Thursday, April 29, 2010

How Marketers Are Using Social Media To Grow Their Businesses - 2010 Report

Whatever questions you may have about social media marketing, you’ll probably find the answers in the 2010 Social Media Marketing Industry Report from white paper guru Michael Stelzner.

This excellent study provides a wide array of answers, statistics and insights. If there was any doubt that social media has become a mainstream marketing channel, 91% of respondents of respondents said they are using social media for marketing. Given the nature of the respondents, that figure is very likely higher than the overall business population, but there’s no doubt that social media is now being used in a sizable majority of organizations. Here are a few more of the key findings and my own observations.

The Biggest Question

A year ago, the top questions most marketers had about social media related to tactics, with ROI second. This year, questions about ROI top the list. The report notes that “the question of whether social media works has dropped off the charts completely.” One in three marketers said that measuring results and identifying best practices are their top questions about social media marketing.

Expertise Without Experience?

While 65% of marketers have been involved with social media marketing for a few months, only 14% of businesses are outsourcing any aspect of their social media marketing. This is eerily reminiscent of research findings reported by MarketingSherpa a year ago on the large percentage of marketers who felt they could be social media experts without having social media experience. Diving into social media without guidance from an outside expert risks ineffectiveness at the least, and possibly much worse. You could learn to drive a car without an instructor too, but it’s certainly not recommended. This new report does point out that the use of social media outsourcing does vary by company size, but still only 25 of medium to large enterprises are taking advantage of outside expertise.

Social Media Takes Time

How much time? More than half (56%) of respondents said they spend six hours or more per week on social media marketing, with 30% spending 11 hours or more and 12% spending more than half of their time with social media. Furthermore, the time commitment required grows with experience; those getting started in social media spent on average just an hour per week on it. But for marketers who have been using social media for a few months or longer, the median time jumped to 10 hours per week. That makes perfect sense–as marketers develop more social media connections, it takes longer to manage those relationships. And as social media marketing marketing begins to pay dividends, marketers are motivated to spend more time on it. The one question missing here was what gets included in social media time. Content development is one of the most time-consuming aspects of social media marketing, but other than blogging, it isn’t clear if writing is included in these figures.

Exposure vs. ROI

Interestingly, while guidance on measuring ROI topped the list of questions, “increased exposure for my business” was cited as the top benefit of social media marketing, with 85% of respondents achieving this. The next three most common benefits noted–increased traffic and email subscribers, new business partnerships and help with SEO–are also more measures of exposure than tangible financial return. Metrics related to ROI, such as leads generated and direct sales, were mentioned by only about half of the survey respondents as key benefits of social media marketing.

The report notes that last year, only about a third of marketers said that social media helped reduce their marketing expenses, while nearly half made that claim this year. This seems somewhat surprising; while social definitely reduces media/advertising expenses, it increases labor costs. It would seem logical that for many companies, marketing costs would be shifted, but not necessarily reduced, by the use of social media. Again, it isn’t clear what all gets lumped into this category. If content generation is included, overall costs aren’t likely to change much.

Social Media Means (Business-to) Business…

Nearly 74% of marketers who have been using social media for at least two years report that it has helped them close new sales. B2B marketers were slightly more likely to report increased sales than than their B2C counterparts. And small businesses with anywhere from 2-100 employees were most likely to see this benefit.

Social media is also valuable for establishing new business partnerships. More than half of marketers using social media said it had helped them forge new partnerships. Again, this benefit was more prevalent among b2b companies (61%) than b2b firms (49%).

…But Facebook Means Consumer Marketing

The top social media tools used across all respondents are:

Twitter – 88%

Facebook – 87%

LinkedIn – 78%

Blogging – 70%

Among experienced social media users, those who have been at it for at least two years, an astounding 96% use Twitter. Digging further in the details, b2b marketers are considerably more likely to find value with LinkedIn, and slightly more likely to utilize blogs, than their b2c peers. However, b2c marketers are much more likely to use Facebook; in fact, it is the top social media tool in the b2c space, used by 90% of b2c marketing pros.

What the Future Holds for Social Media Marketing

When asked to look forward, two-thirds of marketers said they plan to increase their use of blogs, Facebook, video, Twitter and LinkedIn. Blogs are the top area in which marketers plan to increase efforts, and small businesses are more enthusiastic about blogging than their larger counterparts.

