Tag Archives: social media

Combatting the Zombiefication of Legal Content Marketing with a Plan

Grunge cracked zombie virus concept background with some soft smooth lines

In keeping with our theme of zombies (this is the last post on this for a while, I swear), when last we saw our intrepid band of beloved Walking Dead characters, they were coming up with a plan to fight Negan and the Survivors. Without a plan, they spent much of the previous season just reacting to a bad situation – they thought they had all the information they needed on Negan, and took out one of his outposts, only to learn it was a small segment of his followers, and **spoiler alert** people died.

While no one is going to die without a content marketing plan, a rigorous, strategic plan can turn what is haphazard actions taken with fingers crossed into an efficient formula for building your online reputation into something that works for you. A plan combats the two issues we addressed with hit-or-miss content marketing last week,

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Combatting the Zombiefication of Legal Content Marketing with Data

Grunge cracked zombie virus concept background with some soft smooth lines

On all The Walking Dead quizzes I’ve taken, the results always show that I’m a Carol (TWD fans, you know what I mean).

But we’re not fighting actual walkers (or Saviors) – just the zombiefication of legal content marketing that’s been happening over the last couple of years as the patina wears off on our shiny new toy of content. Who’s with me?

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Combatting the Zombiefication of Legal Content Marketing with Breakthrough Storytelling

Grunge cracked zombie virus concept background with some soft smooth lines

17 million people watched the October 23rd premiere of the 7th season of The Walking Dead.

Although the show is wildly popular because of its writing and its character development, it’s safe to say that it’s also a huge hit because, well, zombies.

Zombies may not be the biggest threat facing our friends on TWD at the moment, but it turns out that zombie-thinking IS the biggest threat facing our content marketing efforts in the legal industry.

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How Lawyers Can Stand Out from the Competition on Instagram

photo-1467501556106-31d7a35cc25dNo one is more surprised than I am that one of my most popular posts here on Zen is “Instagram: How Lawyers Can Use it & Get Noticed.” I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – I really doubt that using Instagram is going to bring you business as a lawyer. BUT, I do think it’s an important tool for you to know how to use for two reasons:

  1. It’s another tool to have in your arsenal, and one you should know how to use, especially with its staggering usage statistics (plus, it’s fun to use and engage with).
  2. It’s fairly likely that your clients are using it either as individuals or as companies, so even if you, yourself, don’t use it, you should understand how it works and the potential pitfalls, to be a good advocate for your clients (that’s true for all social media by the way).
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Holy Guacamole! An Employee’s Disparaging and Misleading Tweets May Be Protected Under the NLRA

Retail employers dismayed by employees publicly airing workplace grievances in disparaging social media posts must think twice before taking disciplinary action.  On August 18, 2016, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) confirmed the finding by Administrative Law Judge Susan A. Flynn that Chipotle’s social media policy forbidding employees from posting “incomplete” or “ inaccurate” information, or from making “disparaging, false, or misleading statements” on Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites violates Section 8(a)(1) of the National Relations Labor Act (“the Act”).

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How Lawyers Can Embrace Instagram Stories

photo-1469013078550-305e63b7c8f7Back in February, we talked about how lawyers can use Instagram to get noticed. Instagram still continues to dominate when it comes to social media, and whether you’re using it yourself, or you just want to have a better understanding of how it works because your clients are using it, it’s a great tool. That being said, I still stand by what I said at the end of my last post:

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Creating a Cohesive Digital Strategy Across Your Firm

bag-and-handsI love bringing guest voices to Zen to share some wisdom with you, and today, I am fortunate to introduce a legal marketer and friend of mine, Jennifer Simpson Carr. Jenn has led business development and communications efforts at national law firms for nearly ten years.  She has a passion for strategic communications and recently earned a Mini-MBA in Digital Marketing from Rutgers Business Schoo

I got to know Jenn when she was working with ILN member firm, Davis & Gilbert, in New York, and we’ve stayed in touch as her career and family have taken her all over the country. This is her first foray into blogging, offering an excellent recap of the roundtable session she led during last week’s Law Firm Marketing & Business Development Forum, with some important takeaways on creating a digital strategy across your firm. Let’s give her a warm welcome! 

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I had the pleasure of attending The American Lawyer’s 7th Annual Law Firm Marketing & Business Development Forum last week in New York.  Throughout the two day program, industry leaders covered topics ranging from industry disrupters, to defining value, to communications.  I also had the privilege of leading a roundtable session on, “Creating a Cohesive Digital Strategy Across Your Firm.”  As the use of digital marketing by the legal industry is growing, we decided to discuss fundamental questions around creating and maintaining a successful digital strategy.  (I reminded attendees that when I started working in law firms, the core of our “digital strategy” was SEO and measuring email campaign metrics.)  It has been exciting to watch as the role of digital has evolved within law firms.

