Social Networking Roulette

Drawing the line between our professional and private lives has never been easy and social media just complicates matters. Should someone’s personal Facebook page be of concern to their employer? Does your firm or company need to be on LinkedIn, Plaxo, Facebook and Twitter? What kind of social networking policy should a company have? There are countless questions about what role social networking plays in company branding. As I write this, some company’s reputation is being impacted through one of the some 200 Tweets that happen every second at peak times.

So what is a company or law firm to do about social networking? For starters recognize that it needs to be part of your marketing and operations plan. According to a recent Deloitte study only 30% of companies have social networking as part of their business and operations strategy. Yet 74% of those same employees feel that social networking can damage a company’s reptuation. Companies and professional service firms need to sit down and really embrace social networking as a tool that is here to stay. The sooner they take this step, the sooner they will stop playing social networking roulette with their brand.

Ignoring Reality

Ok, I will confess up front that I prefer Apple products for countless reasons. But that is another story all together. I am writing because I was stunned to recently encounter a law firm IT department that still believes that Apple products are irrelevant. The firm is developing their Web site in-house and we got into a lively discussion about operating systems. The IT Director does not feel that the firm needs to test the new site on the Apple OS platform. I pointed out that Apple has nearly a 10% market share ( see the details at http://marketshare.hitslink.com/operating-system-market-share.aspx?qprid=8). This did not impress him. Yet he is testing the new site for Linux that has a 1% market share. Go figure.

So I tried another tactic. What about the high use of Apple computers by students? Don’t you want your recruiting information to show up properly on an Apple laptop I queried?  A 2008 study at the University of Virginia showed that 37% of incoming students owned a Mac. Or what about the many reports that Apple has surpassed Dell for the higher education market share. Bottom line is that I lost this battle. A major new Web site will get launched without proper testing simply because of stubbornness to see how things do change.

First Impressions Do Count

Housekeeping Task #7 - Yesterday while waiting in the lobby of a Boston law firm, I became rather obsessed by how easy it is to make a poor first impression. For starters, the receptionist indicated the person that I was to meet with was running late. At that point, she didn’t offer me any refreshments but just slumped down in her desk. When I then inquired about using their wireless Internet connection, she rather begrudgingly said she would have to call her IT department. (I felt like I had just asked her to watch three toddlers for an entire weekend!) She wrote the password on a scrap of paper but sadly it didn’t work. In the meantime, I decided to just read the newspaper and noticed it was a two-day-old Wall Street Journal. The other magazines available looked like they had been recycled through a doctor’s office before landing there. Most important, none of the firm’s excellent newsletters or white papers were available.

So pay a visit to your firm’s reception area and see how that first impression might feel.


Unraveling Banner Ads and Buyer Behavior

iProspect®, the search engine marketing company, just published a study on buyer behavior and banner ads. iProspect’s analysis confirms a hunch that we have long held. (Forewarning: the study results favor the sponsor’s core business of search engine optimization but the study is  based on work done by Forrester Consulting.]

Internet users who respond to an online ad don’t just click on the ad. 27% use a search engine to search for the product or brand. And then 21% type in the company Web address into the browser and then navigate to the site. (And if you are curious – 31% who respond do go ahead and click through using the ad.)

So what does this mean? You need to make sure when visitors do a Google search that your law firm or company actually shows up in the results.

Unraveling Banner Ads and Buyer Behavior

iProspect®, the search engine marketing company, just published a study on buyer behavior and banner ads. iProspect’s analysis confirms a hunch that we have long held. (Forewarning: the study results favor the sponsor’s core business of search engine optimization but the study is  based on work done by Forrester Consulting.]

Internet users who respond to an online ad don’t just click on the ad. 27% use a search engine to search for the product or brand. And then 21% type in the company Web address into the browser and then navigate to the site. (And if you are curious – 31% who respond do go ahead and click through using the ad.)

So what does this mean? You need to make sure when visitors do a Google search that your law firm or company actually shows up in the results.