Twummize http://www.twummize.com/ - Twitter's search tool
Tweet Deck http://www.tweetdeck.com/ - organizational tool that helps you to group posts
Twitter Grader http://www.twittergrader.com/ - grades your Twitter profile versus other users
Twit Stat http://twitstat.com/ - real-time Twitter analytics
Mr. Tweet http://mrtweet.net/ - tool to help logically expand your network
Tweet Grid http://www.tweetgrid.com/ - organizational tool whereby you can follow search terms
Twit Pic http://www.twitpic.com/ - allows you to easily upload pictures
Tiny URL - http://www.tinyurl.com/ - shortens larger URLs to make them fit on your Twitter posts
Twitt Groups http://twittgroups.com/group/ - create or join groups on Twitter
Twhirl http://www.twhirl.com/ - customizable desktop client that, among other things, can connect feeds across different micro-blogging platforms
Qwitter www.useqwitter.com/ - helps you track the people that stop following your posts
Loud Twitter www.loudtwitter.com/ - one of a few services that delivers tweets to your blog
Twit Backs http://www.twitbacks.com/ - Twitter backgrounds, meant for branding
The basic point is that it's better to keep your press release on your site rather than send it through an aggregator to be published everywhere.
Why? Because SEO and SM-utilization dictate that it's better to have many people viewing one post and commenting on it than it is to have many posts each with one comment.
Read Hubspot's Mike Volpe's entire article here.
- READ other's blogs, releases, feeds, Tweets, and similar posts
- WRITE back and tell the world what you think
If your insights are thoughtful, fresh, relevant, and non-predatory (read as: DO NOT SOLICIT), then you'll quickly become to be seen as an expert in the topic and drive traffic to your site(s). Coupled with your own "other" blogs, sites, posts, or feeds, you will soon be seeing more rain than the Gulf shores.
It's not just one-upping blogging , but even group moderating, as social media geeks are now directing instead of just acting. Meaning, if you were so inclined to create, moderate, and manage a LinkedIn group, you can now take it up a notch and manage an entire social network.
I feel this brings up the evolving question of quality content, as noted here: http://is.gd/4rYL. With this deluge of information, even in the nichiest of niche areas, is there such a thing as too much? I myself have subscribed to a number of networking sites, a combination of social and professional, and while there are maybe a dozen or so, I can only actively maintain a few. I - like you should be doing as you market yourself in this frontier - offer my opinions and share links, resources, thoughts, and the like - as much as I can. When I'm unable to be active in these communities, I worry that I'm spreading myself too thin.
I also worry that with so many sites the overall quality of information will suffer. The aforementioned UGC sites will undoubtedly multiply the number of web sites exponentially. I hope content doesn't suffer exponentially as well.
Please bear this in mind as you post, tweet, and register out there in 2.0Land.
I read a post from an employee of a mid-size company claiming that she was asked to join an online network, make connections via the discussion groups, and then hand the contacts she had made over to the company's sales staff. She was outraged, and refused to do so.
I then raised the topic of "who owns a network" in a public forum. The bulk of the responses suggested that its a moot point, that a laundry list of contacts is public knowledge, and that no one can actually "own" a network because there is nothing to actually own.
It's Who You Know
Oddly enough, a few days later I found out that a friend of mine was being sued for allegedly violating a non-compete: he had contacted someone he had met via an online network after he had left his former employer. The "relationship" was made while he was working for his former employer.
Prior to this contact, he had only added this person to an online address book (with hundreds of others). The former employer apparently feels that the contact list is theirs. My friend, obviously, feels differently.
Note to Self
While there may or may not be any validity to the ownership claim, it's something to keep in mind as you - and I - delve into the world of social media. Make sure your clients' CNC's don't have any EGA's: Electronic Gray Areas.
His site LexBlog.com offers turnkey solutions for legal professionals. If "time" was your excuse for not marketing yourself, LexBlog just eliminated it.
The site is chockful of resources, as are Kevin's own blog and Twitter updates. He also runs the LinkedIn group Legal Blogging with 1,236 members and counting. He's an Internet force to be reckoned with...watch him and learn!
This landmark release prompted marketing-types to begin using the band in conjunction with the description of an interesting revenue model: "Pay what you want."
In Rainbows was first released as a free digital download. The band asked fans to pay what they thought the record was worth. The model was followed by others, such as magazines Paste and Good, and more recently by textbook author Noel Capon, who is letting students pay for a textbook after they take the class, and then only paying what they feel it was worth.
A gimmick, maybe, but gutsy.
Let's take a look at what we can take from this and implement in the way we market professional services:
1. Consider what your client would do if you asked them to pay an hourly rate after you provided your services.
You should be so sure of the service that you provide that you'd be willing to forgo payment upfront. Plan a results-oriented strategy that can set you apart from your peers. That means not only 'showing' your clients your value, your expertise, and your successes in your online marketing; it means accountability and the possibility of having them pay based on results.
2. Remember the adage "Sell the blades, give the razors away for free."
There are things that you can provide at no cost that can help your online presence. You could fill your site with useful links. You could give away a downloadable copy of an estate planning guide. You can email a list of Top Ten things to think about when choosing a divorce lawyer. If you're in insurance or taxes, perhaps a list of compliance points. You get the idea. The point is not to bait a trap - the point is to attract interest and earn trust before you try to close the deal.
3. PR is invaluable.
The buzz generated from these marketing efforts, be they gimmicks or sincere attempts to connect with a target audience, is real. In Rainbows sold well, topping the Billboard 200 upon its retail release. Good had a subscription spike in addition to being featured in The New York Times , and Capon's book - while the term isn't over and so the jury is still out - at least made it into a Wired featured story, which was then blurbed on Fark. And of course, they all landed here. ;)
These are three simple things you ought to think about prior to beginning an SM campaign for your services: get out there, add meaningful content, and remember that you'll have to be patient.
Hubspot is helping to pioneer inbound marketing, which is a form of permission based marketing that utilizes social media in an effort to market non-intrusively.
The idea is to market yourself , your knowledge, and your company to a general population (think Facebook or Twitter) and let others find you, learn about you, and potentially contact you. This is done through a variety of channels and can be part of your firm's marketing mix.
That way, prospective clients can seek out what, when, where, and how they want to buy from you or work with you. I'll be exploring this in much more detail, using specific industry examples and providing resources and links, on subsequent posts.
The back-to-back seminars, entitled "Technology in the Courtroom" and "Taking the Myth out of E-Discovery" will be held at Precise's main conference room on the third floor of the Law & Finance building - 429 Fourth Avenue, Pgh PA 15219. The seminars are open to the public, but seating is limited. Please call Carly to register at 412-281-8699 x100.
Further information regarding future CLEs will be forthcoming.