Fifth Post: Module Eight: Best Practices for Blogging

Identify some best practices for blogging/tweeting. Does your industry employ some of these best practices? Include references and analysis of various resources in this course, including the textbooks (via quotes and hyperlinks).Image

After several weeks in this social media course, I feel like I have learned so much, especially in the blogging world! I started out not knowing a thing about blogs and have never created one before either and now look at me! ūüôā I think you can really tell from comparison to my first blog post to this most current, even though I still am pretty amateur at this, I have gotten better. In this post I will discuss some best practices for using Twitter from the social media expert and author of “The Tao of Twitter,” Mark Schaefer and also some best practices and tips for a successful blog from the co-author’s of “Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies,” Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff.

Twitter: Best Practices for the Tweeter

Twitter can be difficult to get started in, especially if you never have used it before. But Mark Schaefer does a really great job in breaking things down and how to you turn Twitter from your worst enemy to your best friend, in his book The Tao of Twitter. Some examples from this book are as follow:

As a beginner to Twitter try tweeting at least 3 times/day at various times in the day. Tweet about something interesting, that people might like to know about.front-cover

Try getting more involved, start following people in your industry, read their posts, re-tweet, and respond to other users’ messages/comments.

Tweet in the moment and tweet often. More people will likely follow you if you are active on Twitter rather than tweeting only once a week.

The thing that stuck in my head after reading the book is that Twitter and all these social media outlets is not just about selling to people and networking, its about making genuine connections. As Schaefer always says “the social web isn’t about search engine optimization or keywords or B2B or B2C, it’s all about P2P‚ÄĒperson to person connections.” (p.17)

best-blogging-practicesBlogging: Tips for the New Blogger

I have found out from experience that blogging is so much fun! I would of never thought I could or would even want to create a blog, but I am glad I got the chance to! Below are some tips for blogging from the Groundswell book:

¬†“Start by listening”¬†– To get a good feel about what your interested in, start looking up different blogs and read them, see what people are talking about and what is trending. For companies, try to ¬†monitor other competitors and see what is being said in your industry.

“Determine a goal for the blog”¬†– After you know what’s being said out there, choose a goal for your blog (personal or business), knowing what you want and where you want your blog to head is a great way to start coming up with post ideas.

“Estimate the ROI”¬†– This tip is for your companies blog or if you have your own company, create a spreadsheet of how you think this blog will pay off and what costs will go into the blog.

“Develop a plan”¬†– Who will be posting to the blog? Just one person or will there be multiple people involved? Having a plan will not only ensure that you will always have enough content on your blog but it will allow for new ideas for your blog that you alone may not have thought of.

“Rehearse”¬†– Before you make your blog available to the public, make sure you will be successful in the blogging world. Practice writing up some content first, if you cant keep a good pace of about 5 posts, then you may need to keep practicing before putting your stuff out there.

“Develop an editorial process”¬†– Make sure you have plenty of back-up for your blog. If the main people who would usually approve the blog posts are out of the office then have someone who would also be able to give approval. In many cases, items may be time sensitive and the faster you get your blog post out, the better.

“Design the blog and its connection to your site”¬†– Your blog and your company website should still have your brand all around and should essentially have the same feel to it. A reader should be able to know that from reading and looking at your blog that it is from your company. Also you should decide whether or not to feature the blog on your company’s main website. My company definitely showcases our blog and the our mobile app on the landing page.

“Develop a marketing plan so people can find the blog”¬†– How are you going to tell people about your blog? How should you be promoting it, so that all the people that would be interested can get access? Press releases, marketing mailings (internal and external), newsletters, and etc. all are great ways to promote your blog.

“Remember blogging is more than writing”¬†– Remember to always respond to comments posted on your blog, social media is about interaction with other people and blogging isn’t just about what your thoughts are but an exchange of ideas with others. For your company’s blog, it is also very important to actively monitor for offensive comments and keep those off of your site. Check out this website and found out¬†99 Ways to Promote Your Blog!

