Learning how to measure your law firm’s success on social media can be tricky business. There are a lot of numbers and terms to sort through. Making things even more confusing, different platforms report those numbers in different ways and use different terms to describe them.
In reality though, once you know what to look for, it’s not too hard to decipher all those reports, no matter which platform you’re looking at. Many people simply get lost and lose sight of what’s really important when it comes to distributing content through social media. The key is to cut through the noise and pay attention to the metrics that really matter.
Let’s break down some of the most common social media metrics that your law firm should be looking at. These statistics will give you a good overview of how your firm’s social media profiles are performing without the need for complex calculations or deep dives through big data. We’ll take a look at the numbers that matter for the three platforms that you’re most likely using: Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Note: It’s important to remember that as we’re talking about the statistics here, we’re talking about everything as if the amount of content you’re producing and posting is more or less the same from week to week. If there is a big swing in the number of posts you’re making, up or down, it can have a big effect on all of the numbers you see, so that must also be taken into account when evaluating things.
Where to Monitor Social Media Metrics
Facebook provides the most comprehensive reporting of the big three social media platforms. When you first enter the Insights report for your page you’ll be presented with a general overview of what has been happening with your page during the last seven days.
Of course, you want to see all of the numbers going up, but the three metrics on this page you really want to pay attention to are:
Page Likes – This is the total number of people that have “liked” your law firm’s Facebook page. The number is shown as the total new likes you’ve gotten this week as well as a comparison (shown as a percentage) to last week’s numbers. Likes on Facebook equal more exposure. As more people like and follow your page, each new post you make has a larger possible audience.
You should pay particular attention to the comparison to last week’s numbers. It’s inevitable that the percentage will sometimes be negative, but keeping this number positive will bring the fastest growth. When this number is particularly high, look back at what you’ve been doing that could have caused the spike in likes and do your best to keep it up.
Post Reach – This is the total number of (unique) people who have seen content that you’ve posted to your page during the last seven days. Keep in mind that this number will also include promoted posts.
Post reach should generally be steady. If you notice a sharp drop, you’ll definitely want to figure out what went wrong. If you notice a sharp rise, examine the type of content you’ve been sharing (assuming it’s not caused by an increase in advertising) and try to incorporate similar ideas and/or techniques into future posts to keep your reach growing.
Post Engagements – This is the total number of people that have interacted with your content during the last week. It includes likes, shares and comments. Engagement can have a significant effect on post reach and even page likes.
Creating content that fosters engagement should be your top priority. When you get people interested in your content, their friends and contacts will see their interactions and they will be helping to spread the word about your law practice.
Twitter’s reporting is not as detailed as Facebook’s, but you can still glean plenty of useful information that will let you know if you’re on the right track. When you first open your Twitter Analytics dashboard, you’ll get a summary of your account’s activity over the past 28 days with some comparisons to numbers from the previous 28 day period.
You should keep in mind that things on Twitter move very quickly and it’s not unusual to see some fairly large fluctuations in numbers from day to day. One of the key points to getting the most out of Twitter is figuring out when your audience is the most active and likely to see your tweets.
The stats you should be watching:
Overall Tweet Impressions – Your goal should be to keep this number rising. If it is going down, it could mean that you’re sending out too many tweets during hours when your audience simply isn’t there to see them. If this is this case, look at the times you’re sending out your best performing tweets and try to do more tweeting around those hours. You can also reach beyond your own followers and increase your total impressions by making good use of hashtags.
From there, switch over to the Tweets tab of your dashboard to look over the performance of some of your most recent tweets. The two most important stats to watch here are:
Engagement Rate – This metric is a measure of how many people interacted with each tweet including clicks, favorites, retweets, and replies. An extremely low number here is quite normal for Twitter. You may well see a lot of zeros. Anything from 1% to 3% is doing pretty good, and if you get above 3% consider it a great achievement. Look for similarities in tweet style or content between your top performers to try to create more engagement with future tweets. Again, timing can also make a big difference here.
Retweets – Retweets are the equivalent of re-sharing something on other social media networks. As far as Twitter goes, this is probably the most valuable type of engagement you can get. It means people are interested enough in what you are doing to share it with their followers. If the right person retweets your content, it could bump your potential audience up to hundreds of thousands of people.
LinkedIn’s analytics are somewhat unique since the platform is designed specifically for making professional connections. You’ll get access to a few more stats that really wouldn’t make much sense on the other networks, but the important metrics to watch are basically the same.
The initial analytics page will show you a list of the most recent posts you’ve made through your firm’s page. You’ll want to look at:
Clicks – This statistic counts the number of people who have clicked on your content, company name, or logo. Clicks show real interest in your firm itself. When you post an update that generates a lot of clicks compared to others, it’s worth taking note of the style of the post and what the content is about for use in the future.