Only 4% of marketers overall said they have no plans to use Facebook, though again it is favored more highly by consumer than business marketers. 80% of b2c companies, and 85% of large companies, plan to increase efforts here.

93% of all marketers are already using Twitter, and 71% plan to increase this effort.

Consumer marketers are slightly more likely to utilize online video and YouTube than their b2b counterparts (76% vs. 71%), but video is the top area of increased investment for the most experienced social marketers across the two segments.

B2b marketers are significantly more likely (72% vs. 59%) to increase their use of LinkedIn than those on the b2c side.

Finally, mobile marketing is growing in importance, but is a much higher priority for large bc2 companies than for smaller firms or b2b marketing teams.

There’s much more in the 2010 Social Media Marketing Industry Report as well. It’s a fascinating read for anyone interested in the current state and future of social media marketing.

Visit our website to learn more about how blog seo and other social media can help your law firm


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

NYC Attorney / Lawyer CLE - May 13, 2010 (Real Estate Related)

Course Information
Date: Thursday - May 13, 2010
Time: 8:00 am – 8:30 am - Registration 8:30 am – 10:30 am - Course
Where: Citigroup Center - 153 East 53rd St., 4th Fl. Conference Room, New York, NY 10022
Cost: Complimentary Continental Breakfast Included

Earn*: 2 CLE Credits (Attorneys)

NYS CLE for Attorneys - The Power of Strategy™ course #TAX0270 - (transitional and non-transitional)

NYS CPE for CPAs - The Power of Exchange™ sponsor # 002204

This content of this course is appropriate for both newly admitted and experienced attorneys. Stewart Title Insurance Company has been certified by the New York State Continuing Legal Education Board as an Accredited Provider of continuing legal education in the State of New York, March 1, 2010 – February 28, 2013.

You must attend 100% of the course to be eligible for 2 CLE credits. Certificates will be issued upon completion of class and execution of sign-in. (Per New York CLE rules-If an attorney has taken this class previously and received CLE credit for it, they are NOT eligible to receive credit again for the class.)

A complimentary seminar for investors, attorneys, CPAs and brokers

Sponsored by: FindLaw & Citibank

Presented by:

Vice President, Asset Preservation, Inc.

Course Topics:

- Minimizing the Impact of Capital Gain Rate Increases on Property Sales
- LLCs, partnerships and trusts and advanced exchange entity issues
- Like-kind property: What qualifies and what does not qualify
- Oil and gas programs, air and water rights, easements and other replacement property options
- Related party rules including the latest private letter rulings
- Using Section 1031 With Distressed Assets
- Improvement and reverse exchanges, Rev. Proc. 2000-37, and the pros and cons of various parking arrangement alternatives
- Real-life case studies and creative exchange solutions
- Selecting a Qualified Intermediary Due Diligence

To RSVP, contact: Jennifer Pendzick Email:

Phone: 866-394-1031 x501 Fax: 631-614-7953

Outstanding comments from past attendees are shown below:

“The best 1031 exchange presentation I’ve ever attended.”

“So much information, priceless.”

“I would highly recommend it to anyone in commercial real estate.”

National Headquarters 800-282-1031 • 916-791-5991 Eastern Regional Office 866-394-1031 • 631-369-3617

© 2010 Asset Preservation, Inc.

Monday, April 12, 2010

NYC Crime Spikes Causing Concerns

NEW YORK (AP) ― Young men and women roaming Manhattan streets with guns. Two men knifed to death on the subway. An attempted rape in a bar. For the past few weeks, the headlines of urban mayhem made it seem like New York had gone back to the 1980s.

"SUBWAY SLAUGHTER" screamed the headline of the New York Post. "Death Rode The 2 Train — Two slain in horror ride on West Side subway" led the Daily News.

The spate of crime — including three shootings and dozens of arrests for what the mayor called "wilding" April 5 near Times Square — has some questioning whether the decades-long reduction in crime is starting to shift as the city struggles with massive budget cuts and a shrinking police force.

"It's very upsetting," said Adele Dressner, who owns a business near 34th Street. "It could happen in the best and worst neighborhoods."

But criminologists and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly caution against suggesting there's a trend.

"We've had some high-profile events," Kelly said. "But that's going to happen in a big city like this ... it's important to keep it in context."

