Do law firms need to measure ROI on social media?

Companies are having trouble measuring the ROI of social media. As a result, they’re holding back from investing further in social media. This per eMarketer citing a recent Econsultancy survey.

Social media gets a lot of discussion and even a lot of participation from marketers, but in most cases budgets remain low. One reason for the reluctance to invest more is the old problem of ROI. While some marketers have created successful social media campaigns that they feel they can measure and determine a benefit from, many have still not solved the social success equation.

The problem is not getting a return on your investment from social media. Using social media correctly, you can’t help but earn significant returns. The problem is companies, law firms included, getting all caught up in measuring the ROI on social media.

Rather than looking at who you are engaging, who you are developing relationships with, how your influence is increasing, and how your word of mouth reputation is growing, companies and law firms want to measure the ROI on social media like it is some sort of marketing.

Social media is even referenced throughout the Econsultancy report as a form of marketing. The failure to integrate social media into their other marketing is identified as one reason companies were unable to measure the ROI on social media.

Social media, whether it be via blogging, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook, is all about traditional client development. Networking, engaging your clients and prospective clients, enhancing relationships and building new ones, and developing a word of mouth reputation as a good lawyer.

Offline, lawyers do these things by writing, speaking, socializing with clients, prospective clients, and referral sources, and serving on civic boards. No one questions the value of such activity for business development. No one questions a lawyer’s taking time to do this sort of client development.

Imagine someone in your law firm’s marketing department saying we’ll no longer invest in or promote the use of such activity by our lawyers until someone develops a method to measure the ROI on such activity. They’d be thrown out on their can by the lawyers who bring in more work than most of the firm’s lawyers because the lawyers engage in this activity. Such lawyers don’t need a ROI measurement tool.

Social media is the same. Lawyers using social media (blogs, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook) effectively are having business development success. How do they know it? Because they’re building relationships and enhancing their reputations. They’re bringing in work.

Such lawyers don’t need a ROI measurement tool. Follow their lead. Your law firm does not need to measure the ROI on social media like other forms of marketing.

Trial lawyer turned legal tech entrepreneur, I am the founder and CEO of LexBlog, a legal blog community of over 30,000 blog publishers, worldwide. LexBlog’s publishing platform is used on a subscription basis by over 18,000 legal professionals, including the largest law firm in each India, China and the United States.

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