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You’re not a dog

  1. 1. You’re Not A Dog: Putting Your Best Foot Forward Online Gyi Tsakalakis @gyitsakalakis gt@attorneysync.com
  2. 2. “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.” New Yorker cartoon by Peter Steiner.
  3. 3. Are You A Dog? Information About Legal Services Rule 7.1 Communications Concerning A Lawyer's Services A lawyer shall not make a false or misleading communication about the lawyer or the lawyer's services. A communication is false or misleading if it contains a material misrepresentation of fact or law, or omits a fact necessary to make the statement considered as a whole not materially misleading.
  4. 4. Social Mantras Listen. Regularly monitor the comments about you, your firm, your subject matter. Ask. Ask questions to glean valuable insights and show that you are listening. Respond. Respond to questions, compliments and feedback in real time. Reward. Tweet updates about firm news, awards, successes, changes in law, etc. Demonstrate wider leadership and know-how. Reference articles and links about the bigger picture as it relates to your practice. Champion your stakeholders. Publicize and reply publicly to great shares posted by your friends. Establish the right voice. Use a direct, genuine, and of course, a likable tone from your practice, but think about your voice as you share. How do you want your practice to appear to your community? Share. Share photos and behind the scenes info about your practice. Even better, give a glimpse of developing projects and events. Users want the latest authentic information, so give it to them!
  5. 5. Cocktails! “Lately, when people hear the term social media, they tend to think of the fairly new developments of sites such as Facebook and Twitter, but in reality, social media has been around as long as we have been social and used media. Letters to the editor in traditional print newspapers are an example of social media.” - Vanessa Fox (Marketing in the Age of Google, pp. 185-186)
  6. 6. Who, What & How • Who are my audiences? • What are my audiences looking for online? • Where are my audiences looking online? • When people look, what do they find? • Why are people looking online? • How can I deliver information that supplies their demand?
  7. 7. The Social Big 3 Maybe 4…
  8. 8. More Ways To Be Social • Blogging • Commenting on news stories. • Commenting on social platforms. • Commenting on blogs. • Video • Slideshare • JD Supra • Question / Answer Sites • Avvo • Reviews
  9. 9. No Ads!
  10. 10. Public & Permanent Even if it seems private, assume that everything you do online is public & permanent.
  11. 11. Online Participation Guidelines Rule 1.6 Confidentiality of Information Rule 3.6 Trial Publicity Rule 4.1 Truthfulness in Statements to Others Rule 7.1 Communication Concerning a Lawyer's Services Rule 7.2 Advertising Rule 7.3 Direct Contact with Prospective Clients Rule 7.4 Communication of Fields of Practice and Specialization Rule 8.2 Judicial and Legal Officials Social Media Policy?
  12. 12. Fear Itself Of course, be conscientious of your state’s ethics rules. But, don’t be afraid. Are you afraid of your cell phone? Are you afraid of email? Spend time learning and listening.
  13. 13. You Be You
  14. 14. Avoid Stock Images
  15. 15. Avoid Stock Identities
  16. 16. #1 Rule Authenticity
  17. 17. A Process: Listening http://www.google.com/alerts
  18. 18. Reader www.google.com/reader
  19. 19. Find A Topic
  20. 20. Effective Writing ‘for a blog to be successful your content needs to be useful and unique to your readers’ ‘Start with the customer – find out what they want and give it to them.’ - Darren Rowse (ProBlogger.com)
  21. 21. Information Supply & Demand Effective Writing = Supplying the online demand for information of your target audiences.
  22. 22. Share Your Post & Engage in Discussion
  23. 23. Testimonials? Florida RULE 4-7.2 COMMUNICATIONS CONCERNING A LAWYER’S SERVICES (1) Statements About Legal Services. A lawyer shall not make or permit to be made a false, misleading, or deceptive communication about the lawyer or the lawyer’s services. A communication violates this rule if it: (J) contains a testimonial.
