Archive for the ‘ social networking ’ Category

Is live-Tweeting overrated?

Is live-Tweeting overrated?

That’s the question my friend Ben Greenzweig, Momentum Event Group, asked the LME group this morning. And, with multiple people live-tweeting the same sessions at a conference, I can understand why he’s raised the question.

Not too shockingly, many of us have an opinion, and a conversation has begun so head over to the Facebook group to participate fully.

I think many people look at Twitter as a disruptor or distracting from the speaker, as opposed to a tool. They find it rude that someone is tap, tap, tapping away and not listening.

I’ll argue that those people 1) have never tried it, and 2) are not following the conversations on Twitter.

So what are those of us who live-tweet getting out of it?

LMA president Tim Corcoran‘s reasons began as personal, and then evolved:

When I began tweeting from events. It wasn’t to serve the masses or generate a following, it was a convenient way to take permanent notes. The short tweets mirrored what I had been capturing, with my head down, on my notepad for years. I tend now to tweet things others may also find interesting and in return I hope others do the same for events I cannot attend live.*

My answer, obviously, is no. I don’t find it to be overrated.

In addition to being how I take my notes, I find I am more engaged when I am tweeting. Meeting new people. And usually end up meeting the speakers (if they check the twitter feed) and having deeper conversations on the topic.

As a conference organizer, live-tweeting, to me, is not just about today’s event, but it is a marketing opportunity for the next event.

With an active and engaged Twitterverse the energy carries on for days, and not just about the sessions, but about the networking. From your computer you are seeing people connect and engage, as well as highlighting the educational opportunities. From your desktop or mobile device, you can’t help but realize that you are missing out on something.

As a speaker I find it to be an immediate feedback tool:

It’s also an honest/live evaluation. No tweets. They found you boring and with nothing to say. If you suck they will say so. Lots of tweets = good information to pass along.

As a moderator I am able to engage the audience, both live and online, during the Q&A, and also to help me pose a question to the panel during the session:

As a moderator, or panelist, I watch the Twitter feed. Great way to manage questions from the audience. And I always try and pull one from the Twitterverse.

But a conversation is no fun without a debate. John Byrne, co-chair of the 2014 LMA Annual Conference, challenges us as conference attendees:

… whatever happened to an audience member simply raising his/her hand to ask a question? If you’re “virtually” attending, then Twitter is a great way to engage speakers (and maybe the only way). But if you’re in the room, then participate the old-fashioned way. It’s just better and, I daresay, more respectful. And even potentially more disruptive than any other way.

As a moderator, you need to do both.

But when 8 hands go up, the moderator has no control over what those people might ask. This way, your question rises up out of the crowd.

And, let’s face it, how many times has a “question” turned into someone wanting to be the fourth panelist?

Ann Lee Gibson, a leading consultant to law firms and legal marketers, also touches on human nature, and how Twitter is a great buffer:

… adult education research addresses that and related questions. Webinars used in distance-learning have been found to elicit more questions from adults (young or old ones) than classroom IRL does. For various reasons, e.g., feeling intimidated, shy, or “stupid,” or fear of group politics and peer or teacher reprisals, personality typing, etc. many simply won’t ask their questions or volunteer much IRL. Fact of life.

Personally, I have found my conference experience so much more rewarding since the advent of Twitter. Who can forget my brilliant post recapping the 2010 LMA Annual Conference, Me, Twitter, LMA and Laura (Gutierrez) Toledo? It’s still true today.

Social media made my conference. I was part of a community within a community via Twitter. In 140 characters or less, I was connecting with people I really didn’t know too well. We were having a “conference within a conference” and we were growing as the hours went by. The absolutely incredible part is that the Twitter community wasn’t limited to those in Denver, people were joining in from their desktops across cyberspace.

I think the best thing a conference organizer can do is use social media to capture and engage attendees. By doing so, you introduce people, and provide them a platform to engage. They in turn engage their followers, creating more opportunities – via the conference CONTENT – for conversations.