“Be honest”¬†– I think this tip speaks for itself. Make sure your blog is as genuine as you are in real life. ūüôāLetsBeHonest

References:

Li, C., & Bernoff, J. (2011). Groundswell: winning in a world transformed by social technologies (expanded + revised ed.). Boston: Harvard Business Press.

Schaefer, M. W. (2012). The Tao of Twitter: changing your life and business 140 characters at a time. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Images Retrieved From:

 http://prettyprovidence.com/blogging-101/

http://onemomsbattle.com/2012/04/30/national-honesty-day/

http://socialnicole.com/best-blogging-practices-for-business/

http://www.businessesgrow.com/tag/tao-of-twitter/

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Fourth post: Module Seven: Social Marketing Brands and Risk

In your industry, discuss the challenges and risks experienced with taking the brand social, or not taking the brand social. Include current examples to support your conclusions:

SM_Caution_for_Invite_flat

The legal industry has many general issues concerning with conflicts, risks, sensitivity and that is no exception with social media brand marketing. You have to be extra careful with that type of information you put out for the public to read and you also have to be aware that your competitors will be reading your posts too. Utilizing social media outlets to promote your brand is a great way to share your services and skills to a wide range of audiences, which is also great for self-promoting and to quickly spread the word about something innovating your company has just released. Of course there are going to be both pros and cons to taking your brand social. There are a whole bunch of legal issues and liability risks involved with a company using social media, but not using social media at all could put your company at a disadvantage when it comes to brand recognition.

According to a white paper article authored two attorneys from Venable law firm, some issues to be cognizant about when using the power of social media is:

  • ¬†Trademark and Copyright Issues – Protecting your company’s brand and intellectual property is very important and also not abusing other company’s trademarks and copyrights when posting online is also important. ¬†A company should always closely monitor what is being posted on their behalf and what others are saying about them. Many companies have been impersonated and that sort of thing can ruin your brand and reputation and even if you decide not to use social media, someone else not affiliated with your company can create a fake account and start posting on behalf of your company. If you are not monitoring, you would have no clue what damages have been done.
  • ¬†All social media outlets (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn…etc.) should have their own terms and conditions when creating an account and a company should have their own when it comes to how their employees are using social media outlets. Having these terms and conditions can prevent your company and their employees from using social media in an “unlawful” manner. Keeping your employees updated on social media usage do’s and don’ts is one factor that will make your social media efforts successful, knowledge is always key.

Internal-Social-Network

Jan Hertzberg and Matthew Thompson (2013), authors of “Managing Your Company’s Social Media Risks,” lists some tips on how companies can manage the risks and liabilities of social media:

  1. “Understand and assess risks” – In order to manage and monitor the risks in using social media, a company must know what they are first and to understand what is at risk.
  2. “Define your strategy” – Once a company knows all the risks, the next step is to create a plan on how to assess the risks and the issues that may come up. Have a plan on as many situations that may arise and the steps to take on how to resolve those issues.
  3. “Involve all the right people” – Make sure that not only the human resources and the marketing department is involved in social media efforts, but that the IT department, communications, internal audit and legal/compliance departments are also involved too. Each department has an integral role in protecting a company’s brand and making sure that everything is in compliance with the firm’s policy and laws.
  4. “Monitor and manage feedback” –¬†Make sure you have a monitoring system in place, know who is saying what, who to reply to and how to reply. Also make sure that negative comments and feedback to tended to in a timely manner. Once negative feedback spreads, it can be hard to stop the groundswell.

References

http://www.baselinemag.com/social-media/managing-your-companys-social-media-risks

http://www.venable.com/files/Publication/b4f467b9-0666-4b36-b021-351540962d65/Presentation/PublicationAttachment/019f4e5f-d6f8-4eeb-af43-40a4323b9ff1/Social_Media_white_paper.pdf

Images Retrieved from:

http://www.socialmediaexplorer.com/social-media-marketing/using-an-internal-social-network-to-solve-real-business-problems/

http://blog.ketchum.com/social-media-risks-rewards/

Third post: Module Six: Mobile Applications

Identify and discuss a mobile social media application in your industry that drives business services or products to consumers or other businesses. What success has the application enjoyed? How was success measured?

