If you’re like most firms, you’re not currently measuring social media return on investment (ROI). Many of the law firms we hear from aren’t currently measuring the ROI on their social activities, and might not even know what determines ROI or how to track it. In this post, you’ll find tips on how to measure and improve your firm’s social media ROI.
What is social media ROI – and why does it matter?
You probably know that ROI stands for “Return on Investment”. It’s how you measure the success (or lack thereof) of any efforts your firm undertakes. What that means for your social strategy will depend on what goals you have. For example, do you hope to gain brand awareness, or increase online lead generation? In a general sense, social media ROI is the return on all of the social media activities that create value for your firm.
It’s important to measure the ROI associated with any marketing activity. There are several reasons why proving ROI will help your overall marketing function:
- Shows the impact of social functions across your marketing department
- Points to areas where social activities are most effective, and also those where you need to tweak or make changes
- Assists legal marketers in understanding their audience and what they respond to
Not to mention, proving ROI helps to secure budget for future social media activities, as well as demonstrates the value of your marketing team with hard data.
How to measure social media ROI
Follow a simple, five-part plan to measure social media ROI in your firm.
1. Have transparent objectives:
Set social media objectives that are closely aligned with your law firm’s overall business goals. These objectives should be based on items like lead generation, business acquisition, and brand awareness.
2. Use the SMART framework for goals:
Now that you know what you want to achieve, goals help you lay out how you will do that. Ensure goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. For example, if your overall objective is lead generation, a “smart” goal might be “Increase traffic on lead generation landing pages by 10% each month”.
3. Choose the correct performance metrics:
Monitor metrics that indicate performance against the overall corporate objectives. Look at typical social data such as likes, comments, and shares, and also keep a close eye on reach, engagement, traffic, lead generation, and content sign-ups or downloads.
4. Understand the costs of social media
You need to know how much you’re spending on social media. That includes the cost of tools or platforms, the budget allocated to advertising or content creation, and employee time and resources.
Add up everything from step 4, then measure those numbers against the items from 1,2, and 3.
Most social channels have their own reporting tools to measure statistics. There are also third-party tools you can employ to gain insight into performance. Of course, make sure you have Google Analytics implemented. That’s your first step in pulling data associated with any digital efforts. Here are two other tools worth looking at:
- Social ROI calculator: This free tool makes it easy for you to calculate the return on your social media investment.
- Hootsuite Impact: Measure the ROI of social media across paid, owned, and earned social channels.
How to report the ROI of social media
Now that you have your goals and important figures set, you need to develop a sustainable method of reporting on the data. We suggest creating templates that you can use for multiple campaigns. Check metrics daily and make sure your reporting allows for that. Also, it’s important to stick to a timeframe and measure performance in distinct time-over-time increments (like month over month and year over year).
When presenting social media data, it’s important to speak to real business objectives and leverage third-party insights where possible. Additionally, use this time to educate firm shareholders on what is possible – and not possible – for measurement. Many people are not clear on what exactly can be measured between social channels, websites, etc.
And most important: 3 ways you can improve your social media ROI
One of the most beneficial reasons for measuring your law firm’s social media ROI is so that you can refine and optimize strategies for better performance. Here are 3 tactics to help legal marketers make the most of their social media efforts.
- Test and experiment – Try different audience segments, ad formats, times of day, etc.
- Leverage data to prove theories – You might notice trends that can help you create more impactful social engagement. For example, if you feel that tweets with links to interviews are more impactful than those with links to case studies, you can pull data that can affirm your ideas.
- Remain flexible – Social media is always changing. Revisit strategies every quarter and create new plans based on not only your findings, but testing new tools and channels.
Social media ROI is important for your law firm, and you can make a serious impact in your marketing by learning how to measure and improve social media ROI. If you’d like some support as you go through the process, let us know. We’ve helped countless firms take their social media performance to the next level.