So a few tips for those live-tweeting:

  1. Let the speaker know that you are live-tweeting prior to the program beginning.
  2. Use the conference hashtag on every tweet.
  3. Sit at the blogger/social media table (if provided). Or to the side as to not distract the speakers.
  4. Follow the conference hashtag while tweeting, retweeting or commenting on other perspectives.
  5. Take the time to follow everyone who is using and engaging with the conference hashtag. You are networking, here.
  6. Don’t use this time to battle with trolls, or bash speakers.
  7. Use this time to provide thanks and praise.
  8. If the stream is full, bow out and let others lead. Retweet their content, or take the opportunity to write a short blog post instead.

So, we’ll see you at #LMA14 in a few weeks, live and local in Orlando or on Twitter. And please join us over on the conference LinkedIn group as well.

* All quotes with permission from the Legal Marketers Extraordinaire Group on Facebook.

Lessons from the Sports Dude: Drive the Conversation

There’s a story breaking in Los Angeles. Our L.A. Rams might be coming home after wandering through the mid-west for the past 20-years.

And the Sports Dude is in there.

Eric Geller LA Rams

As background, the Sports Dude got really, really sick some years ago. It almost took his life, and it definitely impacted his career. He went from Sportscaster of the Year, to hospital patient barely able to make it back to Los Angeles for his life-saving surgeries.

But he’s back. He’s cured. He’s healthy. He reclaimed his life, including marrying his high school sweetheart, and he is claiming his spot in L.A. sports. And my Baby Boomer husband is using social media to pave his way.

We set up his blog, On Any Given Sports Day, several years ago so he could be a part of the conversation. Then his Twitter. And Facebook page. And YouTube channel. And LinkedIn accounts.

By doing so, he is able to be in the middle of any sports story, any where. Connect to people he needs to know, and where THEY are using social media.

Did you know he was the only reporter invited to cover Deacon Jones’ funeral outside the NFL channel?

And it is working.

It is opening the doors to the stadiums and arenas. He has his credentials to most games. He’s back in the press box. He’s freelancing for a couple outfits, and has his eyes on the big prize: The Los Angeles Rams.

He is in the middle of the Bring Back the Los Angeles Rams campaign. He’s active with the booster club, with their more than 25,000 Facebook Fans, and he’s building a sports fan base there.

When on the field covering one story, he makes sure to get video of iconic L.A. sports heroes talking about bringing the team home.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vCOfrIBkWZ0

While at a school fundraiser last night the news broke that Rams owner “Silent Stan” Kroenke finally raise[d] his voice has purchased more than 60 acres of prime real estate next to The Fabulous Forum. Big enough to build a stadium. And, as they say: “If you build it, they will come.”

Sport Dude rushed us home, threw on the Clippers game, and fired up his laptop.

He stayed up late writing a story. Posted it to Examiner.com (owned by AEG, by the way), his blog, sent out Twitter links, and then got to sleep around 2:30 am.

He’s back awake, and following the story. He’ll spend the day tweeting, connecting, pushing and nudging the story.

And there’s the lesson: No matter what is going on, stop what you are doing and get in the middle of the story. The story will not wait for you, and the conversations definitely won’t either.

You don’t have to spend the day in front of your laptop doing it. Use your tablet or smart phone while waiting in line for coffee at Starbucks, or waiting for the elevator. But make sure to get your voice in there.

Blog, comment, connect, retweet, follow.

Blog, comment, connect, retweet, follow.

Social media allows all any one of us to jump in the story, and help drive it. All you have to do is:

Blog, comment, connect, retweet, follow.

How to avoid random acts of hashtags

Hopefully by now everyone knows what a hashtag is beyond an annoying way that kids talk today.

Or a scroll at the bottom of a TV show.

Hashtags began randomly enough in 2007 and became popularized during the San Diego wildfires of that year.

They allow users of Twitter (and now every other social media) to search and find topics. They are now hyperlinked in the status, so all you have to do is click to get your search results.

Which brings me to random acts of hashtags.

There is a marketing conference taking place right now. I have several friends attending the conference, and they are all using a different hashtag.

Rather than be able to follow one conversation, there are several conversations taking place.

Since I am fortunate to follow many people in my industry, I was able to catch on pretty quick to what was going on with the three separate hashtags.

Unfortunately, I am not that invested that I will build out a multiple hashtag search result into one stream.

