How can we measure the success of our social media strategy?
That is one of the questions I am most frequently asked.
Can I determine a true ROI (return on investment)? How many likes should my page have on Facebook? How many followers should I have on Twitter? How many comments should I have on my blog? How many posts and comments should there be on LinkedIn? What does it all mean anyway? Is there a way to correlate all of this to true business value? New sales? New customers?
The answer, unfortunately, is not a simple straightforward answer.
Measuring the success of your social media strategy depends largely upon what you are trying to accomplish. That is why it is extremely important to figure out your goals and objectives before you carry out your strategy. You need to determine what your Social Media KPI’s are. Depending on your goals and objectives, the KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) will differ and what metric you are evaluating will slightly vary by platform. Here are some common KPI’s to measure:
EXPOSURE / REACH: Visits, views, followers, fans, subscribers, brand mentions. How many people are reading your blog or going to your website? How many people are following you on Twitter or LinkedIn?
INFLUENCE: Share of voice, sentiment, top influencers. Is your content being mentioned or retweeted by others? Are people linking to your site or to your blog? Has your search engine ranking for your keywords and phrases gone up?
ENGAGEMENT: Clicks, retweets, shares, replies, DMs, wall posts, comments. Is your content being shared or retweeted by other people? Are your readers posting comments or asking questions? Are your followers talking about your company on Facebook?
ACTIONS / CONVERSIONS: Content downloads, webinar attendees, lead generation forms, pitches/proposals. How many people are downloading your content or filling out lead generation forms? Is the traffic you are driving to your website being converted into sales or new customers? Are people contacting you for new work based upon your content?
Once you have laid out your goals and objectives and established your KPI’s, then you can go ahead and start implementing your social media strategy. (See: A Social Media Strategy Checklist for Law Firms). However, it is important to remember that this strategy is not set in stone. The nature of social is that it is constantly evolving. Therefore it is extremely important to continually measure and adjust. See what is working and what is not and adjust accordingly. The other thing to remember is that anything worthwhile takes time. You can’t expect to have immediate engagement and success. Like any relationship in our lives, it takes nurturing and trust in order to make them grow and flourish.
With that being said, the time you invest in your social strategy can lead to referrals, leads, new clients, repeat clients, and press. These potential gains mean that if you emphasize the importance on social media within your firm it can indeed yield in a high ROI.
While social media can be one of the most inexpensive methods of marketing, it does take time and effort to develop a social strategy and social media policy that reflects the social climate of the legal industry as well as your firm’s goals.
Before you venture out with your new strategy, take the time to listen. There are many social media management and listening tools available that will help you realize what your customers and prospects are saying about your brand, your company, and about your industry. Take some time and listen. Look at what your competition is doing. Evaluate where the opportunities and gaps exist and roll out your strategy to take advantage of them. Then keep measuring and adjusting.
Updated and republished September 1, 2017.