Posts Tagged ‘social media for lawyers’
Social media seems to be taking over the world these days. Most people we know have at least a Facebook and Twitter account. In fact, for many this seems to be the preferred form of communication these days.
It would make sense that social media would trickle down into the work place as well. Sure, many firms have their own social media sites for marketing and publicity purposes. But even if your law firm doesn’t use social media, it can still be affected by what your employees post about your firm and litigation.
Your employees need to know what is acceptable and what is not acceptable when it comes to social media. When it comes to posting anything online, remember that nothing personal is truly private; hence the term “social media.”
Whether your firm has a social media policy in place or not, please join me Wednesday, May 1st at 1pm (EST) as I present the webinar “Social Media Policies for Your Law Firm Employees.” Go to https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/695874679 to sign up for this very informative and important webinar.
If you want to avoid the pitfalls of social media, then do not miss this webinar.
Dedicated to your success,
As you probably know, PILMMA founder and president Ken Hardison is also a Personal Injury and Disability lawyer from Raleigh, N.C. who has been practicing since 1982. He began marketing on television in 1998 and took his firm from 2 lawyers and 3 staff to 13 lawyers and 42 staff in less than 6 years. During that same period he increased his revenues by 1600%, primarily through the use of TV ads and other marketing methods. During that time and in the time since, Ken has had some realizations about lawyers and TV advertising.
While TV advertising still has its place in the world of law firm marketing, Ken has seen some “dangerous” trends emerging over the last few years and warns that lawyers focusing too narrowly on television marketing may be losing sight of the importance of a comprehensive marketing plan. He believes that even the smartest, most successful attorney can learn something new from someone else.
Think about it….with the advent of TIVO and DVR’s, viewers are able to by-pass commercials entirely, cutting out a portion of the viewership attorneys were used to having. Does this cripple the once undeniable larger than life TV lawyer? Of course not. Nor does it cripple the other guys out there who simply dabbled in TV spots here and there. Technology is enabling attorneys to advertise in ways that they would never have imagined possible in the past – mobile apps, social networking, etc etc. Ken is convinced that the best marketing design is a wide-ranging plan that will reach all demographics regardless of their access to technology or lack thereof.
Ken’s advice and marketing knowledge are in high demand and routinely sought by other attorneys, colleagues and marketing experts. One such colleague is Ben Glass. Ben will be interviewing Ken today, April 22nd about the dangerous trends in TV advertising facing lawyers. Attorneys in Glass’s network will have an opportunity to pick Ken’s brain and learn from someone who has “been there and done that”. Ken has created a brief about these 5 Dangerous Trends and he would like to share it with fellow attorneys who are feeling the pressure of how to best market contingency based law firms in this increasingly competitive market.
For your copy of Ken’s “The 5 Dangerous Trends Facing Lawyers Who Advertise on TV” simply email email@example.com and put “5 Trends” in the subject line and Ken’s exclusive brief will be emailed to you immediately. For more information about PILMMA’s upcoming 2013 PILMMA Super Summit and how you can test drive PILMMA for FREE, call 800-497-1890 or go to www.pilmmasummit.com. This year the Summit has been expanded to 3 days and features keynote speaker Erin Brockovich in addition to a stellar line up of legal marketing and management experts. If you’ve ever thought about getting involved with PILMMA, now’s the time.
The Virginia State Bar is sending out the message loud and clear that blogging about cases online is “inappropriate advertising”. The Bar is currently charging Horace Hunter, a Richmond criminal defense attorney, with misconduct.
Hunter posted blogs addressing past cases he worked on regarding relevant national and local criminal justice issues. The Virginia State Bar is claiming that his blog posts constitute advertising and therefore require disclaimers stating that the blog is an ad. Hunter’s defense holds that his blog is for the purpose of posting news and commentary only and the Bar’s charges are a violation of his First Amendment rights.
The case against Hunter marks the first time the Virginia State Bar has proposed a formal charge against an attorney over blogging and whether blogging violates advertising rules set forth by the State Bar.
What do you think? Do you think blog posts addressing past cases are a form of advertising? Do you write blog posts regarding past cases? Do you think Hunter has a strong defense?
Click here to view the full article.