You lost me. And you lost me in several places: Continue reading

Legal technology disrupters and why you need to take note

Yes, I am still reading Richard Susskind‘s Tomorrow’s Lawyers: An Introduction to Your Future. Chapter 5: Disruptive Legal Technologies definitely caught my attention:

[A] distinction is commonly drawn between sustaining and disruptive technologies. In broad terms, sustaining technologies are those that support and enhance the way that a business or a market currently operates. In contrast, disruptive technologies fundamentally challenge and change the functioning of a firm or a sector. p. 55

Think in terms of how the introduction of digital cameras killed the film development industry, and how that has impacted ancillary companies like Costco (where I would get my film developed, and then spend a couple hundred dollars).

Susskind goes on to discuss several disruptive technologies and the need to be an early adopter:

in the early days of disruptive technologies, market leaders as well as their customers often dismiss the new systems as superficial and unlikely to take off. Later, however, as they gain acceptance, customers often switch quickly to services based on the new technology, whereas provider, unless they are early adopters, are often too late to recognize their real potential and never manage to regain ground. p. 57.

Wow. How true is that? It would get very tired and repetitive to go over all the new technologies that lawyers and law firms blew off to their regret.

In the chapter, Susskind claims 13 disruptive technologies impacting legal. However, I only want to talk about two:

1. Relentless Connectivity

Due to the inability to physically remove my iPhone from my hand without causing a panic attack, I am always connected. I am connected by e-mail, text, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn. You get it.

While that might seem sad to many people, I have come to realize it puts me at an advantage, and my networks as well.

Someone in my network today was looking for an item. I happen to know someone who sells that item. I just connected them and helped them to make a deal.

I see my friends on Facebook constantly looking for sources and referrals. I get direct referrals as a legal marketer. It’s about opportunity and availability.

I am also constantly reminded of what my contacts and connections do for a living when they post or comment on something relevant to their line of work.

If you are not connected to any social networks, and using them all for personal and business connections, you are allowing another person, a competitor, to occupy that space and gain the advantage for the opportunity.

When these technologies combine, and the machines (or whatever kind) are switched on, which seems now to be all the time, the ‘presence’ of lawyers in increasingly visible to their network of contacts,. In turn, client and colleagues will have and expect to have immediate access to lawyers. p. 61

When your client wakes up at 3:00 a.m., I assure you, they will not be calling anyone. They will be firing up their iPad, shooting out messages via text and email, seeing who is online on Facebook. If you wait to get into the office to connect, even if it is at 7:00 a.m., you might be too late.

Don’t fool and kid yourself. Social networks, especially Facebook, are not going anywhere.

2. Big Data

Yes, it’s a buzz term, but there is something behind it. Just like when Kevin O’Keefe and I sat around a table at the Bonaventure Hotel many years ago trying to figure out what this Twitter thing was all about. There is something “there” here.

Very little work has yet been undertaken on the relevance of big data for law. However, I predict that it will prove, in due course, to be of profound significance. For example, by aggregating research data, we might be able to find out what legal issues and concerns are troubling particular communities; by analysing databases of decision by judges and regulators, we may be able to predict outcomes in entirely novel ways; and by collecting huge bodies of commercial contracts and exchanges of emails, we might gain insight into the greatest legal risks that specific sectors face. The disruption here is that crucial insights, correlations, and even algorithms might come to play a central role in legal practice and legal risk management and yet they will not be generated through the work of mainstream lawyers (unless they choose to collaborate with big data scientists). p. 67

Wowsa. Again.

I remember the passion and excitement that hit me with the advent of blogs, and then social networking.

I’m starting to get that same feeling around Big Data. It’s not about aggregation, but the analysis, and actionable predictions.

Which brings me back to connectivity. By being connected, and willing to have a conversation with someone I did not know, who asked the right question (perhaps in the wrong way … inside joke) that caught my attention, my passion to explore this further has been further ignited. Guess we’ll see years down the road if we can get “there” from here.

Gen Y, Meet Milbank.

An era-appropriate reference.

Nothing like an Above the Law post to get the LME going.

Today’s late-breaking post, Biglaw Firm Holds Associates To Strict Social Media Policy, is brought to you by the good folks at Milbank.

Where to begin? Where to begin?

