My Picks for Notable Posts of the Week 10/29/10

As any of my profiles (Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) will tell you, at my personal and professional core I am a storyteller. As such, I look for ideas and inspiration in a lot of places. This week I found it in Judith Newman’s New York Times account of her experience with a juice-based “cleanse” diet. Informative and hilarious, it struck me as a metaphor for legal social media marketing:

  1. A simple premise for achieving important, difficult objectives.
  2. Low barriers to entry.
  3. Celebrity adherents and preternaturally cheery partisans (who also happen to sell the simple stuff required).
  4. Options to spend as much or as little as you choose, uncorrelated with probability of success.
  5. More effort, discomfort and discomfiture than anticipated.
  6. Combines sound, verifiable claims with outlandish, wishful ones.

Music business and technology blog Hypebot discussed the findings of a new report that found a brand’s Twitter followers were twice as likely as Facebookers who “liked” them to say they might make a purchase. In other words, you might have fewer Twitter followers than Facebook friends, but your tweeps could be more valuable.

Finally, today while researching a future post on the anatomy of successful niche practices — in this case, biking law — I came across an item about a 4-year-old-girl being sued for negligence in the death of an 87-year-old woman the child ran into with a bike. Several questions came to mind:

  1. Is there any way to sue a child without appearing despicable?
  2. How does one find a firm that will take such a suit?
  3. What do such cases do for the  personal/professional brand of the plaintiff attorney/firm?

Don’t Write Off Pay-Per-Click Advertising

Remember when Barbie dolls infamously started complaining “Math class is tough?”*

Well, that’s probably most law firms’ unspoken default for why they’ve abandoned, or not even tried, pay-per-click advertising. While keyword marketing can be maddeningly complex, unpredictable and time-consuming, it can also generate better marketing ROI than other online tactics.

A story in yesterday’s New York Times detailed how the Rosen Law Firm in Raleigh, N.C., used crowdsourcing techniques to make its $6,000/month pay-per-click program involving 80-100 keywords more productive:

“…[Firm president Lee] Rosen heard a podcast by Niel Robertson, chief executive of Trada, a crowdsourcing firm based in Boulder that specializes in pay-per-click advertising. Trada’s more than 500 pay-per-click experts compete for their advertising clients’ business and take home the difference between what the advertisers are willing to pay for a click and what the experts actually spend to generate it.

In consultation with Trada executives, Mr. Rosen broke his $6,000 monthly budget into a daily amount and determined a maximum rate he would spend on each click and where he wanted to advertise. Trada then posted the campaign to its crowd of experts, who set about creating ads and a list of keywords. If the campaigns come in under budget, the experts pocket the difference.”

Unlike polls and surveys that collect opinions, true crowdsourcing is structured to solve specific business challenges, and frequently incorporates a financial incentives for participants. In Rosen’s case, the firm’s pay-per-click spend is the same, but with better results and lower demands on staff.

So if you’re daunted by paid SEO campaigns, don’t be quick to write it off as too difficult. There’s wisdom in crowds, and letting them do the work for you could more than pay for itself.

* Although the resulting cultural meme is “Math is hard,” the voice recording actually said “Math class is tough.”