Google+ is one hot topic! Last week we gave PILMMA Members a Tip of the Week on how to use Google+ to market their firms . Many say it’s the next big thing and that Facebook’s 15 minutes of fame is almost up. We thought we’d follow it up with this week’s Bright Idea and share a chart we find helpful in understanding Google+ vs. Facebook.
|Share everything with everyone||“Circles” - You can drag and drop friends into different social groups. (Ex. Classmates, co-workers, family, bowling buddies, Lawyers….)|
|Post and Tag Photos and videos||Post, tag and edit photos and videos. Specific share functions per post.|
|Chat and message Friends||“Hangout” – When you begin a Hangout session you enter a video chat room alone, then a message is sent to those you invite or a Circle of friends inviting them to join you. This is essentially like Skype. In testing, this has been a hugely popular feature.“Huddle” – group chat|
|“Share” articles, videos anything interesting via a status or wall post||“+1″ as described below is similar but not comparable yet|
|“Friends” – Friends must be requested and then accepted. Both people must accept the friend request or “add”.||“Friends” – Not necessarily a mutually agreed upon relationship. If you add someone to a circle, they get a notification, but they do not have to add you to any of their circles.|
|“Like” Appears on news feed||“+1=Like” +1 will affect search engine rankings and allow your friends to see what you “+1″ when they search Google+. Things you “+1″ are also stored on your “+1″ page.|
|Status update- basically what you are thinking, feeling or feel the need to share. Everyone automatically sees||Status update is not automatically seen. You must choose in which circles it will be shared and then it will appear in their stream of information.|
|News feed – where you can be seen and view others posts, photos, updates…||“Stream” - You can view streams based on circles, or incoming messages sent by people not in your circles, or notifications when friends comment on things you commented on or posted. All choices are easily located on the sidebar.|
|Facebook Fan Page||Nothing comparable YET|
|Not comparable YET||“Google+ Sparks” is a collection of your interests based on what you have searched for within Google+. If you search for legal marketing and add that to your “sparks”, you can click on the link and see the latest search results.|
Recently, these funny looking black and white boxes have popped up everywhere and on everything. QR codes are the new technology darling of the marketing world. But I do not think these little boxes are a trend, I believe they are here to stay. First, QR codes will last because you can share much more valuable data than with traditional barcode. Second and most importantly, QR codes will last because anyone can create them and read them for free.
Read this article from the Marketing Insiders’ Journal to learn more about QR codes.
Quick Response codes (QR Codes) are two-dimensional codes that can be read by iPhones, Androids or other camera-enabled Smartphones. Created in Japan by Toyota subsidiary Denso-Wave in 1994, these codes have been used internationally for years. In 2011, they finally took hold in the US thanks to endorsements from Target, Best Buy, Macy’s and Post Cereals.
How do they work? Owners of iPhones and other smart devices must download a QR reading application, usually available for free, if not already on the phone. When a QR enabled phone is pointed at the code, it locks into the information contained within that code, such as text, photos, coupons, videos or websites.
Want a QR Code for your firm? You can create your own QR Code for free online. A popular site for doing this is www.kaywa.com. There’s also www.likify.net where you can create a QR Code that links to a fully functioning LIKE button for your Facebook page. There’s no limit to how or how much you can share with QR Codes. From videos and landing pages to an entire eBook, these codes are quickly becoming a marketer’s dream come true.
These codes are great for printed materials since they allow you to provide supplemental information without cluttering up your ads. Be sure to place a QR Code in a well-lighted spot on your materials and not too close to other graphics or text. Crowded placement could inhibit the ability of the QR Code reader to lock into the symbols and link to your information.
Use QR Codes on your business cards, newsletters, direct mail pieces, signage, and promotional items. Give potential clients instant access to what you and your firm are all about. To top this off, you can track and analyze the results of your printed pieces with increased precision. Remember, if you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it or repeat it.
Here are some examples of QR codes and how to use them:
On print materials, promotional items and the internet. Be creative!
Who are you? Better yet – who do your clients think you are?
This week’s Bright Idea is about potential clients seeing, knowing and trusting you based on your Social Media persona. The best suggestion I can make to you is to “humanize” yourself. This means including more than just your headshot or law school resume. Show potential clients you’re a real person – they need to be able to relate to you in an everyday sort of way.
Use a more personal bio of yourself that includes things that are important to you along with details about what has made you who are and why you wanted to be a lawyer in the first place. This may be some cheesy story about when you were a child and someone wronged you or it may be a poignant, meaningful story about overcoming the odds against you – whatever it may be, share it!
You still want to build credibility with law school and professional awards, but you also need to relate to your potential clients. So in addition to your extended biography, you should post a few casual photos of you enjoying your hobbies, family and friends. You don’t want to offend anyone or depict yourself in any negative light, so choose your pictures wisely. You can also have some fun with this – for example, post some baby pictures of you and your staff members and have people on your page guess who is who.
