Many law firms continue to struggle with how to accurately measure ROI for social media. However you choose to measure social media, it is imperative that you have a success metric in mind before you begin. Without some sort of benchmark, determining your ROI is impossible.
Here are 7 steps to achieve ROI from your social media efforts:
- Establish clear marketing goals for your company (generate more opt ins, more leads, etc).
- Identify the basic measurements and metrics you want to measure.
- Remember, social media is a commitment to connect with leads, clients and referral sources, it’s not a campaign. To win at social media, you need to have a long-term outlook.
- If hard ROI metrics are difficult to track directly, consider a range of softer metrics that can be linked back to desired business outcomes.
- Determine how much a client who opts in to your database is worth to you if a sale is made. Estimate how many sales you need to make in a year to justify the investment.
- In your ROI calculations, don’t overlook the value of cost savings that result from engaging in online conversations with prospects, leads, clients, and potential referral sources.
- Examine your choices for managing your social media marketing efforts. You have three choices:
- Do It Yourself. While this may seem the cheapest option at first (“It’s only my time”), consider this—How much do you charge per hour (if you don’t charge hourly ask yourself how much value do you place on an hour of your time)? For example, if you bill out at $250 per hour and it only takes you 1 hour to research, write, edit and post a blog (that’s a good estimate), but you do this 5 times every week to maximize lead generation, that’s $1,250 per week, $5,000 per month, or $65,000 per year. That’s not counting the “opportunity cost”—not only will you “spend” $65,000 of your time each year, but you will also lose another $65,000 in actual billing where you could have billed a client! So the true cost of “doing it yourself” may be upwards of $130,000! Suddenly, that doesn’t seem so cheap.
- Use a Staff Member. This usually takes the form of either instructing an Associate to do it (what’s their motivation to write great blog posts 5 times every week?) or assigning another non-attorney staff person to write it—at which time it becomes just one more thing on their long list of to-dos. Not to mention the fact that you will need to make sure any staff member understands SEO best practices.
- Outsource It. A growing number of attorneys are outsourcing their social media programs to organizations like ours (full disclosure: yes, we have a program for attorneys to manage their blog and social media). When you outsource, you can focus on end results, not the process and hopefully you will be working with professionals who do this for a living. It’s not just another item on their to-do list, it is the very service you are paying them to provide for your firm.
The two most difficult ones for most attorneys to grasp are #3 – social media is a commitment, not a campaign (there is no easy button and it’s not a “get rich quick” scheme) and #7—how to manage blogs and social media cost effectively (doing it yourself is usually the most expensive option).
Building a social media presence takes time. You cannot simply post a few articles on your blog and expect prospects to knock down your doors. Create content that is relevant to your targeted prospects, keep pumping out fresh content almost every day, and when they come, focus on converting them!
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