simply cannot reach the same audience without it. Everyone knows how big YouTube has gotten, but you may have missed how effective video embedded directly onto Facebook can be. 57% of professional marketers are using video in some portion of their marketing. 72% plan on using video marketing in the near future. There are plenty of tools available to help you too. Whether you’re looking for professional grade video editing (Final Cut Pro just announced an upgrade allowing you... read more

LinkedIn Elevate: Because Your Employees are Cooler than You

One undeniable truth about social media is that, no matter how you measure success, the number of people you’re connected to will always be an important part. Why? Because, for the most part, your ability to be “social” is dependent to the number of people you are “networked” to. It makes a lot of sense. Along those lines, it’s always helpful to remember that people prefer to connect to other people rather than to businesses. For example, LinkedIn estimates that the average user has ten times as many connections as companies have followers. So, if you’re a company with content you want shared, it makes sense to ask your employees to help get the word out. More connections = better distribution. LinkedIn Elevate is the newest attempt to do just that. Your law firm’s content could use a boost. As a recent post on The Next Web described, LinkedIn has really gone all in on content recently. Between the creation of LinkedIn Pulse and the development as LinkedIn as a publishing platform, they want to be the place that professionals go for industry news. And, if we look at it objectively, it’s been pretty successful. Personally, the plurality of my blog traffic comes from LinkedIn, and I don’t even use the LinkedIn publisher (although based on that last sentence, I probably should). According to social media guru Kevin O’Keefe, one of the crucial ways for law firms to get their content to a wider audience is for employees to share the content with their own networks. Part of that post is based on a finding from the New York... read more

4 New Facebook Tools Perfect for Unbundled Legal Services

For many attorneys, talking about unbundled legal services ranks right up with non-lawyer ownership as forbidden topics. Hell, if you’re one of the several state bar groups who has sued Legal Zoom, it may be even worse. However, there’s no way to talk about how technology can benefit lawyers without giving appropriate recognition to unbundling. We see it everywhere. From eDiscovery to legal forms, it’s all around. As many have suggested, unbundled legal services are the future, and failure to adopt could result in being left behind. So you’ve decided to adopt. You created yourself a nice little forms library, and most of them sit unused on your infrequently visited website. Your new products need a platform to be marketed. Fortunately, Facebook just released a bunch of new tools that seem tailor-made for marketing your unbundled legal services: 1) Product Carousel Ads Facebook has long offered promotional posts, but they have been fairly restrictive as far as content is concerned. Each ad has a headline, text, a photo, and a link – and each ad would link to one particular landing page. No longer. Facebook now allows you to advertise several products in one ad: If you have a package of multiple forms for small businesses, try different combinations. You can advertise up to six, so maybe one is your small business creation ad, with LLC formation, articles of organization and sample bylaws. Or if you sell form wills, maybe rotate a couple different types of trusts. It doesn’t have to be products, either, so you can raise awareness for your law firm’s practice areas as well. Remember, advertising... read more

A Better Firm Website: Mobile Friendly or Else!

Have you ever used your smartphone or tablet to look something up on the internet? Stupid question, right? Of course you have. Whether you’re looking up the menu of a restaurant your friend suggested, the hours of the local coffee shop, or whether there’s a coupon available for your oil change. Guess what, people are starting to look for lawyers the same way you look for restaurants – on the internet. Many, if not most, of them will be looking up your law firm directly from their smartphone or tablet. Just like you, they hate it when the websites they want to see aren’t designed to work well on mobile devices. Oh, and Google hates it too. And Google’s decided to do something about it. As of April 21, 2015, Google will start penalizing websites that aren’t “mobile friendly.” That’s right, your search engine ranking, that number you paid those marketing guys to improve will suddenly get worse if your website doesn’t work well for mobile. So what’s behind Google’s move, and what can you do? 1) Why does Google care about mobile friendly websites? First and foremost, Google cares for the exact same reason you should care: your customers care. More and more, people are looking to the internet to shop. Along with that, more and more are doing so from their mobile devices. A study released just last week indicates that as much as 60% of all consumer internet searches are happening from mobile devices. People tend to want some sort of resolution to whatever problem is on their mind at any given time. Whether they happen to... read more

