Nancy Myrland All Posts, Marketing Strategy, Social Media 12 Comments

Kevin O’Keefe, owner of LexBlog, wrote a post the other day about measuring social media.

He was referring to another post written by Seth Godin about trying to measure the unmeasurable.  He wrote about lawyers and law firms and their skepticism of Social Media usage because they don’t know how to measure it.

Kevin discussed not holding out because you haven’t figured out the measurement part.  I commented on his post, and decided to share it with you here.

I wrote this…

Sure, go ahead and hold back in social media if you can’t measure it!

I mean, why not hold back when you know it will allow your competitors to gain a foothold in the relationship-building spaces we call Social Media?  Also, don’t go to any of those networking events you were intending to go to.  Leave those for your competitors too.

Networking and meeting people?

Leaving an impression with people?

Helping people understand what you’re like as a person?

Helping people see what a great listener and conversationalist you are?

No, no, no…don’t you dare do those things until you can measure every inch of them because it’s much wiser to let your competitors do it first.

I’m not advocating giving up on trying to measure that which is first based in goal-setting.  Who cares if you can’t measure it if you haven’t set goals for what successful metrics will look like, right?  You do that before you engage in face-to-face networking, don’t you?  Oh, you don’t have goals in mind for face-to-face networking?  Hmm…  Then why do you network face-to-face?  I have a feeling your reasons are the same reasons most have for networking via Social Media.

Yes, of course I’m an advocate of marketing planning, but the most talented people never leave the starting gate because of fear, over-planning, a lack of admirable examples, getting hung up in committees, being too busy and analysis paralysis, just to name a few.

Let’s let common sense, and the marketing plans and skills we already have, combined with all the tools that are readily available to us, lead our marketing efforts, okay?

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  • Nancy – great post! There are so many “nebulous” things that go into how someone makes a decision that measuring one thing over another is virtually impossible. I love it when people say “Prove to me that an ad in xx newspaper is effective.” It goes back to the old marketing adage that someone has to see something 7 times (now far more!) before they make a decision. So, they may see three blog posts, two Tweets, one Facebook post THEN the ad before they actually make a decision. They also get caught up in putting all of their eggs into one basket. As you said, social media should just be one part of good marketing.

  • Here, HERE, Nancy!

    I agree…so many people are worried about not getting everything right that they use it as an excuse not to move. And not moving only accomplishes one thing–allowing your competition to get around you. Being courageous enough to jump into an available space isn’t called “first-mover advantage” for nothing.

    The trick to success in using social media is to have measurement tools in place for everything you do (which goes for traditional forms of marketing as well) and to test, Test, TEST. I’m not saying it’s OK to throw caution to the wind, but that’s what you hire a social media expert for–to secure the best possible expertise from someone who has studied the marketplace, understands the tools and tactics, and knows how to best apply them to your situation.

    Busy business owners fear the “new world” of social media marketing because it’s new to everybody, and we’re all learning to navigate the waters at the same time. Unlike direct mail, there aren’t years of statistics, graphs, charts and proven principles out there going back decades.

    They’re afraid of making mistakes–afraid to jump off the edge and be swallowed by monsters. But at some point, you have to make the decision to fish or cut bait. And in a cultural shift such as the one we’re involved in right now, we don’t have the luxury of sitting back on our laurels and waiting for the “all clear” before we break out the fishing rods.

  • These are wonderful points on why and how to explore social media integrating the art, science and playful exploration of this newest form of human interaction, Nancy. It is difficult to question stop signs, step out of the box of traditional thinking and move forward in a heartful, mindful voice.

    You are a pioneer on a new frontier. You are not alone. I accept your invitation to explore and create a wonderful, vibrant, global marketplace and community of human beings through this new dimension of the human playground. I believe it will enhance our development both individually and globally.

    to your fabulous success and open mind,
    Mary Margaret

  • Thanks for your comment Deb. These tactics can be measured, but I hate to see firms hold back from actively networking because they haven’t perfected the analytics yet, or because they have set unrealistic goals for these tools. Expecting Social Media to carry the entire task of bringing in new clients by themselves might not be the most reasonable expectation. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Apryl, I love the “waiting for the all clear” statement at the end of your comment. With tools so new, there is no such thing as all clear because we, the users, are the ones who are deciding how these tools should and could be used. That’s power that we as business-owners haven’t experienced before. Thanks for your comment!

  • Thanks Mary Margaret. Your comment about enhancing our development is very important. One of the main reasons to use Social Media is because of the education available to us. There is enough to read and learn on the Social Web from more people than we could have ever imagined. These are important times in communication and education development. Nice to see you here…please stop by again!

  • Nancy, thank you for sharing your insights. I totally agree, take the plunge. It can only benefit you.

    Like Apryl mentioned it is very important to have measurement tools in place. Assess before you plunge so you dive in the right spot and not the shallow end.

    Always remember the three E’s: Engage, Entertain and Educate. Great post Nancy!

  • shg

    Fascinating that the only people who comment are in the biz, Nancy. No lawyers saying “great post!!!”? That’s because it’s drivel. Seth’s point, easily missed, is that the inability to quantify puts many off, leaving an opportunity for the few who try it anyway. Of course, Seth would be the first to note that it may be an abysmal failure, but at least it holds the opportunity for great success as it’s wide open. Just because there’s an opening doesn’t mean that success naturally follows.

    On the flip side, all those nice things you write about that lawyers should do can easily backfire. Most lawyers aren’t wonderful, friendly, engaging people. Most are boring on their best day, and nasty otherwise. Some are brilliant, but most relative dopes. I read a great many substantive blawg posts, and most prove conclusively that their authors are morons. And they will be morons forever, as the internet never goes away. Now that’s branding for you.

    They don’t engage, entertain and educate. They bore and dissemble. Then they fall back into that hole they were trying to crawl out of. Of course, they could spend their time improving their knowledge and skills rather than trying to sell the sham image of themselves they’re told will make them successful, but competence is very hard to gain, while creating a fake image is as easy as paying a marketer.

    The reason there’s no quantifiable ROI is that there’s no ROI. This is a great spin for this glaring gap, but the only people who will buy it are your buddies in the marketing sphere and dumbest and most desperate lawyers around. But then, are marketers picky about whose money they take? Dumb lawyers’ money is just as green as anyone elses.

    And you’re still my favorite marketer, Nancy.

  • We are so obsessed with measuring everything, so we can compare it, so we can compete better, so we can win! It is time to relax and connect first. Start filling your cup with quality connections that will produce quality conversation and there will be more quality opportunities.
    Great job on bringing up the “pain” point of ROI Nancy!
    Karmen 🙂

  • Sorry to jump into the conversation 7 months late!

    While I agree that not everything of value can be measured, this is one of the things that can be measured, .

    For example give a big picture view of activity around your brand. You will also see email marketing tools that can do the job on a more granular level.


  • Thanks Matt! It’s never too late to jump in to a conversation. Yes, I agree, Social Marketing can definitely be measured. There are many, many tools out there (thank you for BTW), and more will be developed every month, so this post is not to say we shouldn’t be diving in to measurement and analysis. I just don’t want to see people miss an opportunity to stretch their message channels because all of the components aren’t perfectly in place. Thanks so much for stopping by!