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Using blog searches for legal business, search engines don’t cut it

mark_cuban_mug.jpgMark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks professional basketball team, founder of sold to Yahoo and publisher of Blog Maverick provides lawyers and legal marketing professionals a heck of tip in a post this evening. It’s more than a tip, it’s an essential practice in marketing any business. That’s listening to what others are saying about your law firm, your competitors, the industry you’re representing and the matters your lawyers are working on.

These searches are done via blog search engines such as Cuban’s IceRocket, which allows one to search blogs for keywords and key phrases. You can then set up a RSS feed to you via an aggregator of any posts referencing such words or phrases.

Cuban nails why using search engines such as Google don’t cut it for legal marketing.

In business, you usually already know something about the people, places, things, companies, services, whatever you want more information on. Not only do you usually know something about them, but you are more interested in the latest information, rather than the ‘most relevant’ information.

The best example of this is searching for information about your own company’s products, employees or the company itself.  If you are in corporate management at McDonalds, doing a search that lists  the McDonalds website first, and McDonalds corporate or related websites 8 of the next 10, isn’t going to be of much help. Worse yet, the sites listed are rarely going to change, and with more than 2mm sites referencing McDonalds, the chances of the company really getting an understanding about what is being said about it online is slim.

I like to do what I call my ‘daily searches’. I search for references to the Mavs, to HDNet , to Icerocket, to any of the films we are releasing or are in theaters and more. I want to know what is being said online about the businesses I am heavily invested in.  If I know what is going on in the web, I can track any issues, and  where necessary, respond.

Cuban explains why, at a minimum, he and folks like me, watch each day for references to our names and the names of our companies.

It used to be an old customer service mantra, that ‘1 upset customer can tell 20 people about how poorly your company performed, and those 20 people could tell 20 more and your business could really suffer. Keep all your customers happy, and you wont have to worry’. Those numbers are miniscule compared to today.

In todays world, one upset customer can write in their blog about how upset they are about your product or service and it could be linked to by any number of other blogs, which in turn are linked to by any number of blogs, which is in turn picked up by a tv news show.  In 24 hours or less, tens to  hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people have heard the complaint  and your business and brand are at risk.

In my business life ‘freshness’ of information from a search is far, far more important to me than relevancy.  I want to know what is being said, and the sooner the better.

He may be the owner of an NBA team and running non legal businesses, but Cuban’s blog is one innovative lawyers and legal marketing professionals ought to subscribe to.