A four page memo that can be boiled down to: “Don’t be an idiot.” Or, the more professional, “Conduct yourself professionally on social media and networking sites as you would in any professional setting.”

ATL goes into detail of everything wrong with this policy, and I agree with it all.

But what they miss is the generational implications of such a policy.

What a bunch of killjoys. Who under, oh, 60, would want to work there?

Seriously where do they plan to recruit new associates?

Harvard? You know, that school that brought us Facebook?

Stanford? Where Google’s co-founders (and your client), owner of YouTube, Blogger, and countless other social sites, met?

Nothing says “welcome” to the Gen Y crowd as Big Brother:

The Firm reserves the right to monitor the activities of lawyers and administrative employees on Social Media Sites and may at any time request or require the removal of any posting or content on a Social Media Site. If conduct is in violation of Firm policies and/or is seen as compromising the interests of the Firm, the Firm may take appropriate disciplinary action.

Yikes. And don’t update your Facebook status from work. That is prohibited at well.

Hello. Bueller?? Bueller? The world has changed. Social media is as much of our culture as cell phones and e-mail.

The genie is out of the social media bottle and is not going back. If you have honest concerns, deal with them, but by trying to lock down social media you have now identified yourself as the least cool law firm to work for on the planet.

Which might be fine with your over 60 partners … but wait until their grandchildren get them a new iPad or tablet for Christmas so they can connect and start communicating with the other folks in the fastest growth demographic for Facebook and Twitter.

On the bright side, per the above link, social media has overtaken porn as the #1 activity on the web. At least one HR problem has been solved.

How NOT to measure the value of a legal blog

I just read the following post SCOTUSblog Won Readers, Not Clients: Popular blog didn’t work as marketing tool for law firm but was a hit with readers, founders tell UGA audience.

I have to disagree.

In general, and in most cases, a corporate legal blogger might not be able to point to a particular piece of business and say, “I brought that in from writing this blog post on that date.”

However, if written correctly, the attorney can most likely point to their practice and see a correlation between their increased business and the launching of their blog.

I just don’t think the folks at SCOTUSblog are correctly measuring its value.

A corporate legal blog is NOT a business development (read SALES) tool in and of itself. It is there to provide what Nancy Myrland calls “digital breadcrumbs“:

Blogging, just as all other content scattered across the Internet, is what I always refer to as “digital breadcrumbs.” The words, thoughts and opinions we share in these spaces serve to help others find a path to us when they happen to need us, or at least when their interest in our areas of expertise is heightened.

A blog, done right, is an educational tool that will position the author and firm. Avvo‘s Josh King agrees:

Too many attorneys and firms treat them like outbound marketing vehicles, doing more overt sales pitches than information and thought leadership.

Blogs are about value, and education. They are about telling the story you want the general counsel to read as they are doing their due diligence on the attorney and the firm. They are about having the right results on page one when your name is Googled.

Getting back to the softer ROI that we’re talking about, Virtual Marketing Officer, Jayne Navarre, points out that the SCOTUSblog article contradicts itself: Continue reading

Three great take aways from today’s GC Panel at LMA-LA

Kudos to the Legal Marketing Association – Los Angeles Chapter program team on today’s Corporate Counsel Panel.

I have to say, I always love me a GC panel. Sure we hear the same ol’ same ol’, but there are always a few new nuggets of information in there.

GC panel

Corporate Counsel Panel

Three things popped out at me:

  1. The importance of LinkedIn. I have never at a panel heard GC after GC rave about LinkedIn. Okay. Four out of six. But they were vocal in their enthusiasm. The connections.The groups. They are using it to vet outside counsel. Learn information. Stay informed of trends. I’ve hyper-linked the LinkedIn profiles below where found.
  2. ACC Daily Newsletter. For those who don’t know what this is, the Association of Corporate Counsel uses Lexology to feed a daily newsletter for ACC members. The members can customize it by industry, practice, region, etc. Where does Lexology get the content? Law firm blogs. Corporate counsel are reading with their eyes and clicking on things that are of importance.
  3. Headlines Count. Whether it’s coming from an e-newsletter, scrolling through a LinkedIn group’s latest postings, or the Lexology daily newsletter, corporate counsel are clicking on the headlines that resonate with them on the issues they are facing today. Harkening back to this post, Why, yes, Amy. I did learn two new things, it’s not WHAT they are about to read, but WHY they need to read it that counts.

