Today’s attorneys are well-versed in how a client’s social media posts can and will be used against them in a court of law. But what do you do when a client goes viral for all the wrong reasons? In this episode of the ABA Journal’s Asked and Answered from the Legal Talk Network, Stephanie Francis Ward talks to attorney Pete Wentz, an expert in crisis management and communication strategy. Wentz talks about what’s worked for him in addressing social media furors, when you should know that it’s time to take action in an online controversy, and what common legal advice can actually be least helpful in putting out social media fires.
With more than one billion hours of video content consumed on YouTube every day, it’s been ranked as the world’s second largest search engine.
In addition, 81% of marketers rank YouTube as one of the most valuable social media platforms for their business. YouTube is a prime opportunity for you to improve your law firm’s organic search placement while also promoting thought leadership within your industry. And with more than 1.5 billion users, it’s also a prime opportunity for you to market your law firm.
Are you using YouTube to market your law firm? If not, maybe it’s time! Join Crisp Video Group’s Content Strategist Baillie Ward on Wednesday, August 15th at 3:00 PM EST for The Ultimate Guide to YouTube Advertising for Attorneys.
This webinar will cover:
- The opportunity YouTube provides for law firm owners
- An overview of YouTube’s advertising options
- How to leverage YouTube’s advertising platform within your marketing strategy
- Tips and tricks to boost viewership and establish thought leadership using video content
What are the most effective ways to market your law firm on Facebook and other social media outlets? This on-demand webinar with Crisp CEO Michael Mogill shows you how you can leverage Facebook to generate leads, raise awareness for your firm, and take your marketing to the next level. Whether you’re a Facebook expert or brand new to the platform, this webinar will show you the ins and outs of setting up and optimizing your law firm’s Facebook ad campaigns to create an incoming stream of quality leads. Click here to watch the webinar.
If you don’t have time to watch the webinar, Crisp has also created a free eBook, The Social Media Cheat Sheet for Law Firms. It covers the ways in which attorneys can set up and optimize their social media profiles on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
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Written by Ari Levenbaum, the COO & CMO of the American Association of Motorcycle Lawyers, also known as the Law Tigers.
If you could simultaneously enhance your customer relationships, overshadow your competitors, and increase your bottom line, would you? With niche marketing, you can achieve them all. The solution is in working smarter, not harder. By focusing your efforts on a targeted audience, your business can achieve a higher marketing ROI, capture a large market share, and become recognized as a specialist in the niche.
Niche marketing is defined as channeling all marketing efforts towards one well-defined segment of the population. A niche is not necessarily a group that already exists, but one that is created. But how does one achieve this? The first step is discovering a need or service that is currently not being met. If you can determine that you have the knowledge and resources to satisfy those demands, you have just created your first niche. The next step is utilizing highly focused marketing techniques to reach and engage that audience. While generalized marketing attempts to gain a few customers from every market, niche marketing focuses on gaining a loyal customer base that is narrowly defined. Generalized marketing can be exhausting, expensive, and fruitless when you overextend your efforts to a large amount of people. Niche marketing allows you to focus your time and money where it is most effective. A successful market leader will always cater to their customers’ needs while maximizing their time and resources.
Law Tigers – America’s Motorcycle Lawyers, is an organization and brand that has found tremendous success by utilizing niche marketing. The company’s founder saw the need for legal services devoted solely to the motorcycle riding community, and thus created a company to provide them. The firm has grown exponentially by employing grassroots, traditional, and digital marketing strategies to serve their defined audience.
Grassroots marketing is the most personal of the three. This is a marketing technique in which efforts are focused towards a small group of people who then increase word of mouth referrals to a larger audience. This strategy is most effective when you target those who are heavily engaged within the industry in which your company is involved. By engaging with your audience in their comfort zone, personal face-to-face relationships are created that then become loyal advocates of your brand. Law Tigers effectively utilizes grassroots marketing by sponsoring, hosting, and attending various national, regional, and local motorcycle events. At these events, the Law Tigers marketing managers are out and about, conversing with motorcycle riders and building genuine relationships. If these riders are ever injured in an accident or know someone who is, the Law Tigers brand is top-of-mind. The marketing managers also spend a significant amount of time connecting with motorcycle dealerships, repair shops, clubs, schools, and towing companies. These relationships create trust and loyalty, as well as strong top-of-mind awareness among customers and prospects. As a result of these practices, the motorcycle industry insiders become a constant referral service.
Traditional marketing is typically what comes to mind when advertising is mentioned. Common venues for traditional advertising includes billboards, newspaper, television, and radio. A targeted demographic, ratings, and other factors must be understood to obtain correct media placements. Establishing solid relationships between networks and vendors is also a key to maximizing potential exposure. By employing these traditional media strategies, Law Tigers effectively engages motorcycle enthusiasts through branded billboards, television, and radio commercials that are strategically placed to reach our target demographic.