  24. 24. What Not To Do: Webspam In computing, spamdexing (also known as search spam, search engine spam, web spam or search engine poisoning) is the deliberate manipulation of search engine indexes. It involves a number of methods, such as repeating unrelated phrases, to manipulate the relevance or prominence of resources indexed in a manner inconsistent with the purpose of the indexing system. Some consider it to be a part of search engine optimization, though there are many search engine optimization methods that improve the quality and appearance of the content of web sites and serve content useful to many users. Search engines use a variety of algorithms to determine relevancy ranking. Some of these include determining whether the search term appears in the META keywords tag, others whether the search term appears in the body text or URL of a web page. Many search engines check for instances of spamdexing and will remove suspect pages from their indexes. Also, people working for a search-engine organization can quickly block the results-listing from entire websites that use spamdexing, perhaps alerted by user complaints of false matches. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spamdexing
  25. 25. Comment Spam FACT: Abusing comment fields of innocent sites is a bad and risky way of getting links to your site. If you choose to do so, you are tarnishing other people's hard work and lowering the quality of the web, transforming a potentially good resource of additional information into a list of nonsense keywords. FACT: Comment spammers are often trying to improve their site's organic search ranking by creating dubious inbound links to their site. Google has an understanding of the link graph of the web, and has algorithmic ways of discovering those alterations and tackling them. At best, a link spammer might spend hours doing spammy linkdrops which would count for little or nothing because Google is pretty good at devaluing these types of links. Think of all the more productive things one could do with that time and energy that would provide much more value for one's site in the long run. - Google Webmaster Central Blog
  26. 26. Spam Police
  27. 27. My Advice Don’t Spam.
  28. 28. Measuring It How do I know whether this “stuff” is “working”?
  29. 29. Are They Subscribing? Subscribers – How many people are subscribing to your blog? Subscribing to a blog is a much bigger commitment than following a Twitter account. These readers have read your stuff and thought, this is good, I’d like to hear more from this author. They opted- in to receiving your content either in their reader or even in their inbox. That’s a pretty powerful endorsement.
  30. 30. Are They Commenting? Comments – Comments were the social web before the social web. They were one of the first ways that we communicated with one another online. Motivating a reader to leave a comment usually means that you’ve engaged that reader. It also means that you’re fostering community and discussion through your writing. Whether a comment agrees, disagrees, compliments or insults you, the fact that someone cared enough to leave a comment means that you’re doing something right. No one commenting on your posts/articles? Be critical of yourself. Ask yourself what you’re doing wrong. Chances are that it’s you, not them.
  31. 31. Are They Sharing You? Shares – Similar to subscribes, natural social shares are a strong indicator of how your content is being received online. I’m not talking about auto shares, shares by your marketer or artificial shares that you paid for. I’m talking about real people sharing and discussing your content. Whether it’s on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook or somewhere else online, whether or not your content is being shares speaks volumes.
  32. 32. Are They Linking? Natural Links – Still the gold standard of online editorial endorsement, natural links to your posts are a powerful indicator of effectiveness. It usually means that you not only connected with a reader, it often means you inspired them to publish something and reference you as a source. Of course, motivating someone to publish and link to your site is challenging. Which is why it has so much value. Which is also why Google’s ultimate quest is to distinguish these natural link endorsements from those that are artificial.
  33. 33. Discussions? Discussions – Measuring the number of tweets you send? The number of followers you have? Here’s an idea, measure the number of discussions you have. And measure with whom you’re having these discussions. Marketers? Spammers? Real people in your industry?
  34. 34. Time? How much time should I spend doing this stuff? - How much time do you spend doing other types of communication? - How much time do you budget to networking? - How much time do you dedicate to other business development activities. Make small investments at first. Don’t spend hours tweeting, liking, etc. 10 minutes morning commute, waiting in court, at lunch, etc. Make largest time investments into developing content that people might actually want to read and share.
  35. 35. Thank You! +Gyi Tsakalakis • @gyitsakalakis gt@attorneysync.com

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