FBI crime statistics show the crime rate has been falling around the country in recent years, even as the economy has tanked. And crime in the city remains at historic lows — even with a 20 percent spike in murders during the first quarter of this year, and even as the NYPD downsizes.

With about 35,000 officers, the department is still by far the nation's largest. The second-largest is Chicago and it's less than half the size, with about 13,000 officers.

But there are now nearly 6,000 fewer cops than in 2002, when Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Kelly took over. The city's budget proposal for the fiscal year that begins July 1 calls for a further reduction of about 1,300 officers, reached through attrition rather than layoffs.

Kelly has a difficult task: reassuring New Yorkers the city remains safe, while trying to stop his department from shrinking further. He has said repeatedly that he needs more officers, but will do his best with what he has.

"The city has become much, much safer," he said. "One crime is one crime too many, obviously and our goal is to suppress it, wherever it occurs."

Suppressing rising crime would have been even more difficult for police under an emergency budget plan Bloomberg proposed earlier this year that envisioned having to lay off 3,150 police officers because of drastic state budget cuts.

Gov. David Paterson's state budget would have shrunk aid to the city by more than $1 billion. The state still has not come up with a final budget, but Bloomberg promised this week that the city would weather the budget cuts without laying off any officers.

The news relieves some city residents.

"The more cops out there, the less people will be looking to hurt someone or rob someone," said Brooklyn resident Evan Griffiths. "Like them or not, just being out there makes it better for the community."

There's a debate whether flooding the streets with officers really led to the historic crime drop of the 1990s, after the city had been ravaged by urban violence. The term "wilding," used by Bloomberg last week, was created after the notorious 1989 rape of the woman known as the Central Park jogger. The 1980s was the decade of subway vigilante Bernard Goetz, "preppie killer" Robert Chambers and the infamous Howard Beach racial attacks.

The murder rate — considered by many to be the most reliable barometer of crime — had hit a record 2,245 in 1990. Then-Mayor David Dinkins launched a hiring spree of more than 5,000 police officers.

By 1994, the city's homicide rate fell 19 percent, by 365 murders, the largest decline in two decades. The crime rate has continued to fall ever since.

Criminologist Andrew Karmen, author of "New York Murder Mystery: The True Story of the Crime Crash of the 1990s," said New York officials never bothered to figure out exactly why crime fell. Karmen and others argued the city was safer not because of an increase in officers, but social factors: fewer bloody turf wars between crack dealers; a decline in the population of young, crime-prone men, and even harsh winters. Karmen said those social factors are still in play today.

Former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and his police commissioner, William Bratton, insisted a menu of crime-fighting strategies made the city less hospitable for criminals. They cracked down on "quality-of-life" crimes like panhandling and made arrests on less serious offenses that they said stopped larger crimes from happening. Giuliani is credited with the cleanup of Times Square from a fetid stretch of porn shops into a glittering Disney-centric urban playland.

The department also started to track patterns of crime by computer. Commanders began deploying patrols based on where and when robbers, drug dealers and gun peddlers are most active. By 2002, there were more than 40,000 officers in the nation's largest police force.

Under Kelly, Operation Impact was started, where the bulk of police academy graduates were placed into high-crime zones identified through the CompStat computer system.

"The NYPD, especially this administration, has done an incredible job of keeping crime down," said Richard Aborn of the Citizens Crime Commission.

In recent years, City Hall has crunched crime statistics from around the country, producing numbers it says shows New York is "America's safest big city." Arrests have been made in the crimes of the past few weeks. And many New Yorkers say the city feels just as safe as always.

"My neighborhood is much, much safer," said David Duncan, who runs a community television show in the Crown Heights area of Brooklyn. "I know it's true because I see it. I don't see anything worth freaking out over — yet."


SEO Consultant Firm Blog Listed in ABA Journal Online

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Thursday, April 8, 2010

SEOmoz 2009 SEO Ranking Argorithm

I get questions all the time from law firms (both new to the web and ones with existing websites) about why certain firms are doing well online. Beyond the on-site SEO that is needed, a great deal of this has to do with the quantity and quality of their inbound links. The following article provides a good overview if the ranking algorithm and how important this really is...

Getting links to your site is essential in SEO. The search engines view each link to your website like a vote- and while not all links are created equal, they are all counted! Perhaps you, like many small businesses, have decided to tackle building your own links. It’s important to know that link building can often take a lot of time, and be fairly arduous. However, the benefits are huge!

