Rob Kahn, Director of Business Development at Fenwick & West LLP, and Elizabeth Lampert, owner of Elizabeth Lampert PR, just wrote an article for the National Law Journal about social media. The publication date was July 4, 2011. After reading it, I searched for "social media" on the NLJ site - http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/index.jsp - and got 1,298 results in just this one publication. With all the demands that lawyers and legal marketers have on them, it's impossible to stay on top of this amoebic phenomenon. There are thousands of people writing and speaking about it, but few firms have comfortably embraced it, understood the power – and risk – of jumping in with both feet.
The Kahn/Lampert article is a helpful resource for professionals who wonder, "what's out there about me/us/my firm?" There are several tried-and-true ways of reputation monitoring, such as signing up for Google Alerts, but this list below (extracted with permission) from their article is the Web 2.0+ version of buzz monitoring.
There is an abundance of free research tools that marketers can use as part of a successful social-media strategy. Sites that monitor keywords and key phrases are important to any marketing strategy, and they give a user the essential information related to the words and phrases he or she is monitoring. They indicate what's being said, when the conversation is happening, who is talking about a law firm and where.
This research can help a law firm marketer decide how to approach and engage. A few examples of these monitoring sites include:
• Google Insights: With Google Insights, a user can choose the terms he or she wants to compare in trending, which is helpful in discovering if one word is used more than another, or perhaps one person is more popular than another.
• Twitter Trends: Looking into the trends that happen on Twitter can be quite interesting. A law firm marketer can track trends in Twitter, monitor his or her own Twitter reputation and get alerts when people tweet about keywords he or she is interested in (such as the law firm name).
• Technorati: A law firm marketer can use Technorati to help the marketing team find key influencers in its community to build relationships. By searching on either "Blogs" or "Posts" for certain key phrases, a user can discover who are the key bloggers who have some sort of sway with their followers. A user can jump on their bandwagons, engage in their conversations and invite them to follow him or her, as well, or monitor their discussions for opportunities to engage.
• Trackur: Trackur scours Technorati, blogs, Flickr and other sources and attempts to find all mentions of the key phrase a user enters. With the release of its Twitter influence statistics, a law firm marketer can see who's sharing the firm's content and tweeting about its brand, which is great news for law firms running Twitter or social-media campaigns.
• Social Radar: Social Radar offers the ultimate in social-media marketing with an overview of content from blogs, social networks, feeds, news and forums.
• BlogPulse: Nielsen BuzzMetrics' BlogPulse offers automatic trend discovery on blogs, and what's going on in the blogosphere.
• PostRank: Using PostRank, one can find the most talked-about posts on any RSS feed. A user can find out what people pay attention to — in real time.