This is the third article in a 10-part content series on Unified Marketing, which will bring to light collaborative marketing principles and successful strategies in areas including marketing, branding, PR, social media, mobile and other digital practices.
You can read the first article here, and the second article here.
Somewhere in the Twitterverse, a 21-year-old Massachusetts woman who identifies her interests as “sex, drugs, rock n roll” inexplicably found herself facing a legal challenge.
She tweeted, “I NEED A LAWYER IMMEDIATELY.”
, which replied
, “Oh no! what area of practice? in #Massachusetts?”
The tweet included a link to a list of Massachusetts law firms
on its website.
The exchange illustrates how LexisNexis’s Lawyers.com uses social media content marketing as a part of its unified marketing strategy. Weaving links through Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, it drives traffic to a content-heavy website and blog and creates communities on law-related topics for laymen.
The ultimate goal is to bring business to lawyers through the website.
Content in context
“It’s really content in context leading to conversation,” says Jeremy Bromwell, account director at Definition 6
, whose clients include LexisNexis’ Lawyers.com and its LawyerLocator.com sister site. “And it’s making sure that your content is informed based on your insights from your audience.”
Lawyers.com is a paid listing for attorneys hoping to win clients from among the site’s visitors, says Rocco Impreveduto, senior director of consumer marketing for LexisNexis.
The site has 1.5 million pages of content for Lawyers.com alone. Last August, Lawyers.com kicked its content generation into high gear by hiring Editor-in-Chief Larry Bodine to head up efforts to create articles and other information.
Bodine’s team—a mix of employees and freelancers—produces timely, topical, and relevant content, Impreveduto says. (He declines to specify the size of the team, saying competitors are watching closely.) It produces both in-depth investigations and quick turnarounds on topics such as the Trayvon Martin shooting. It posts articles on consumer news and the legal aspects of gay and lesbian marriage and civil unions.
All this becomes “fodder in social media,” Impreveduto says. “It’s the kind of stuff that means something to talk about, that interests people, that fosters engagement, that brings them back in and makes them consumers of our site.”
Long-term brand awareness
The goal is not only to capture people with immediate legal needs, but also to build long-term brand awareness.
Definition 6 tends the social media feeds, encourages discussion, and drives traffic to the site. Bromwell and a small team also suggest stories to Lawyers.com’s editor. Definition 6 isn’t just driving content to the site, but also providing guidance on what topics might be of interest based on its monitoring.
Impreveduto explains that Definition 6 will say: “Here’s what works for you the best. But also, here’s what people are talking about. Is any of this stuff that you guys can write about? … Because people are talking about this right now.”
The social media efforts have helped boost Lawyers.com to third place on Facebook from eighth among its competitors over the 1½ years that Definition 6 has been working with it, Bromwell says. Positive mentions have risen 615 percent. Meanwhile, Lawyers.com has the largest legal consumer following on Twitter.
Right message at the right time
Unified marketing is all about delivering the right message to the right person at the right time, Bromwell says. It is an attempt to bring real time insights and listening into online communities and content. The tactics differ according to the social media platform. (One of the newest is Pinterest, about which Definition 6 also advises clients.)
[Download a free infographic on Pinterest best practices for business]
On Twitter, people are exchanging information and asking questions about the legal industry and its events and news. When false rumors circulated that actor Will and Jada Pinkett Smith were divorcing, Lawyers.com promoted a pre-existing tweet that linked to information about divorce.
“With Lawyers.com we’re constantly listening to those conversations,” Bromwell says, “and also putting out content that we know is going to resonate well with our community in an ongoing fashion.”
True, Twitter is a public platform, but do people want lawyers slipping them a digital business card whenever they sound off about marital woes? Many of us have had the experience of feeling, well, stalked when a random word in a tweet (“divorce” comes to mind) brings followers offering to help you part ways with your beloved spouse.
(The active young woman in Massachusetts—who also tweets about “smoking drugs, sniffing books”—did not reply to a tweet from me.)
But Bromwell says it’s not about bugging Twitter users. As part of LexisNexis, Lawyers.com seeks to make a connection as a trusted resource.
“It’s not the individual attorney saying, ‘Call me now. I’ll help you out,’” Bromwell says. “It’s a third party.”
It all comes down to the community manager—specifically, her grasp of the social media discussions and knowledge about whether to engage or keep out of the discussion, he says.
Want to put faces to the names in this story? Watch Jeremy Bromwell and Rocco Impreveduto chat about social media and more with PR Daily social media director Samantha Hosenkamp during a recent networking event at a Ragan Communications/Cisco conference.
Different tactics for Facebook
, Lawyers.com is also using content marketing and community building to direct people to its brand. The page sends people to a story about a bill that legalizes marijuana
Another Facebook teaser states provocatively
, “Visiting NYC? Prepare to be Frisked! If you’re planning to visit New York in the near future, be prepared to be patted down by a cop for no reason whatsoever.”
Facebook is a rich source of content links and discussion for Lawyers.com, providing people with an avenue for finding articles, photos, and videos. Many Facebook users, of course, lock down their pages, preventing Twitter-style outreach from Lawyers.com. But people are eager to sound off on issues that interest them. A recent post about a lawsuit involving Walmart drew engagement from 6,300 people.
“We’re really trying to highlight a different type of information on Lawyers.com,” Bromwell says, “and create a sense of community where our fans can interact not only with us, but with the other members and other fans that like our page.”
Lawyers.com also produces videos for YouTube
. These range from attorney interviews to newsy pieces on legal issues of the day, such as privacy or wrongful foreclosures.
“Wherever we can, we’re putting videos together, because we know our consumers want videos more than static blog posts,” Bromwell says.
Definition 6 is a Unified Marketing Agency that creates brand experiences that unite brands and people in motion. Through imagination, innovation and insight, we execute ideas that deliver continued value across all brand interactions. For more information, please visit http://www.definition6.com.