Let’s take a look at just how important links for your ranking in the search engines. This chart, courtesy of SEOmoz, 2009*, really helps hit it home. Based on a survey of some of the top SEO experts in the world, link popularity, or the number of backlinks a specific page has, and keyword anchor text from those external links, make up a large portion of your rank.

Video Is Becoming The Next Digital Marketing Frontier

Nice tidbits on video production, marketing and analytics here. I have highlighted a few important areas that are worth the read...

Video, as a marketing channel, has pushed its way into the hearts and minds of marketing agencies and businesses of most sizes. What's not to like? The numbers to quantify the shift speak for themselves.

YouTube receives more than 100 million unique visitors and streams more than 6 billion videos monthly, according to Nielsen.

Users viewed 33.2 billion videos during the month of December 2009, according to comScore.

86.5 percent of the total U.S. Internet audience viewed online video in December 2009, according to comScore.
The list goes on and on.

Search Engine Strategies New York this year featured a keynote aptly named "Video: The Next Digital Marketing Frontier." The session focused on the latest developments in video marketing. The panel was moderated by Zach Rodgers, managing editor of ClickZ. He led the panelists in a conversation by asking insightful questions, ranging from video discovery and ad networks, to ad formats and the importance of engagement.

Before Rodgers jumped into directing questions, Terrence Kelleman, president/designer, Dynomighty Design, took the podium. His viral video and business success story is the type most marketers and businesses dream about.

The first video Dynomighty uploaded to YouTube was a product demo of his company's magnetic bracelet (one of many in-house product designs). It took off and was featured on the home page of YouTube, garnering 2.7 million views. Marketers take note!

In three months, that single video was responsible for $130,000 in sales. For Kelleman, the ability of video to tell an in-depth story of his product beyond a static picture and a buy button, gives video an unparalleled advantage. On the same note, video allows customers to become engaged (one of the major YouTube ranking factors), lending deeper insight into both brand and product.

Not all video marketing strategies focus on the proclivity of a video to become viral as the key to driving campaign success. It's damn cool when it happens, though.

YouTube's Promoted Videos Ad Platform

Kelleman has used YouTube's ad platform for six months, and it has proven effective. Check out the solid ad placement too.

Baljeet Singh, senior product manager, Google, noted that although the platform is still pretty young, it has demonstrated results for all types of advertisers. If the idea is to ensure your content is in line-of-sight, it's a great channel tactic and it can be cheap as well.

Two Advertising Models

Singh agreed that YouTube has one model for small business owners and one model for large brands. Promoted videos can work for both small companies to large companies (e.g., GM).

Video Advertising

Ian Schafer, CEO, Deep Focus, believes people have tried to lend scale to online video advertising in the last couple of years. However, the same way that YouTube has millions of viewers, it's nearly impossible to reach everyone simultaneously.

The practice of placing ads over, around, or between videos has become a commodity. If your goal is to market in these areas, the opportunities have become available, defined, and standardized.

Schafer thinks video ads shouldn't be measured on a CTR basis. Similar to placing an ad on TV, you "won't necessarily get the same scalable result."

Online video captures the opportunity to provide deeper engagement. Video begets engagement and performance should be evaluated based on this metric as opposed to CTR.

Rachel Scotto, metrics strategy consultant, Sony Pictures, said that, in terms of metrics, "video stream" has been the focus for many, but it's not the most important.

What needs to be looked at:

Milestones in the video: Starts, dropouts, and completions.

User engagement metrics and video tracking: Where do viewers fast-forward or rewind?
Deeper Engagement

Scotto said if you're hosting the content, deeper engagement can be tracked through "tools you have control over." Because Kelleman hosts videos on YouTube, he gains deeper metric insights through YouTube's analytics package, Insight. He examines Hot Spots to give him an idea of where viewers are becoming disinterested and uses this information when moving forward and designing new videos.

Video and Social Media: How Users Engage With Videos

Kelleman said Dynomighty has an intern whose role is to monitor and respond to video and channel comments. Schafer added that relevant social media buzz will lubricate distribution of content.

Important Social Media and Video Activity Metrics

Scotto said that volume metrics are the key if you're "shooting primarily for exposure." If you're after engagement, then you need to know how much of the video is being viewed. Video production costs are also important. You don't want costs to outweigh the benefit.

