Thursday, January 19, 2017

Top 2017 Social Media Trends

By Caitlan McCafferty

Whether your business is already firmly established on social media, or whether you are just getting started, social media should be a top consideration for your B2B marketing plan for 2017. Here are some of the most important social media trends to consider in your social media marketing planning for this upcoming year.

1. Live Video

Social media users are increasingly interested in vicarious experiences. People don’t want to just see what their friends are doing, they want to feel like they’re there with them.

Snapchat’s success and popularity has encouraged other social media companies to incorporate live video into their platforms. Snapchat is likely to grow in 2017, with increased messaging services and real world glasses that capture a user’s world view.  Facebook and Twitter have also incorporated livestreaming into their platforms with Facebook Live and Periscope, respectively.

Due to the increasing popularity of the feature, brands should consider incorporating livestreaming into their social media marketing to reach their target audiences. Livestreaming would be a perfect social media tool to engage with your audience about grand openings, customer appreciation events, or product announcements.

2. Employee Ambassadors 

With LinkedIn’s Pulse feature, employees can be brand ambassadors for their companies. Ryan Holmes, Founder and CEO of Hootsuite, suggests motivating employees to post about the company on a regular basis. Employers should make it simple to share and allow the employee to edit the post to suit their audience.

Employee advocacy is digital "word of mouth" that allows a company’s brand and message to reach more people, with no cost to them. If the content is shared by the employees, the content then can be shared by the employee’s network, building an enthusiastic, engaged audience for your brand.

3. Facebook and Targeted Ads

Facebook’s audience is changing rapidly. It is no longer the favored social media platform for millennials. A survey from 2016 found that 41 percent of millennials still use Facebook every day, but Facebook is more popular among non-millennials. Simultaneously, Facebook has changed its algorithm making it more difficult to build an audience organically.

In 2017, targeted advertising will be the best way to push your message to an audience. The change in the algorithm might seem disappointing, but targeted ads provide better analytics to understand the ROI of a communications campaign.

4. Influencer Marketing 

EMarketer predicts that digital advertising will surpass TV advertising in 2017. With this new development, companies have more opportunities for Influencer Marketing.

A survey found that 47 percent of consumers block advertisements, so influencers are becoming the best way for brands to reach an audience. Influencers have established credibility with their audiences, and now they are using that credibility to vouch for a company’s brand. Using their own personal brand and voice as support, influencers can bring increased visibility and awareness for a given brand.

5. Chatbots for Customer Service  

Similar to the Influencer Marketing trend, consumers are craving a personal connection with their favorite brands. A way to service that connection is Chatbots for customer service.

With the evolution of messaging services with each social media platform, and the popularity of Chatbots like Slack and Skype, customers are interested in more conversational experiences.  This allows marketers to engage with their consumers on a regular basis. "Conversational Commerce" will only grow in 2017, and it will allow brands to provide their audiences an easier way to access their products and services.

The preferred social media platform for any given audience continues to evolve, but one thing remains consistent: consumers want brands that are easily accessible and personable. Incorporating these trends into your 2017 social media strategy will ensure that your brand stays ahead of that changing landscape.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Should Solo and Small Firm Lawyers Blog?

By Gina F. Rubel

Solo and small firm lawyers should blog if they wish to increase their online presence and relevancy. If you need convincing, read Why should lawyers take the time to blog? 

There are several ways for solo and small firm attorneys to blog. One way is to contribute to a relevant public blog once a month and link back to the firm’s website.  Another way is to develop a firm blog and populate it bi-weekly. 

It is also important to understand that there are different types of blogs relevant to your target audience.

Types of blog content for lawyers

Two types of blog content have proven most effective for lawyers: 
  • timely posts about court decisions, legislative rulings, breaking news, etc., and 
  • evergreen blog topics that are general and can be posted at any time and still be relevant to your target audience. 
Both types of posts are important for effective relationship development and legal marketing. 

Breaking news blogs

If you are going to blog about topics that are current, you must write the posts and publish them in a timely manner. If you’re discussing a Supreme Court decision and how it affects the firm’s target audience, you want to get it written and posted within 24 to 72 hours of the decision (preferably closer to the 24-hour mark). Otherwise, it’s no longer news and will garner less attention. These are the types of topics we refer to in process as “topics that need to be shared ASAP.”

Evergreen blogs

Evergreen topics are vital to your content marketing plan. These usually address issues that you deal with every day, issues that can be discussed in general terms and that don’t change frequently. Think about the questions that your clients ask you regularly (aside from “how much will it cost?”). Your answers make for great evergreen blogs. 

Evergreen blog content can be shared repeatedly over time, generating three and four times the amount of traffic and maximizing your investment in content marketing.

If you plan to develop a firm blog on your own, choose a blog URL and name relevant to your geographic region and/or area of practice. For more tips and instructions, see:How do you set up a free WordPress Blog?

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Holiday Gifts - How Much Are We Spending?

By Heather Truitt

A while ago, our own Rose Strong wrote about Holiday Gifting at Work. The etiquette for purchasing gifts for co-workers and your boss is always a sticky situation. Have you ever wondered how much the average worker spends on a holiday gift for a co-worker? This year, and in the recent years since the recession, the average price has gone up, as well as the amount of money the average person spends on gifts and seasonal items.

Enjoy this infographic and Happy Holidays!

 Average Projected Amounts That Will Be Spent on Gifts and Seasonal Items in 2016

Average Projected Amounts That Will Be Spent on Gifts and Seasonal Items in 2016

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Lawyer Social Media Profiles and Linking to the Law Firm

By Gina Rubel

As a Philadelphia-area marketing and public relations agency with a focus on legal marketing, we here at Furia Rubel get asked a lot of questions about how lawyers should handle social media.

Some of the most common questions have to do with the relationship between an individual lawyer and the firm, particularly when it comes to marketing. Should a personal profile for a lawyer on Twitter link to the law firm’s website? Should an individual lawyer brand his or her social media profiles independently or link to and mention the law firm where he or she works?

As with most marketing situations, the answer is "it depends."

For solo and small firms and individual lawyers, social media profiles should always mention their law firm. In these instances, the lawyer *is* the firm – he or she is inextricably tied to the law firm brand.

In big law firms, however, the answer is more nuanced. The attorney first should consult the firm’s social media policy. If the policy permits or requests that the lawyer mention the firm's name in his or her profile, and/or to link to the firm’s website, then this is a best practice.

Many firms require a disclaimer in the lawyer's profile as well. They usually read something to the effect of, "These opinions are my own and are not endorsed by my employer."

Remember, there is strength in numbers, and if you're in a big law firm, being associated with the brand can only support your individual lawyer marketing and business development efforts.

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