Tag Archives: social media

NLRB Finds Computer Use Rule Interfered with Union Election – Employment Law This Week

A featured story on Employment Law This Week is the NLRB’s crackdown on employers restricting the content of personal emails sent through the employer’s email system.

In 2014, the NLRB ruled that employees who have email through their employers can use that email to communicate about union-related issues. In a recent election at Blommer Chocolate Company, the union claimed that company email rules interfered with the voting process. Employees were allowed to use the company’s email system for personal emails, but were prohibited from expressing personal opinions in their emails to coworkers. The NLRB found that this rule interfered with elections and that a second election should occur. One of the questions that arises from this ruling is the issue of where the line is between what employers can prohibit – harassment, for example – and what they cannot.

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Two Ways to Use LinkedIn to Attract Your Ideal Client

photo-1433170897235-615700336230Of all the social media platforms out there, I’d venture to say that LinkedIn is the one that lawyers are most comfortable using. It has a reputation for being the most professional, and as a result, it’s had the widest adoption within the industry. In recent years, LinkedIn has really expanded their offerings, and provided a robust, deep platform that allows us to engage in new ways, all which make it an even more valuable platform than it was at the beginning.

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NLRB Rejects Employer’s Attempt to Restrict Content of Employees’ Emails Sent Over the Employer’s Email System

The recent decision by the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or the “Board”) in Blommer Chocolate Company of California (PDF) addresses one of the issues left open in the wake of the Board’s earlier ruling in Purple Communications, Inc. – namely, the extent to which an employer may regulate the content of its employees’ emails sent over the workplace email system.  In Purple Communications, the Board concluded that an employee who is permitted to use the employer’s email system for non-work purposes is presumptively permitted to use that email system (during non-work time) to communicate with others about union-related issues.  While the Board did preserve an employer’s right to monitor its email system for “legitimate management reasons,” such as ensuring productivity or preventing harassment, it did not expressly define the contours of an employer’s ability to regulate the content of employees’ emails sent over the workplace email system.

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The Student Comittee is also on Facebook!

Don’t hesitate to follow us on our Facebook page as we’ll share on this platform additional content and news from the firm!

Have a great weekend!

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Instagram: How Lawyers Can Use it & Get Noticed

iSGu85T8TXS9zXJ20iBU__MG_9585With Instagram finally announcing yesterday that they’re offering multi-account support (yay!) from within the app, it’s an appropriate time to talk about some marketing strategies for how to get noticed for using Instagram professionally. 

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Three Ways to Motivate Lawyers to Content Marketing Success

photo-1429051883746-afd9d56fbdafBefore we jump into our regularly scheduled post, I wanted to mention that the Legal Marketing Association has put together several of the sessions from the Bay Area Chapter’s Legal Tech Conference, which are available as a webinar series – members can download them for free, and non-members get them at a rate which is really a bargain, considering the depth of content offered. One of the sessions is the panel I participated on with Adrian Lurssen of JD Supra and Laura Toledo of Nilan Johnson & Lewis, but as an independent attendee for the other sessions, I can say that the content was really smart and thoughtful, and would be well worth the time and cost invested! So I share the link with you in the event that you’d like to take a look at it – descriptions of the sessions offered with this bundle are included.

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Two Tools to Turn Trends into Topics

200HWhile you don’t need to break the news to be a successful content marketer in the legal industry (and in many cases, it’s really better if you don’t), it doesn’t mean that you have to stay away from writing about or producing content for the latest trends. You may think that because someone else has already weighed in on something, that you shouldn’t add to the commentary out there – but you may have something valuable to say, or a different perspective to add.

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ILN Today Post

Social Media – Maximising Consumer Engagement Without Breaking the Law

Did you miss our recent Melbourne and Sydney seminar “Social Media: How to Maximise Consumer Engagement without Breaching the Law”? Do you want to watch any part of it again to refresh your memory? Or do you want your marketers, agency or legal team to see the seminar? Well it’s your lucky day! We filmed the Melbourne session and it is now available with the slides embedded for your viewing pleasure.

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Content Marketing ≠ Social Media

iStock_000016006182Small“Social media.”

“Content marketing.”

These terms are thrown around willy nilly these days, because in addition to everything else we’re doing in our daily professional lives, the accessibility of LinkedIn, Facebook, blogging platforms, SnapChat, Vimeo, YouTube, etc. has turned us all into social media and content marketing practitioners.

But while social and digital media are inextricably linked with content marketing, it’s important to distinguish them – they are NOT, in fact, the same thing, and shouldn’t be considered interchangeable. In today’s Two for Tuesdays, while it may seem a bit elementary to some of you out there, it’s come to my attention that there’s some confusion around the difference between social media and content marketing. We’re going to look at the difference between the two (I’ll start with the short version, then delve into the long one), and why it’s important not to confuse them. 

The short version: Content marketing is the creation and distribution of a substantive, well-defined message (the content) to a specific audience while social media are the distribution tools that can be used in the dissemination process of content marketing (or as a relationship-building and networking tool in pursuit of a marketing goal).

Content marketing is the stuff, social media is the tools used to get that stuff to people. 

Now, the long version:

Content marketing

For the official definition, let’s go to my favorite source, the Content Marketing Institute. CMI says:

Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”

To many of you, this may sound like something that is too “out there,” but really, it’s likely something you’ve been doing all along. What’s new to many lawyers and law firms is two things – first, that we have a name for it, “content marketing,” and second, that we’re creating strategy around it. Lawyers and law firms have always created content – you’ve put together client alerts, done presentations, authored articles, and in more recent years, created videos, written blog posts, tweeted, Facebooked, LinkedIn, etc.