Digital marketing is utilizing technology to gain new business online and track results in real time. If a business is not marketing in the digital space, they are missing out on a significant amount of revenue. People are now using the internet more than ever before to work, research, find services, make purchases, and entertain themselves. With the presence of online reviews, and the ubiquitous nature of search engines, it is imperative that your firm has a strong presence online. Digital marketing includes everything from upper-funnel branding activities such as Facebook and Instagram, to lower-funnel direct response marketing such as highly targeted Google advertising. It is also important to nurture and educate prospective clients throughout the marketing funnel utilizing e-mail lists, retargeting, programmatic display, social media engagement, and pushing one-to-one content. Law Tigers effectively reaches their audience online through real-time marketing mix optimization, allocating spend to the most efficient channels and campaigns. This enables Law Tigers licensees to obtain signed cases at an optimal cost per lead, based on projected ROI. The social media consists of original branded content, influencer marketing, curated articles, photos, and videos that constantly increase user response and brand recognition. By utilizing Google A.I. machine learning and other proprietary data sources, the Law Tigers team are able to identify trends and gather data to create online campaigns targeted to those most likely to become a signed case.
The key to any successful business is a solid strategy. By utilizing experience and effective marketing to target and service a niche, a business can be more successful without spending time on unnecessary tasks. As the saying goes, time is money. Wouldn’t you like more of both?
Author Ari Levenbaum is the COO & CMO of the American Association of Motorcycle Lawyers, also known as, the Law Tigers. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and 888-271-7029.
Ari has cultivated and maintained multi-level partnerships with industry representatives, and their constituents including motorcycle clubs, vendors, manufacturers and dealerships. He is responsible for developing a highly effective integrated marketing system, with the objective of brand awareness, and trust amongst a diverse community of motorcycle riders, and industry-related business owners. As a rider, Ari has a unique understanding of the motorcycle riding industry, and community, which proves tremendously beneficial in his role with the Law Tigers.
Keep your friends close, and your Instagram friends even closer. One of your online friends might be the police and a search warrant is not needed to befriend you on social media.
A US District Court Judge in New Jersey ruled that photos and information obtained by police through an undercover Instagram account can be admitted as evidence against a suspected high-end residential burglary ring leader, according to the December 15, 2014 court opinion.
Reverted to burglary
See also: Florida Court Finds No Expectation of Privacy on Facebook. The case of a possibly malingering plaintiff has led a Florida court to rule that Facebook users have no right of privacy in the photos they put online.
Daniel “Tokyo” Gatson was released from prison in 2012 for burglary convictions, including one of former New York Knicks basketball star Patrick Ewing’s home. Within two weeks law enforcement began investigating a series of more than 40 residential burglaries that occurred in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Georgia, according to the Bergen County prosecutor’s office.
A task force composed of the Bergen County police department and sheriff’s office, and the FBI used an undercover Instagram account to become “friends” with Gatson, which he accepted, according to the court opinion.
No search warrant necessary
Gatson posted pictures on Instagram depicting items he had stolen, making them available for his Instagram friends to see, including the police. “Consensual sharing of this type of information” does not require a search warrant, even if the accepted “friend” is a fake account created by police, according to the court opinion.
GPS location data for several cell phones linking Gatson to the homes and areas where the burglaries occurred were also obtained without the use of a search warrant, as one phone had no registered subscriber and the other phone in use was registered to one of Gatson’s girlfriends, according to the court opinion.
The police did obtain a state wiretap authorization for intercepted phone communications related to the crimes and federal search warrants for Gatson’s residences in North Bergen, New Jersey and Stone Mountain, Georgia, placement of a car bug in the van rented to commit the burglaries, and search warrants for Gatson’s electronic devices, which were all upheld as valid in the court opinion.
Authorities’ use of social media
From 2010 to mid-2012, more than 1,000 published court cases involved social media evidence, according to two studies by the Forensic Focus website. Generally, law enforcement authorities are required to provide only a subpoena for records from social media companies, without needing to notify the account holders that their accounts had been searched and seized.
In response, social media companies are now notifying account holders when their data is requested by law enforcement, according to the Who Has Your Back? Report from the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Facebook even has an operational guideline policy for law enforcement seeking records, requiring a valid subpoena, court order or search warrant.
Authorities and the general public for that matter are able to view and use any publicly posted and shared social media information. Even if the social media account is made “private,” making it only accessible to approved “friends,” authorities can bypass the privacy setting by creating a fake “undercover” account if the user accepts the friend request.
“Where Facebook privacy settings allow viewership of postings by “friends,” the Government may access them through a cooperating witness who is a “friend” without violating the Fourth Amendment” as in the case of U.S. v. Meregildo (883 F. Supp. 2d 523, 525 (S.D.N.Y. 2012)) where a Facebook “friend” was a cooperating witness and allowed law enforcement to access Meregildo’s posts regarding his violent acts and gang activity.
Beyond criminal implications
Although criminal cases are the most common using social media evidence, other litigations such as insurance and personal injury claims, employment claims, family law and trademark infringement cases can also be impacted by the use of social media evidence, as indicated in the Forensic Focus study. A picture is worth a thousand words and more when the pictures are archived forever in cyberspace.
The FBI and Bergen County police department arrested Gatson on October 11, 2013 along with other ring members on conspiracy to transport, possess, and receive stolen goods and transportation of stolen goods across state lines, based on evidence obtained, including the Instagram photos and statements. The case is United States v. Gatson in the District Court of New Jersey Criminal No. 13–705