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAOGAAAAJGQ2ZDVmNjBiLWEyMjYtNGU3Ni04MzBhLTU3MDZmMTk3MjY0ZAWe had a fantastic group of participants who shared challenges, opportunities and war success stories from the trenches.  In the end, I think the best way to ensure digital success in your organization is to go back to the basics.  Here are my thoughts:

  • Document: Your digital strategy is part of your communications strategy.  While the concept of “digital marketing” may feel rather new at some firms, it is, and should be documented as, part of your overall integrated communications plan.  It should seamlessly support your branding and messaging efforts.
  • Measure: Define your KPIs [Key Performance Indicators] and how you plan to measure success.  A multitude of data points are available, so be clear up front on which matter most to your organization, your campaign and achieving your goals.  Then, use the data to adjust and develop a smarter strategy.
  • Train: Resistance to the use of digital, especially social, can be a hurdle.  Provide training.  Explain the target audience and goals for engaging in each of the various platforms, and the benefits for both the firm and individual users. Help users identify which platform(s) are best suited for their practice and to support individual goals.  Provide guidelines, discuss strategy and answer questions.  The more comfortable users feel, the more inclined they will be to participate (and stick with it).
  • Prepare: Plan ahead for questions, comments and (yes) any potential crisis that could arise.  Prepare an anticipated Q&A sheet around campaigns; provide users with pre-written replies that answer questions or link to relevant information.  Jennifer Connelly, CEO of JConnelly, says that you must have a crisis communications plan in place — even if it isn’t perfect, you are one step ahead.  Crisis planning is critical to the preparedness of any communications team.
  • Content: Melissa Croteau, Principal of M Croteau Consulting, says content should be “client focused and value based.”  Focus on your clients’ needs and add value, rather than simply summarizing an issue. Tell readers how the issue impacts their business.  Interactive and visual content, such as infographics, can make the most impact, most quickly.
  • Confidence: Don’t be afraid to explore new strategies and take risks.  Barbara Tannenbaum, Senior Lecturer at Brown University, says that to build confidence, you must first fail and realize that you will get through it.

I am very grateful to the attendees who chose to participate in our roundtable session, share ideas and learn together.

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ILN Today Post

Regulators Scrutinize Social Media Campaigns

2015 saw greater regulatory scrutiny of social media marketing campaigns. Specifically, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) advised on social media promotions, online influencers, and online reviews.

In an update to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about its Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (the FTC Endorsement Guides), the FTC reiterated that entries into a contest in return for an endorsement required a clear and conspicuous disclosure that the post was incentivized.

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Two Ways to Make Social Media Work for You

photo-1416453072034-c8dbfa2856b5Although social media has been around for a while (and isn’t going anywhere), there’s still this idea in the legal industry and even among many legal marketers that it’s a game, or a waste of time.

But social media, when used strategically and correctly, can actually be about relationship-building and business development.

I could go into a long diatribe about why this is true, what the statistics say to support it, or even start a series about the various tips and tricks you could be using in your own practices for better use of social media – but I won’t.

I will say that, like any other marketing tactic, it’s not for everyone. It’s a tool to be considered and used as part of your overall arsenal, if and when it meets with the goals that you’ve set out and the strategy that you’ve developed. Just as importantly though, don’t discount it as being “for kids” simply because it’s something that you’ve seen your own children using, or you think it’s only big with celebrities, or you’ve heard that it’s somewhere that people can waste hours.

No one embraced the telephone right away either, and now you keep one in your pocket.

(And if people are determined to waste time somewhere, they’ll find a way to do it, whether it’s on Facebook, or on personal calls, or playing games on a non-internet connected device).

All of that being said, this week, I’d like to talk about two concrete ways that social media can work for you – specifically and successfully.

Tip One: Blogging as a Relationship Builder

Kevin O’Keefe of LexBlog has long espoused blogging as more than just a platform for putting your thoughts down on paper, so to speak. If used strategically, it’s actually a way to meet the people that you want to meet. Let’s look at an example – in January, I blogged about Two Tools to Turn Trends into Topics, which was based off of a blog post written by Ann Smarty over at the Content Marketing Institute. I often look to CMI for inspiration when I’m blogging, and it’s the second time I’ve referenced Ann in a post that I’ve written for Zen – she writes good stuff.

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Ted Goloff to speak at the University of Ottawa

March 14, 2016 — This Tuesday, March 15, Theodore Goloff will be speaking to students in connection with the course on media law taught by Prof. Karin Eltis of the Faculty of Civil Law of the University of Ottawa.

The theme of Mr. Goloff’s talk will be “Internet, social media, privacy — A new life for both employee and employer in Canada? Reflections on the impact on employer-employee contracts and relations.”

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