But now, we’re thinking about it a little bit more strategically, so that you can be efficient and not waste time. You ask, “Who do I want my clients to be, and who will be most interested in what I have to say?” Then you ask, “where are they, and how do I talk to them in a way that they’re interested in and will catch their attention?” Once you know that, you create your content and deliver it. Then you engage with your audience to see what resonates, how else you can help them, etc. Rinse, and repeat.

Importantly:

Content marketing’s purpose is to attract and retain customers by consistently creating and curating relevant and valuable content with the intention of changing or enhancing consumer behavior. It is an ongoing process that is best integrated into your overall marketing strategy, and it focuses on owning media, not renting it.

Basically, content marketing is the art of communicating with your customers and prospects without selling. It is non-interruption marketing. Instead of pitching your products or services, you are delivering information that makes your buyer more intelligent. The essence of this content strategy is the belief that if we, as businesses, deliver consistent, ongoing valuable information to buyers, they ultimately reward us with their business and loyalty.”

Let’s reword this from a legal standpoint, so it sounds less sales-y:

Content marketing’s purpose is to attract and retain clients by consistently creating and curating relevant and valuable information with the intention of changing or enhancing client interactions. It is an ongoing process that is best integrated into your overall business development strategy, and it focuses on content that you control, as opposed to content that you don’t.

Basically, content marketing is the art of communicating with your clients and potential clients without selling. It is non-interruption communication. Instead of pitching your legal services, you are delivering information that makes your clients and potential clients more intelligent. The essence of this content strategy is the belief that if we, as lawyers and law firms, deliver consistent, ongoing valuable information to clients and potential clients, they ultimately reward us with their business and loyalty.”

That doesn’t sound so bad, right? Right.

Social Media

But content marketing ≠ social media.

Social media is actually PART OF a content marketing strategy, because they are a delivery mechanism. The definition of “social media” has actually made its way into the Merriam Webster dictionary:

forms of electronic communication (as Web sites for social networking and microblogging) through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content (as videos)”

Social media is the technology that you use to share content (and engage with people). Wikipedia does an even better job of describing it:

Social media has been broadly defined to refer to ‘the many relatively inexpensive and widely accessible electronic tools that enable anyone to publish and access information, collaborate on a common effort, or build relationships.’”

When used in conjunction with content marketing, it’s a delivery mechanism to publish information (also collaboration and research, but that’s getting a bit more advanced than we’re aiming for here).

Examples of social media include Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, SnapChat, Tumblr, Reddit, Instagram, Blogger and many more. It can be a means of publishing your content, or a means of sharing content that you’ve published elsewhere. But it is not the same thing as content marketing itself – and the distinction is an important one.

As we head into 2016, there will continue to be more and more discussion of social media and content marketing. There are some other things you should know:

  • Content marketing is not new to lawyers and law firms: the language around it is new, and using strategy around it is new.
  • We have already entered an era of “content marketing 2.0″ within law firms – it’s not just getting started. Firms are already producing content and sharing it with highly targeted audiences, carefully tracking and monitoring analytics, and then using those analytics to inform their next steps to improve their content marketing programs.
  • The next phase, and what a number of experts are talking about, is segmentation. Even though law firms and lawyers with sophisticated content marketing programs are already targeting their audiences carefully, there is less segmentation than is really ideal.  Firms are starting to explore the idea that more segmentation is necessary, in order to allow their audiences to only get the information they really want, and to better filter out the noise. This is for the benefit of everyone.
  • However, that doesn’t mean the volume of content decreases. Every day someone else jumps on the content bandwagon. Just remember, quality ALWAYS trumps quantity. If you want to be involved in delivering valuable content to your clients and potential clients, ensure that you’re focused on quality, using the right distribution tools, and having a deep understanding of your audience.
  • Part of understanding your audience is understanding the tools, and knowing what tools they use. Not every social media tool is right for you. I may love Twitter, but maybe my clients aren’t there. And if they are there, how are THEY using it? How do THEY want to consume information? Do they want to watch an hour long video, or do they want quick soundbytes that are actionable? Always be asking yourself about what your audience wants, and do that.

 

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Beware of vote and “like” buying for promotional contests

Social media sites are becoming increasingly popular for marketing a company’s goods or services. Facebook is commonly used to promote sweepstakes and contests intended to attract new customers and increase “likes.”  However, if a contest contains a popularity feature, such as a photo contest where the public can vote on which image they prefer, it is ripe to be overrun by fraudulent votes.

There are numerous businesses organized to deliver votes or “likes” for a fee to participants in such contests, even though Facebook prohibits such practices.  These companies create thousands of fake Facebook profiles and sell their votes for small amounts.  In addition, there are “vote exchanges” operating on Facebook where participants offer to vote for each other’s entries in contests.

A contest that attracts a large number of fraudulent votes is not accomplishing the company’s goal of obtaining actual new customers and is likely to anger legitimate customers who are playing fair.  Although contest rules often prohibit the use of “bots” and fraudulent activity in general, they do not usually contain specific prohibitions of vote or “like” buying or vote/like exchanges.  Detecting the fraudulent activity can be time-consuming and hit-or-miss.  There may even be entrants who are buying votes for their competitors, hoping that the company will detect those votes and disqualify the competitor!

Running a contest where the company rather than the public chooses the winner(s), using voting criteria for the judging that are specified in the contest rules, is more likely to attract legitimate customers for the company’s goods or services and legitimate fans for its Facebook or other social media pages than a straight popularity contest.  The judging criteria can be as simple as the quality of the submission and creative use of the company’s product.  Low monetary value prizes will also discourage entrants from paying for votes.  The lower the prize, the less the entrant will be willing to pay to buy votes.

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