Another way to humanize yourself is to focus on charities you support. Post pictures, articles and news about or from the organization on your sites. You can also post articles that are a bit more casual, instead of business as usual. Just last week I saw an article about the odd things people have found on New Jersey beaches…now, if you’re located in New Jersey, this would be a great article for you to use on your site – definitely an attention grabber that will also make you a news source for your visitors. It never hurts to give people something to of interest, especially when you’re drawing them into your social network. After all, the more they visit, the longer they stay, the more they get to know you.
It’s a proven fact that people hire lawyers they know, like and trust. Put yourself out there. Don’t be afraid to show potential clients who you are. If they get to know you and trust you – you’ll be the one they call.
This week’s Bright Idea is our follow-up to last week’s post “Social Media: Future or Fad?” Thank you to those who commented and contributed to this discussion. Everyone is in agreement that social media is here to stay!
But what do we do next? Social media is constantly changing, requiring us to be open and willing to take risks. Lawyers tend be “late adopters” of new ideas. I think we need to turn that around and become “early adopters” of products and ideas! We need to take advantage of all avenues of marketing available to us in order to get ahead and not simply keep up with the competition.
Today’s ever mobile and tech savvy consumers demand the latest and greatest. They also seek transparency. By viewing your social media pages, people get to know who you are and what you stand for, thus, developing a relationship of trust without ever even meeting you in some cases. You want your firm’s name to be the first name a customer thinks about after a car crash. You can achieve this by enhancing your social media presence by adding “little touches” to your social media pages.
I hope you enjoy PILMMA’s Bright Ideas. We don’t want to bombard you with e-mails, so we’d like to give you the opportunity to let us know if you’d like to continue to receive the Bright Ideas via e-mail or if you’d simply like to view them on our Bright Ideas blog, www.pilmma-blog.com. If you’d like to continue to receive the Bright Ideas e-mails weekly, please use the form below to opt-in. Otherwise, visit our Facebook page and “Like” us at www.facebook.com/PILMMA or follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/PILMMAorg
How would you feel if everybody with access to the internet (including your clients and past clients) had access to your personal information?
Things like your address, your phone number, the amount you paid for your house, its square footage, names of your children and much more, all accessible on one website for anyone that wants to look you up.
Well, whether it bothers you or not, there’s a very good chance they already do have access to that information!
A website called, Spokeo, which claims to be “Not your Grandma’s Phonebook”, offers all of this information for free. And for only $2.95 per month, people can get access to even more info, like your estimated annual income, pictures of you found on social media sites, your hobbies, etc.
While all the information the site returns is not completely accurate, people looking you up don’t know that!
Luckily you can delete your profile on the account by following these simple steps I found on the Spin Sucks Blog:
1. Go to Spokeo and type in your name.
2. Copy the URL when it brings up your information.
3. Go to the bottom of the page and click on “privacy”
4. Paste the URL in the box provided
5. Include your email address (it gives you further instructions via email)
6. Enter the code
7. Go to your email and click on the link they provide to you
8. Confirm the directory listing has been deleted
9. Go back to Spokeo and put in your name to be sure it was deleted and they can’t find you
Dedicated to Your Success,
President of PILMMA
- May 2013
- April 2013
- March 2013
- February 2013
- January 2013
- December 2012
- November 2012
- October 2012
- September 2012
- August 2012
- July 2012
- June 2012
- May 2012
- April 2012
- March 2012
- February 2012
- January 2012
- December 2011
- November 2011
- October 2011
- September 2011
- August 2011
- July 2011
- June 2011
- May 2011
- April 2011
- March 2011
- February 2011
- January 2011
- December 2010
- November 2010
- October 2010
- September 2010
- August 2010
- July 2010
- June 2010
- "inappropriate advertising"
- bar associations
- best practices in legal marketing
- Bright Idea for Personal Injury Lawyers
- Bright Ideas for Marketing Personal Injury Law
- Cell phone policies
- Computer Policies
- Cool Stuff for Personal Injury Lawyers
- creating goals
- creating local business relationships
- Electronic Use Policy
- Employee Handbooks
- Employee Policies
- Employeee Handbooks
- Giving Thanks
- Growth and Motivation Tips for Personal Injury Lawyers
- Interesting Facts
- Internet Marketing
- Ken Hardison Weighs In
- Law Firm Management
- Law Firm Marketing
- Lawyer Mastermind Groups
- marketing for personal injury lawyers
- Mission Statements
- nurturing relationships
- PILMMA Summit
- preparing for the future
- Social Media for Lawyers
- Social Media Policies
- Spring Summit 2011
- Time Management
- Vision Statements