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Instagram opens new doors with web profiles for users

Responding to its growing popularity and requests from users, the photo sharing service Instagram has announced the arrival of online user profiles. Instagram has always allowed users to share pictures through email, text or across other social networks, but the service has until now not provided a single location on their own network for people to showcase their pictures.

Instagram profiles will be different from those on other social networking sites in that they will remain focused only on pictures produced by mobile devices. Users will not be able to upload pictures or share pictures from across the web. If Instagram sticks to this policy, it will keep the network more niche focused than competitors like Twitter or even their parent company Facebook, where uploaded pictures and memes abound.

Instagram claims that the new profiles will give people, “a simple way to share your photos with more people and to (more…)

Email Is Still An Important Marketing Tool For Attorneys – Podcast

It is easy to forget about email with all the buzz about social media, but email is still an effective marketing tool for law firms.

Focus on benefits when communicating with prospective clients

Marketers like to talk about positioning, unique selling propositions and differentiation. Differentiate or die! is a common refrain heard among marketing gurus young and old.

Given the sheer number of firms competing within the same geographic areas, attorneys certainly face a challenge when attempting to set themselves apart from their competition. The reality of the legal profession is that it is not possible for firms to offer a service that is completely distinct from that of other firms. One family law attorney will handle divorces within the same legal framework and constraints as all others, and this holds true for other practice areas as well. You can find a niche market, offer a unique billing structure or have specific areas of specialized experience, but at the end of the day, the law is the law.

In addition, research has shown that people do not see a lot of actual (more…)

Avoid these five frightful web design mistakes to maximize usability

Tricks or treats, which is your website handing out to you? While you are gathering your costume or procuring your candy, your website is still out there, speaking on your behalf and functioning as a brand ambassador twenty-four hours a day. Do you know what it is doing when you are not watching? What it says about you behind your back?

Simply throwing up a static brochure site and leaving it to float about in the online ether is not an effective stragegy. Your website must be consistenly updated with current, useful and exclusive content. The code must be up to date and in line with current standards. It is also important to monitor traffic, stats and conversion so you know if your firm is on track to achieve the desired results. If you are not paying attention, your website could be doing scary things. In this Halloween tribute to frightful (more…)

Mimicking Other Lawyers’ Strategies Not Always the Best Course

When your law firm started thinking about a strong online marketing plan, you probably ran a few searches on local competing law firms. After getting a look at the top-ranking crowd, you may have then contacted a search engine marketing company and declared that you wanted them to do whatever your competitor was doing.

In fact, some companies offer that same tactic. They check a competitor’s link portfolio and then try to get your firm linked with all of the same sites. While competitor research is very important and can lead your legal marketing company to some good opportunities, it should not be the only strategy for developing a link building and search marketing plan.

Perhaps the most valuable way to use competitor data is not to clone their strategy, but to look for their shortcomings. If the number one ranking firm for your keyword is not utilizing news releases to (more…)

Visual marketing is gaining steam with the success of Instagram

Visual social marketing is creating buzz due to the rapid growth of companies like Pinterest and Instagram. Instagram is unique in that it is both a photo sharing application and a social network. People who take pictures with Instagram can share them across the app’s native network as well as other social networks like Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter.

Instagram is young, even by web standards, especially considering the amount of attention and traffic it currently receives. The company celebrated its second birthday this month, after having been purchased by Facebook for approximately $1 billion in April. According to comScore’s Mobile Metrix 2.0, Instagram edged out Twitter in mobile traffic in September. Over 5 million pictures are uploaded daily.

Attorneys can take advantage of visual marketing and visually oriented social networks. Everyone – including attorneys – can tell a story through pictures. And that is how you should think about visual marketing: it (more…)

YouTube shifting focus to reward time watched in video rankings

YouTube is changing the way videos are ranked in an attempt to promote more quality content. This month, the YouTube Partners and Creators Blog announced an adjustment to the YouTube search algorithm that moves away from a system rewarding clicks toward one rewarding time spent watching videos. The new algorithm replaces view count with watch time.

This shift in focus began in earnest earlier this year. YouTube has made other modifications aimed at getting people to stay engaged on the site. In March, the company released changes to the Suggested Videos function with the intent of encouraging people to continue watching instead of clicking away after one video. YouTube has also added a watch time statistic to its Analytics tool.

YouTube wants to remain competitive with other video services and cut into the amount of time people spend watching television. In order to do so, it needs to convince people to spend (more…)

Google Announces Tool to Repair Your Firm’s Search Engine Credibility

Google’s recent Penguin update targeted websites that had links pointing from sketchy internet neighborhoods. Does your law firm have a link which points traffic to it from a website advertising paid links? Is it in a directory that you can only get listed in by exchanging a link or paying a fee? Those links now work against your law firm’s ranking in Google.

As news about Penguin’s targeting spread, some website owners cried foul, claiming that not all websites linking to them were doing so by any fault or action of their own. Others, like SEO | Law Firm, at first cheered on Google Penguin, and, in a piece featured in Bigger Law Firm magazine, even said Google Penguin didn’t go far enough.

But the Penguin changes put link building squarely front-and-center. It also gave website owners (like your law firm) one more thing to worry about. Google’s terms clearly state that a (more…)

Align your social media activity with user expectations

Attorneys who use social media as a part of their marketing efforts face challenges that are exclusive to the legal industry. Professional services marketing in and of itself is very different from product marketing. Added to this are restrictions on what attorneys may or may not be able to say according to ethical guidelines, which can vary from state to state.

Since it is not efficient for attorneys to use social media in the same way as product based businesses – primarily to offer sales and deals – and because online attorney communications are limited in some ways, it is critical that lawyer social media messaging to be on the mark. Attorneys must match their social media activity to user intent and expectations.

People expect different things from their social media interactions depending on the type of connection (friend, relative or business) and on the specific network. But across the board, people (more…)

Email is still an important marketing tool for attorneys

It is easy to forget about email with all the buzz surrounding social media and with marketers clamoring to be on the cutting edge of new technologies. But while email is not new or showy, it is still effective. According to email marketing and list management company iContact, over 70% of people check their email more than 6 times a day. A study published by Marketing Land shows that 77 percent of people prefer to receive advertising based messages through email. Email marketing still works. Here are some tips for getting the most out of it:

Cultivate targeted lists. Purchasing lists is no longer constructive. Such lists include emails that are no longer accurate or are generic “info” boxes that may or may not be frequently monitored. Using emails that you have purchased is also against the terms of most email list management services, and you run the risk of having your (more…)