I tweeted at #lmamkt some other little tidbits. But those are the biggies that I walked away with,

Oh, Yeah. One more:

4. It’s all about relationships. Don’t ever forget that.

In Photo: L-R. Deborah Greaves, Secretary & General Counsel, True Religion Brand Jeans; Camilla M. Eng, General Counsel, JM Eagle; Joanne E. Caruso, Vice President, Global Litigation, Jacobs Engineering Group Inc.; Jennifer Fisher, Senior Counsel, Intellectual Property, The Boeing Company, Boeing; Sheri Eisner, Associate General Counsel, JAMS; Tammy Brandt, Vice President and General Counsel, ServiceMesh, Inc.

Which came first? The content or the promotion, or is it the engagement?

Kevin O'Keefe & Me at the Clipper's Game.

Kevin O’Keefe & Me at the Clipper’s Game.

I’m lucky to know some really cool and smart people out “there.”

These really cool and smart people have individual thoughts and opinions, sometimes contrary to what the other really smart and cool people think, believe, and hold dear.

I like hanging out and around people who get social marketing. They don’t all agree what that means, how to do it, and what the best practices are, but we have really great conversations.

Some will say that social marketing is about the content.

Others will say that it’s about the promotion.

And others about the opportunity for engagement.

I say that it’s a cycle: Content > Promotion > Engagement > Content > Promotion > Engagement.

And not necessarily in that order.

I got to spend some time with Kevin O’Keefe last week and we talked about using social tools for engagement. And how you identify and build relationships.

Yesterday I got to spend time with Adrian Lurssen in my office and we discussed creating content.

He wrote a blog piece, What Does Marketing Mean Anyway (Maybe the Opposite of What You First Think …), that was inspired by our meeting, which had great bullet point actions for lawyers to take:

  • Look at your analytics. They’ll take the guesswork out of what interests your market. Technology can tell you exactly what interests these people.
  • Once a month, look closely at which of your articles did well, and which did not. Look for patterns and trends. Try to figure out why (lots of shares? Means it struck a common chord. Pick-up by another blog or press outlet? etc.)
  • Escalate the content that does well. Write another post on the topic. Turn it into a series, a webinar, a video, a stand-alone blog of its own. (All of these are options, depending on how big the reception, and how much you want to be known for this topic.)
  • Look at the searches that drove people to your content. Why are you being found? These keywords are, among other things, a pretty clear expression of what interests your readers right now.
  • Look at who is coming to your work – which companies? which subscribers? which networks? All of it valuable insight into the current interests swirling through your marketplace.
  • Ask your clients what they want to know about. Think how pleased they’ll be to a) see you care, and b) read your thoughtful response.
  • Read industry periodicals with an eye to how editors frame the issues.
  • Rely on your own insights. You know your clients and what makes them tick. Don’t go looking for something else to write about; write what you know.
  • Join active LinkedIn groups populated by professionals in the industries you serve. Listen to their conversations in those groups.
  • Once a month, measure who socially shares your written work. What are they saying? If a share leads to conversation, be pleased with the compliments. Use the negative comments as fodder for your next writing assignment – you know what your audience cares about…

The cool thing is, I don’t have to agree with all or any of these bullet points, or any of his article, really (although I do). I just get to be inspired by his inspiration that was inspired by an engagement which was inspired by some content.

And Adrian’s blog post inspired me to write this, which makes him a valuable asset in my arsenal of doing a good job. And Kevin reminds me again and again about engagement.

What I have found, over these years, is that content, promotion and engagement are one activity. Rinsed and repeated over and over again.

I cannot promote what’s in someone’s head (mine or anyone else), so I need that content (a blog post, an article, a tweet).

My formula for successful content marketing and business development:

  • Create content of value (determined through trial and error, measured by analytics).
  • Promote content via social media tools (blogging, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube).
  • Engage with other people out there (retweet, @, hyperlinks, LinkedIn connections).
  • Build network of value (Twitter Lists, Facebook Groups, LinkedIn Groups, etc).
  • Engage some more.
  • Rinse and repeat.

