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Why Lawyers Need a Social Media Audit
- by Aron Solomon
A social media audit could probably use a better name. At NextLevel.com we like to think of it as a sense check, something that looks at how well your social media strategy is doing, how your results measure up against your expectations, and what tweaks you might want to consider making as you move forward with your campaigns.
So the first thing that should jump out from that first paragraph is the notion of a social media strategy. If you don’t have one, now is absolutely the time. There’s no way for lawyers to judge how well their social media is doing if they don’t know where they want it to take their practice. In other words, how can you measure the success of a planned trip if you don’t know where you’re going and don’t have any idea you may have already arrived?
A social media audit is deeply granular and focuses on quantitative rather than qualitative issues. This is one of the worst mistakes lawyers make in looking at their own social media - falling in love with soft (or no) metrics. It’s easy for lawyers to be taken by positive comments and the occasional positive review, but this isn’t at the heart of a thorough social media audit.
What a legal social media audit does is evaluate each of the law firm’s social media accounts with the goal of optimizing them and helping them do their part in achieving the firm’s overall online marketing goals. Again, social media in itself isn’t what it’s all about. Even if your social media accounts are performing decently, a social media audit gives you one piece of a larger marketing and brand presence puzzle.
The kinds of metrics you want to look at in your social media audit are around engagement, publishing, audience demographics, and referral traffic. You want to do this with each of your social media networks so none of their performances or failures are masked by a particularly strong or weak performance by another social medium. Keep it transparent and honest. While I always counsel lawyers on the power of great storytelling, this simply isn’t the time. You will do yourself the ultimate service here by staring into the often blinding light of harsh metrics.
The reasons for doing a social media audit needs to be well-defined before you set out on your audit journey. While the nature of a social media audit is to look to the past to see what is and isn’t working well, your ultimate goal is to apply what you learn from the audit to make a pan to move forward.
There is no reason for lawyers to have dormant social media accounts. Far too often we see lawyers who posted a flurry of content on any given social medium and then have posted nothing for the past year.
This is clearly due to unrealistic expectations. Part of what we advise discussing as part of your social media audit is the relationship between your expectations on a return for the time, effort, and spend on social media and what actually happened. These kinds of hard discussions help plan for the next phase of your social media presence. Setting realistic expectations on returns is critically important. There is not one social medium that yields results for lawyers and law firms absent a consistent, ongoing effort.
Seen in its best light, an honest social media audit is a spring cleaning for your digital brand presence, but it’s best done this fall. While there are always reasons to delay, you’ll be very pleased that you didn’t defer until the new year.
About Aron Solomon
Aron Solomon is the Senior Digital Strategist for NextLevel.com and an Adjunct Professor at the Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University.
Aron was the founder of LegalX at MaRS Discovery District in Toronto, one of the world's first legal technology accelerators, and was elected to Fastcase 50 in 2015, which recognizes the world's leading legal innovators, Aron regularly consults for large global corporations, law, and accounting firms.