The Ultimate List of Social Media Tools and Apps

Here it is, the Ultimate List of Social Media Tools. No matter what type of an impact you want your company to have on Social Media, you’re only going to do so much on your own. The right tools can make sure your efforts are efficient, targeted, and, hopefully, profitable. Whether you’re looking for a dashboard that gives you total control of all your social media profiles, or just want a resource for images you can share, my ultimate guide has a tool for you!. Contents Ad Management Analytics Automation Relationship Management Follower Management Influencer Outreach Contact Management Market Research Marketing Personas Content Account Management Enterprise Dashboards Single-Network Dashboards Mobile Apps Chat Management Miscellaneous Monitoring Scheduling Visuals Image Sourcing Image Creation Image Editing Infographics Animated GIFs Video Ad Management These tools are designed for businesses looking to get a little more out of their advertising than the generic promotions the sites offer. From A/B testing, to hyper-narrow target audiences, these tools will help you reach the exact right audience with a message you’ve crafted just for them. Ad Espresso Combine different elements of your ad, like images, text, titles, headings, and get constant, real-time updates showing you what your proposed ad will look like. While most platforms allow for customization, few combine the ease-of-use and real-time display of Ad Espresso. The result – an intuitive system for even novice users that allows creativity to be efficient. The tool allows for detailed targeting, and the multiple-ad options allow for complex and in-depth A/B testing for those interested. Even if you’re not looking to perform comparison tests, Ad Espresso’s relatively inexpensive... read more

14 Simple Hacks to Boost Your Social Media Marketing

Most people think they’ve mastered the social media platforms they use. They’re happy knowing what they know, and they’re happy with the results they get. We’re not “most people.” We want an advantage. We’re not cheating, but we’re going to look high and low for the little tricks, the whispered tips… the simple hacks… that will put us over the top. We do so because we know that it’s in those simple things, the tiny overlooked tool, the slightly out-of-the-way feature, that’s where we’re going to set ourselves apart. Here are 14 Simple Hacks to Boost Your Social Media Marketing: 1) Send Followers to Your Website with a Call to Action. One of the interesting additions to your Facebook Company page is the ability for you to add a “Call to Action” in your banner image. Facebook is pitching this tool as a new way to connect with followers. Based on reports from Dollar Shave Club who performed a trial, it worked. Their conversion rate more than doubled. How do you do it. Well, right in your banner, you’ll see a little button right next to your “Share” button. Click on it and it opens this screen: There you have your (admittedly limited) options to give your followers: “Book Now,” “Contact Us,” “Use App,” “Play Game,” “Shop Now,” “Sign Up,” or “Watch Video.” Apparently a “Donate Now” is or will be available, but only to limited companies. It links directly to any website you enter, even allowing a separate site for mobile users. 2) Upload your marketing videos directly to Facebook. Do you use video in your social media marketing?... read more

How to Create a Social Media Strategy that Gets Results

What is your law firm’s social media strategy? It probably comes as no surprise to most of you that, for the majority of firms, the response is “I dunno.” Hell, 54% of attorneys apparently believe that using social media for marketing at all is just hype. If you’re here, you either think they’re (maybe) wrong, or you accidentally clicked on the wrong headline. Either way, if your law firm uses social media to market your firm in any way, you really need a written social media strategy. A written strategy will ensure that your social media stays focused on accomplishing the firm’s goals, ensuring everyone is on the same page. Moreover, it provides a valuable blueprint that helps you make important decisions, and establishes workflows to make you more efficient. Ok, you agree, you probably need a social media strategy. But who has the time? You do. Here’s How to Create a Social Media Strategy that Gets Results: 1) Determine Your General Goal What are you trying to accomplish? First and foremost, your social media strategy doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It’s a part of your overall marketing program. So look at your overall marketing goals and determine how social media fits in. To get the most out of social media, though, it’s best to narrow its focus to a particular goal. The goal of your marketing campaign is to make a prospective client more likely to choose you over another attorney. Traditional advertising attempts to influence a client’s decision directly – stating a value proposition in a (usually) unambiguous sales pitch. Social media marketing, at its best, does the... read more

9 Essential Skills of a Law Firm Social Media Manager

To a lot of attorneys, the idea of spending any significant time on social media is ridiculous. For them, the idea that someone would have “Social Media Manager” as a title is likely even more ridiculous. Thing is, those attorneys are dropping fast, and they’ll soon be left in the dust. Social media is no longer optional for marketing your law firm. Only the extent of your engagement is really in question. For some firms, very limited engagement is appropriate. For others, an entire team needs to be hired just to tend to the social networks. Regardless, you need someone in your firm whose job it is to oversee your social media. Whether it’s part-time, full-time, or a full division of your company, you need a social media manager. And it can’t be just anybody. Here are 9 Essential Skills for a Law Firm Social Media Manager: 1) Compliance with Ethical Rules “Ethics first, ethics last, ethics always,” says attorney and marketing consultant Stacey Burke Why? Because if your social media manager isn’t able to comply with ethical rules, you may as well just give up your law license. It’s not enough to know the rules, your social media manager has to be able to comply with them while maintaining your firm’s social media. There are a lot of potential ethical pitfalls. While I may hold the belief that social media does not constitute a marketing platform, per se, the ethical rules still apply. Your social media manager will need to put in appropriate disclaimers and be careful not to violate ethical rules concerning prior results. Most importantly, your social... read more
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