Paid Views vs. Organic Views

An increase in paid views will ultimately boost organic views. It's important to look at sources of views and determine where you're receiving the most lift. For example, with YouTube Promoted Videos, running ads on keywords that you rank well for can increase organic views.

One last tidbit: when running promoted video ads in YouTube, play the video from your channel rather than the watch page. This method can increase views for all of your uploaded videos because your content and brand personality will be in line-of-sight.

Visit us today to learn more about video SEO and how we can help your videos get to the top of Google.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

NYC Is #1 For Criminal Attorney Searches In March

NYC is once again the top city in the US for Criminal Attorney Searches in Google. NYC also ranks in the top 5 cities for drug crimes lawyer, criminal defense attorney and police brutality lawyer
Contact us today to learn more about criminal defense lawyer marketing and law firm SEO...

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Business Bankruptcies Jump 20% YOY In March

The total number of companies filing for bankruptcy in the U.S. jumped by more than 20% in March over the previous month, as business failures in the first quarter outpaced last year's total.

The total number of commercial bankruptcy filings hit 8,208 in March, a sharp rise from February's total of 6,655, according to new data from Automated Access to Court Electronic Records.

March's total brings the total number of commercial bankruptcies to 21,453 so far this year, almost 1,000 more than the total for the first quarter of 2009, a breakout year for business filings.

Jack Williams, a bankruptcy law professor at Georgia State University, said he expects the business bankruptcy rising trend to continue through the second quarter despite signs of an improving economy.

"There's no indication whatsoever that the trend is slowing," Mr. Williams said. "The pace is picking up...and that was off of what was a major filing year in 2009."

The new bankruptcy figures come amid evidence of an improving job market. The Labor Department reported Friday that the U.S. economy added 162,000 jobs in March, though the unemployment rate held steady at 9.7%.

Contact us today if you would like to learn more about bankruptcy law firm SEO.


Friday, April 2, 2010

Personal Bankruptcy Filings Rise To 2005 Levels

NEW YORK, April 1 (Reuters) - More Americans filed for bankruptcy protection in March than at any time since federal bankruptcy laws were overhauled in 2005, reflecting the unevenness of the economy's stabilization after the deepest recession since the 1930s.

There were 158,141 U.S. bankruptcy petitions, covering consumers and businesses, filed in March, according to preliminary data compiled from court filings and released Thursday by Automated Access to Court Electronic Records, or AACER.

The total increased 20 percent from 132,005 last March and jumped 35 percent from February's 117,240,

March's filings were 19 percent greater than the 133,393 recorded in October 2009. That total had been the highest since reforms to the U.S. Bankruptcy Code were implemented in October 2005. These made it harder for consumers to erase debts and for businesses to restructure without creditor interference.

"When you experience job losses, a tightening of and increase in the credit costs and rising interest rates on credit cards, people start feeling a squeeze," said Karen Gross, president of Southern Vermont College in Bennington and director of the Coalition for Debtor Education. "You start seeing bankruptcy rates increase and that's exactly what we're seeing now."

Experts say bankruptcies typically peak at least several months and often well over a year, after the economy bottoms out, in part because people and businesses view seeking court protection from creditors as a last resort.

March's filings included 149,979 petitions by individuals and 8,162 filed by businesses, according to AACER, which is part of Jupiter eSources LLC in Oklahoma City.

75% of Personal Bankruptcy Filings Were Chapter 7

About three-quarters of the petitions were filed under Chapter 7, which consumers often use to get a new start on their financial lives. Most of the rest were filed under Chapter 13, which lets people discharge some debts. There were 1,323 Chapter 11 filings, which businesses typically use.

Last year, there were 1.47 million bankruptcy filings, the most since a record 2.08 million were filed in 2005, government data show. Filings for individuals rose 32 percent to 1.41 million, and for businesses rose 40 percent to nearly 61,000.

"Filing rates will stay at least at current levels and could rise more, especially if unemployment stays near current levels," Gross said.

"Businesses facing falling orders, growing receivables and tightening credit will too increasingly try to access the bankruptcy system, or become acquisition targets by others who see them as vulnerable, or go out of business," she added.

The busiest three-month period for filings remains the fourth quarter of 2005, when more than 667,000 petitions were filed. More than 600,000 were in the first two weeks of October, before the bankruptcy reforms took effect.

Visit our website to learn more about bankruptcy attorney marketing online