Mobile applications is all about having convenience just in the palm of your hand. My department has created a mobile app, as I have mentioned before in my earlier posts, the app is called¬†Patent App[eals], which includes PDFs of all patent-related Federal Circuit decisions dating back to 2001.¬†A user can search on keywords, judges, dates of decisions, lower court from which the case was appealed, case name, case number, and whether or not a case was heard en banc. In addition, cases summarized by our attorneys in the firm’s¬†newsletters also include the Finnegan case summary. We soft launched the app back in May but are still in the process of formally announcing it. The app is currently available in the iTunes store for the iPhone and the iPad:¬†https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/patent-app-eals/id623855865?mt=8 and in Google Play for the Android:¬†https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.hdi.finnegan&hl=en.

The Patent app’s main purpose isn’t to make money and we know that, but its a great way to promote our firm’s success and past work we have done. It could potentially create new business for us and it’s also great to show our competitors that we are ahead in the game and that we are keeping up with (social media) technology.

PatentApp1PatentApp

Other law firms according to a recent 2013 article, “Law firms offer mobile apps to attract new clients”, by Abigail Caplovitz Field mentions that O’Melveny & Myers and Latham & Watkins also have created their own apps which focus on the type of legal services their firm provides. The main similarities between these two firms’ apps and my firm is that all our apps is that the apps are more information focused. Latham & Watkins’s app focuses on anti-bribery and corruption; O’Melveny & Myers focuses on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA); and my firms’ app focuses on our court decision summaries. Another similarity the article mentions is that these apps are also mostly just downloaded by the employees, their friends or clients. So it may seem that mobile applications for law firms are still very early in its stages compared to the rest of world but that still doesn’t stop us from trying.

References

http://www.corporatesecretary.com/articles/technology-social-media/12493/law-firms-offer-mobile-apps-attract-new-clientsmay-buck-trend-opoorly-law-firm/

Image retrieved from https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/patent-app-eals/id623855865?mt=8

Second Post: Module Five – Social Media in the Legal Industry

Discuss the current state of social media within your industry. What tools does your industry use or should use to improve their standings in the social media environment?

As we all know, social media is booming! It is everywhere and now it is very rare to find someone who doesn’t use any form of social media at all. The industry that I currently work in is Legal Marketing, which is working in the Marketing Department at a law firm. The law firm I work for focuses on Intellectual Property work (i.e. patents, trademark, etc.) I have heard that law firms that only focus on one main type of work often fail, but it seems like we are doing great!

Our law firm implements many different social media tools to stay in the game and make our accomplishments known. The marketing department has created a Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn company account. We also have a PR specialist who is actively contributing to our America Invents Act (AIA) Blog and always writing press releases. Our attorneys all have LinkedIn accounts, which the marketing department also creates for them. We try to post at least once a day on each of the social media platforms about events we may be hosting and where our attorneys will be giving presentations or webinars. Our company also is very active in creating mobile phone apps and have released a new patent app available on iPhones and Andriods. To keep track of our international clients in Israel and China, our offices use CRM tool Salesforce along with our main CRM database LexisNexis InterAction, so that we can strongly manage our client relationships. Since the most important aspect of social media is about the relationships people have with each other, those tools are a must in any industry and especially in the legal sectors.

Image   Image               Image      salesforce

Our firm has about 150 fans on Facebook, over 2000 followers on LinkedIn, and about 1600 followers on Twitter. For a law firm, it makes sense that we have more followers on LinkedIn than any other social media outlet. Although I do believe that our firm is ahead of many of the other competitor law firms, the legal industry needs to get involved in social media all together. What is also great about department is that we are always looking for new tools and are always open in trying something new. Taking this social media class, I plan on bringing my ideas to one of our next staff meetings!

Images Retrieved from:

Facebook Logo – http://bit.ly/16hcA1Z

Twitter Logo: http://bit.ly/1ipr1Dt

LinkedIn Logo: http://bit.ly/1akWPdJ

SalesForce Logo: http://bit.ly/16ESAbL