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Recently, a reporter asked me the following questions:
1. Currently, social media monitoring/archiving/discovery/capture software such as X1 Social Discovery (http://www.x1.com/products/x1_social_discovery/) and SocialWare (http://www.socialware.com/) appears to be focused on only a few, major social networks: Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Realistically, is coverage of these three networks alone really enough — given that there are literally hundreds of thousands of discussions forums where an employee might make a post?
It depends. If the company monitoring the social media activity is a federally regulated entity (such as a financial institution), where any posting containing non-public or proprietary information could irreparably effect a patent or its stock price, only monitoring the “Big Three” would not be enough. However, generally speaking, due to the number of users, followers, and friends, monitoring the “Big Three” is sufficient because most people want a lot of people to see what they post and the majority of people do not even know that others exist (mostly only tech savvy ones know).
2. If a law firm asked you which software products/services you believe they should look at as a solution for social media monitoring/archiving/discovery/capture, which products/services would you point them to — and why?
X1 Discovery appears to be the market leader in this space. It is very robust and the database archiving and retrieval of user data is very powerful.
Actiance has a product that I am familiar with that can be useful, especially in the financial services/federally regulated industries because it can monitor social media posts of employees before they actually post the information to the social media site itself. The downside is that employees have to link their social media accounts via an API which allows access to their private accounts in order for this to be effective.
3. Realistically, do you envision a day when a software product will truly be able to monitor every post on every conceivable social network, discussion board, video upload site, etc.? If not, will this be troublesome when it comes to eDiscovery? Why/Why not?
No, I do not think that it is realistic that one software product or solution can monitor every post on every site for several reasons. First of all, these sites are developed by various programmers in different languages, etc. It is very difficult to gain the appropriate access to the code for every site out there and have another programmer develop the appropriate code to monitor it. Secondly, it would be extremely time consuming for one company to try to locate/identify “all” the sites in the first place. Lastly, it would be incredibly expensive to try to accomplish same.
4. Looking ahead, what do you believe will constitute the ultimate software suite for social media monitoring/archiving/discovery/capture? What will it be able to do? What will it still be missing? How close are we to getting to that software, and which companies, if any, do you believe may get us there?
Great questions. The dilemma with the next generation of social media monitoring is overcome the inherent privacy issues that exist with monitoring “closed” or “private” pages. None of the existing software suites can collect data from such sites without having permission from the users (which is highly unlikely if there is a hint of litigiousness in the inquiry). Logically, people should be smart enough to have their accounts privately protected if they are engaging in inappropriate behavior, nevertheless, you will be surprised to see what people will publicly post. This is probably the biggest problem and the only way that we will overcome it is determining whether or not social media participation is a public or private endeavor.
5. Do you have any other insights you’d like to share regarding social media monitoring/archiving/discovery/capture?
One thing that I wanted to add is that many law firms use the Way Back Machine http://archive.org that can point to any webpage on the internet to see what it looked like at any given period of time (going back to about 10 years). This is useful to show what items/content has been deleted, etc. and allows an attorney to question the company or user why it is missing.
Emma-Julie Fox writes for Pitstop Media Inc, a top rated Vancouver SEO company that provides services to businesses across North America. If you would like to invite the author to guest post on your blog please contact www.pitstopmedia.com
Whatever Social media and SEO services you may be seeking, law firms today can’t ignore Twitter marketing. The microblogging giant, after all has the potential to propel your website visitor numbers, in addition to boosting your brand building efforts and inspiring trust in your organization.
The key lies in understanding the medium and using it in the most efficient manner. The following are the top practices that can help you achieve twitter success:
Build your brand on Twitter: To start with, if you haven’t already done so, get your firm’s website on Twitter. For better recognition, try to get your brand as your Twitter handle; but if the handle’s already taken, something close will work too. For instance, if your website’s name is “XYZ Consultants”, your Twitter handle could be “XYZ Consultants”.
In addition, put up your website’s logo as your profile picture on Twitter, fill in your bio details on your Twitter account, and make sure you feature your website’s link on your profile so users can visit your site.
Encourage visitors to tweet your content: All pages of your website, especially those where you upload fresh content regularly must have a ‘Tweet’ option. In addition to that in order to encourage visitors to share your content add a call to action at the bottom of the page. For instance, you could say something like, “Found the advice here useful, tweet it here and share the information with your network.’
Often it is this gentle nudge that makes all the difference between a tweeted and an un-tweeted post. In fact you may also add a ‘Follow Me on Twitter’ button to encourage visitors who like your post to become your followers.
Do some tweeting of your own: Twitter is all about sharing whatever you find interesting with those in your network, as well as the rest of the lot.
So, be active on Twitter – make it a point to share all your fresh content, guest posts, etc, with your network. However, don’t let that be the raison d’être for your existence on twitter.
You don’t always have to tweet about law or legal matters, participate in trending conversations on the platform to get more users to notice you, and re-tweet something interesting from your followers so that your Twitter activity doesn’t appear to be a mere brand-building exercise.
Also, make sure that you tweet regularly and are not seen as someone that registers sudden spurts of bulk-tweets after long gaps of radio silence. The idea is to ensure your twitter activity looks natural and genuine.
Use short links that are indexed by search engines: Twitter lets you use URL shorteners when tweeting links. While it may be convenient to post shorter URLs, make sure that the tool you use gets indexed by search engines; otherwise your tweeting efforts could be futile.
Use Twitter cards for more dynamic tweeting: A part of Twitter’s Open Graph Protocol offering, Twitter Cards are a great way to customize your Twitter posts. The feature lets you add media such as images, links, videos, etc, within your tweets, thus offering the following key benefits:
- Your posts appear a lot more attractive to your followers.
- It’s a great way to drive more visitors to your content.
These tips will definitely help you improve your twitter game and play a crucial role in making your Social Media and overall SEO strategy more impactful.
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The content of this blog is intended for informational purposes only. It is not intended to solicit business or to provide legal advice. Laws differ by jurisdiction, and the information on this blog may not apply to every reader. You should not take, or refrain from taking, any legal action based upon the information contained on this blog without first seeking professional counsel.
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