Engagement – The engagement rate takes into account clicks, likes, comments and shares. This number is usually very low. It’s not uncommon to see engagement at less than one percent, so don’t be discouraged if you’re seeing numbers like two or three percent. That’s actually doing pretty good. Again, take note of content that performs well and look for similarities that you can work into future posts.
Then scroll down to the bottom to the “Visitors” section:
Visitor demographics – One of the biggest advantages of LinkedIn Analytics is the demographic information. Use the dropdown menu to check on the various sets of demographics for your audience. This will give you a clear picture of the people you’re reaching and whether or not they’re the right audience for the services your law firm provides. If you’re not getting the right type of readers, it might be time to rethink your content strategies.
Instagram is unlike any other platform in that it provides access to more metrics law firms can use to gauge success. With a variety of post types on the platform, Instagram analytics focuses on determining how people are engaging with your posts.
Reach – measures how many people your post has reached, therefore how much awareness your post has generated.
Engagement rate – tells you the percentage of people who engaged with your post out of how many people saw it.
Saves – shows you how many times your post has been bookmarked.
Audience growth – is a unique metric that shows how many followers you’ve gained or lost each day.
Watch through rate – is a metric unique to video content like Reels. It’s the percentage of people who’ve watched your content from beginning to end.
Instagram Stories views – tells you how many people viewed your Instagram story.
Lastly, Best Time to Post – is where Instagram shows you what time you should post based on engagement with your past posts.
Being that YouTube is primarily a video sharing site, its metrics are based around video content and how engagement is uniquely measured for videos. YouTube offers a robust set of metrics to help firms understand how they’re performing, both for regular videos and ads.
Watch Time – This allows you to see the length of time people spend watching your videos, how they find them, and what they are watching on (desktop or mobile).
Audience Retention – This rating compares your average view duration to your video’s length. Further divided into
Absolute Audience Retention (This metric tells you what does and doesn’t engage your audience, and you can use this information to shape your future videos.) and Relative Audience Retention (This metric compares your audience retention rate to that of all other YouTube videos in the same length range as yours.)
Demographics – Use the YouTube analytics demographics tool to find out the age, gender and location of the people watching your videos. This is helpful for understanding trends around what’s happening with your audience and how to reach them.
Playback Locations – This data shows where on the internet your viewer’s found your content. These statistics will show clicks on embedded videos, shares on other social networks and more, all of which are helpful for understanding how much of your viewership comes from outside of YouTube.
Traffic Sources – As with website traffic, it’s helpful to learn about where people discover your videos, whether that be through your website, advertising, social media, etc.
Devices – Viewership is broken down by desktop, mobile, tablet, gaming console, etc.
Live Streaming – If you livestream video for your YouTube account, you can get both real-time metrics and, later, post-live analytics.
Translations – Use this to see how many of your viewers translated your videos’ descriptions, subtitles or audio into other languages.
Interaction Reports – Here is where you can learn more about your audience. Discover who’s watching, how many likes or dislikes are coming from your actual audience, and the engagement (likes and shares) happening with your videos.
Subscribers – Including subscribers lost and gained, this data provides a clear view into your overall audience. You can also generate graphs of this data to see trends over time.
Likes and dislikes – Monitoring these statistics will show you how well you’re meeting your audience’s needs over time.
Videos in playlists – This interaction metric details how often your videos have been added to or removed from YouTube user playlists, including the basic “Watch later” and “Favorites” playlists.
Comments – This doesn’t show the actual comments, but gives you an idea of how many have been left. Responding to comments is a great way to interact with your audience so it’s good to keep track of them.
Sharing – Your ultimate goal on YouTube is high share rates. The more people share your content, the larger an audience you’ll reach. You can find this number here, but remember the sharing tool only tracks shares from YouTube’s own “share” button.
Cards – YouTube’s latest functionality, users can use cards to add calls to action, text and images to your videos.
End Screens – This is the final thing viewers see when they watch your video. Unless your viewer has enabled autoplay, they’ll see an end screen of 12 videos they might want to watch next. In many cases, the videos displayed are your own, so you may want to know how often your viewers are clicking them.
Revenue – Not necessarily applicable for law firms but still good to know, some video producers monetize videos. For channels that choose to do so, they can see how much money they’ve earned here.
Estimated Revenue – Using this tool, you can approximate how much money your company makes from all its Google-sold ads.
Estimated Ad Revenue – This tool provides data pertaining solely to Google AdSense and DoubleClick ads.
These social media metrics are not meant to be comprehensive, but they will give you an at-a-glance idea of how well your firm is doing with the various social media audiences. Make it a point to check in on a regular basis and you shouldn’t have any trouble keeping things on track.
The main thing to remember is that no matter where you are, engagement is going to be the metric that pays off the most. If you’re creating quality content that is truly useful to your audience, things will, for the most part, take care of themselves.