Over time, and not a long amount of time, you will attract and meet people you didn’t otherwise know. Your social marketing will convert these strangers into people you do know.

(I picked that up from a nifty slide Adrian had yesterday).

And it is with these people that you now know, with whom you will develop relationships, where you will find new business opportunities (direct or referred).

Increasing that pipeline, baby.

Some more really cool and smart people

It’s a symbiotic relationship: content + promotion + engagement.

As are our personal relationships.

Alone, none of them mean a thing, or can be successful. Together, they can be magical.

Adrian was worried that my big leave behind from yesterday’s meeting was that Google Reader is being retired (don’t get me started again).

But it wasn’t.

The leave behind for me was this: To get a lawyer to open up his or her mind and to pour their thoughts out so that I can turn that intellectual capital into content, that can then be promoted, and eventually used to engage new people and build trusting relationships, that will lead to new business opportunities, they have to be inspired.

And for the lawyers in my firm to be inspired, I have to be inspired.

And I get inspired by really smart and cool people.

Thank you Kevin and Adrian. You inspire me. You really do.

(as do Gail, Gina, Laura, Tim, Laura, Lindsay, Rebecca and Nancy, and so many, many others).

Viva Las Vegas!

Hitler and I agree: Damn You Google

I invited JD Supra’s Adrian Lurssen to my San Francisco office to give a presentation to our lawyers up here. Fire them up to take our blogging and content to the next level. We had a full house. Great discussion. And then he broke the news to me about Google Reader being retired.

Just had a cool working lunch with @heather_morse at @bargerwolen in SF. Biggest takeaway for Heather: Google Reader is shutting down. :-)

— Adrian Lurssen (@AdrianLurssen) March 14, 2013

I had my own little tantrum. But I have to say, Hitler sums it up for me below. Enjoy. Damn you Google.

No More Excuses. Learn This S*** Already

Jonathan Fitzgerrald, CMO, Greenberg Glusker (Bad for the Brand and so much more) and I sat down yesterday to discuss our upcoming Webinar Best of the Web for Professional Development.

Of course, a Vente iced-coffee propelled us off topic now and again, and at one point we started ranting about legal marketers (none of whom are reading this, so we were not talking about you, in general or specifically) who REFUSE to learn or participate in social media, and are clueless about legal (business) technology in general:

  • I don’t get it.
  • I don’t have time.
  • I’m too private.
  • That doesn’t apply to me.
  • I like to keep my work and private life separate.

Get over it. You don’t have the luxury of remaining clueless much longer. If the lawyers need to know and understand this “stuff,” so do we.

An article in today’s Law.com, Are Proposed Changes to ABA Ethics Rules Too Little, Too Late? (free subscription),  includes a whole nifty section on how lawyers “must be technologically competent.”

The commission has proposed that “Comment 6″ be revised to read: “To maintain the requisite knowledge and skill, a lawyer should keep abreast of changes in the law and its practice, including the benefits and risks associated with relevant technology, engage in continuing study and education and comply with all continuing legal education requirements to which the lawyer is subject.” (Changes noted with italics.)

These additional words are a game changer. In a surprising statement, the commission stated that “this obligation is not new. Rather, the proposed amendment emphasizes that a lawyer should remain aware of technology, including the benefits and risks associated with it, as part of a lawyer’s general ethical duty to remain competent in a digital age.” (emphasis added)

There you go folks. The pre-season for social media and technology is over and game is on.

If lawyers are operating in a cloud, using Dropbox on their iPads, opererating in a virtual environment, communciating and blogging digitally and remotely, than you must understand how this works. Period.

You don’t need to be fluent in tech and social media, but you need to be conversant and knowledgeable. This is not something you can downsource to a recent college grad sitting in a cubicle.

And it’s not just about doing a good job at your firm right now. It’s about your next job and your career in general.

Just like you need to know and understand how to use Word and Excel as a basic tool, you need to understand and know how to use Twitter and LinkedIn, at least in their simplest forms. Not to mention how groups, lists, and hashtags really make these applications soar.

How are blogs being used? And what is an RSS feed? And why do people care so much about keywords, tagging and hyperlinks?

I could go on and on, but I’m just preaching to the choir here.

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