Is Not Participating in Social Media a Liability?
By non-attorney contributor Neil Ferree: Hey, all your attorneys are trying to figure out how to reach clients and others in need of legal assistance. Things have changed a lot. And if you’re not social, you’re probably in trouble. Case in point, if you fast forward to 2:02 in this Lexis Nexis video from Legal Tech NY and if you agree with Steve Fairley’s assertion “you’re being penalized by Google by not participating in social media,” then I suspect you will find the information in this article will be timely and valuable and I encourage you to share this article with your Google+ (Legal) Circles.
Let’s agree for the moment that Fairley is correct, and Google is tracking the social signals and social shares your content generates, and if you’re not using social media, Google will levy a penalty against your site.
Let’s also agree that Google can link your content to your “vetted” credentials and your Authorship and Rich Snippets codes.
Given these two assumptions, it’s safe to say that;
The lawyer content you create, curate, and syndicate to your social networks and the social signals this content generates will eventually give Google the data it needs to assign your Authorship (aka) Author Rank some degree of value. It’s the same thing as Page Rank, only different, and the difference is you are the brand. The attorney is the “brand,” get it?
Nobody knows how or when these aggregated social metrics will determine if your webpage will rank on page 1 or page 101 for the target keyword phrase. Still, we do know the SERPs are being influenced by your social footprint and the social activity (likes, shares, comments, R/T’s) it generates. One of the best sound bites from Fairley’s video is this; Done beats Perfect. In other words, get in the game and perfect your presence over time. A year from now, you will wish you had started today.
Put another way, the most social signals and social shares with the best content that gets shared the most by other verified online profiles will win the SERP war. And it is a war. Desperate legal SEO companies are using negative SEO to bring down good sites, thus, causing crummy, thin law sites and blogs to rise. There has to be a better way.
The Future According to Google’s Eric Schmidt
On February 1st, The Wall Street Journal leaked excerpts from Eric Schmidt’s’s new book in April 2013. The key quote from this WSJ piece as it relates to social content marketing goes like this;
“Within search results, information tied to verified online profiles will be ranked higher than content without such verification, which will result in most users naturally clicking on the top (verified) results. The true cost of remaining anonymous, might be irrelevance.” – Eric Schmidt
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that the most social signals and social shares with the best content that gets shared the most by other verified online profiles will win the SERP war.
It’s pretty obvious then, unless you are what Google calls a (verified) result → the cost of remaining anonymous will be irrelevance. You might look this way: Who will want to share content from an unknown source?
Every 48 Hours
In his Inc 500 Keynote Address, Gary Vaynerchuk echoed Chairman Eric Schmidt by saying, “Every 48 hours, we produce as much content as we produced from the beginning of Mankind to 2003” Clearly, being able to rise above the noise level is as challenging as it ever was.
One of the critical objectives of your content marketing strategy must be to find a way to create fantastic content that gets found, seen, read, touched, and shared by your social audience, and the social signals that are generated get credited to your Authorship and Rich Snippets codes. Rise above legal noise, and turn you and your advocacy into a brand.
Social Shares are the Future SEO
Getting quality links pointing to your site is still important and influences the SERPs. On-page Optimization of your tags, titles, keywords, image alt-text, internal linking, and anchors will still help you rank better than if you don’t use these optimization techniques.
We’re all charged with becoming Content Producers and Marketers. Our online traffic will live or die based on the quality of our content, and how well our content is perceived and acted upon via the social web.
If Authorship “X” has 5,000 Twitter Followers and 5,000 Facebook Fans and 5,000 G+ Followers and Authorship “Y” has 500 Twitter Followers, and 500 Facebook Fans and 500 G+ Followers and both produce an A+ piece of content that generates the same number (by audience %) of social signals and social shares, who’s content do you think will rank higher in the SERPs?
Content Marketing Blueprint
I produced this video to demonstrate how I go about planning, building, and deploying a custom DIY Content Marketing System,. I break the process down into three parts to make it easier to digest and understand.
Diy Content Marketing System | SlideShare Edition
I produced this SlideShare piece to visually render a high-level overview of what’s involved in building a custom DIY Content Marketing System.
[Note] The icons and images in this SlideShare are “live” (i.e.) you can click the image on slide #4 to access the social media audit master excel file I have hosted on my Google Drive. It’s currently available for download to COLT readers at no charge. The WorkFlowy Social Audit Master is also available to COLT readers at no cost.
The Name of the Game • Is Get in the Game
A year from now, you lawyers, especially in competitive niches like personal injury law, will wish you had started growing your social signal bucket. Put another way, with the most social signals, and social shares, the best content that gets shared the most by other verified profiles wins the SERP war.
If this content made sense and you’re looking for an affordable and effective method to launch your own Content Marketing System, Let’s Talk