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

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

5 Ways Lawyers Can Make More Money Using Social Media

The biggest problem with attorneys using social media to market their law firms is that social media is not a marketing platform. Traditional marketing involves a brief statement offering legal services, and it ends. The prospective client either calls or doesn’t, and that’s it. Social media just isn’t the same thing. Traditional advertising is a pitch, the lawyer speaking and the prospective client silent. Social media, on the other hand, is a conversation. Attorneys who treat social media like a billboard or a TV ad just end up looking stupid, like this: What might look normal on a billboard just ends up looking like spam on social media. However, just because social media can’t be used like traditional marketing channels doesn’t mean social media can’t be part of your marketing strategy. In fact, used properly, social media can help you generate leads. A lot of leads. More leads, more clients, more money. Three Drivers of Lead Generation In order to understand how social media can help you generate leads, we need to understand what influences a potential client to choose you over another firm. What motivates them to take their legal problems to you? I’ve found that there are three different but interconnected reasons someone chooses a particular law firm: 1) familiarity with the firm or an attorney in the firm, 2) the authority of the firm or attorney in a particular area, and 3) referral recommendations from a trusted source. Familiarity Absent any other factors, a potential client is much more likely to hire the firm he feels like he knows. Whether it’s by reputation, through advertising, or... read more

6 Simple Tools to Create the Ultimate LinkedIn Profile

Ask any lawyer about social networking, and you’ll hear the same thing: “LinkedIn.” Hell, ask pretty much anyone working as a professional or anyone in corporate America, LinkedIn is the place to be. Why? Because LinkedIn has made itself a wonderful combination of Facebook and Twitter – for business hours and serious business people. The stats are insane: 2 new members per second; 100 million users in the U.S.; 40% of users check the site daily; 3 million business pages; 2.1 million groups; 34% annual web traffic growth. It’s where you want to be for business-to-business (“B2B”) communication. Wow, suddenly you realize that you’ve been using LinkedIn to stand out as a professional. Using your LinkedIn Profile. Among 100 million people. Turns out, you’re gonna need a bigger boat! Fortunately, there’s help! Here are 6 Simple Tools to help Create the Ultimate LinkedIn Profile: 1) On-the-fly editing of all major elements of your profile. This may seem small. It’s not. In fact, one commentator described it as the biggest update LinkedIn has announced in the past year. Why is it such a big deal? It’s all about ease of use, combined with speed. Oh, and it turns out it used to be really hard to make any edits on a mobile device! Before, to modify your LinkedIn profile, you had to open the “edit profile” box, go to a different screen, and make your edits. Now, you can update any element of your LinkedIn profile by hovering your cursor over it. Changes can be made easily, wherever you are.  If you’re having trouble visualizing, I’ve sacrificed my LinkedIn profile page to demonstrate: Any of those spots you... read more

6 Reasons Your Law Firm Needs a Social Media Manager

Social Media. Just like “Law Practice Management,” the term “social media” itself is enough to make most attorneys bury their heads in their desks. Like many aspects of business management, getting the most out of social media requires experience, practice, and patience. Unfortunately, most law firms don’t give social media the attention it deserves. However, in 2015, being active on social media is essential. With more and more people turning to the internet to find attorneys, an effective social media strategy – as part of an overall marketing plan – creates the best opportunity to secure new clients. But it’s not easy. Here are 6 reasons your law firm needs a social media manager. A Social Media Manager Before I dive into the 6 reasons discussed above, first allow me to describe what I mean when I say “Social Media Manager.” I don’t mean your teenage son/daughter. I don’t mean a part-time, $10/hour college kid who has no other affiliation with your firm. A social media manager can have other duties, but it has to be someone the firm trusts. A social media manager must have intimate knowledge of the firm’s overall marketing strategy, with the power to modify approaches when needed. A social media manager must be able to post on social media without violating the Rules of Professional Conduct. Mostly, a social media manager must know, or be open to learning, how to use the various social media platforms included in the firm’s marketing strategy. Here’s why your law firm needs a social manager in 2015: 1) Effective social media requires being social. In order to achieve anything... read more

5 Social Media Trends Lawyers Need to Know in 2015

Social media is always changing. Some might even argue that the essence of social media itself is change. That’s one of the things that makes it so difficult to predict from year to year. At the beginning of 2014, Facebook was pronounced dead. Since then, Facebook has added 100 million active users. I wish my blog would “die” like that! So, clearly, making specific predictions isn’t that helpful. But recognizing trends, the direction that social media may be heading based on where it’s been, much more valuable. Recently, Ryan Holmes, CEO of the social media company Hootsuite, published a list of 5 trends that will change how you use social media in 2015. But how do these social media trends affect the practice of law? I’m so glad you asked. 1) Your Social Network Wants to be Your Wallet Like everything we’ve learned about the inner workings of Sony Pictures, this little tidbit comes to us thanks to a hack. It turns out that the program for the Facebook Messenger app contains a hidden payment feature. If activated, Facebook would allow the 200+ million people who have the Facebook Messenger app to send money to each other free of charge. They already have an autofill feature to store payment data. What does this mean for lawyers? Be prepared to accept payment for your services in ways you didn’t consider yesterday. That means being able to accept payment for your services via social media. It also means that if you accept credit cards, you need to be ready to accept not only the new chip-and-PIN cards that will roll out in early 2015, but... read more
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