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What Metrics Do You Find Most Valuable When Tracking Social and Digital Media Successes?

[This blog post originally appeared in the 2018 edition of “12 Days of Social and Digital Media,” an annual, year-end series of thought pieces produced by the Legal Marketing Association’s Social & Digital Media SIG]

Start with a Strategy

What metric(s) do you find most valuable when tracking your social and digital media successes?

If you’ve heard me present, you’ve probably heard me say ad nauseum that that I am an advocate for written plans. Creating an overall content marketing plan (or any business plan for that matter) helps organizations focus their time and resources in a very targeted way. Additionally, this process helps organizations define what success looks like and how it will be measured. Because these tactics are customized to support an organization’s bigger picture, I don’t find any one metric or group of metrics to be a one-size-fits-all solution. In my experience, the most valuable metrics to track are clear and specific metrics identified as part of the content marketing planning process. For me, these metrics fall into three categories: Reach, Engagement, and Conversion.

To use a specific example, let’s say a practice group plans to publish white papers as part of its content marketing. Tracking both the success of the social campaign used to promote the whitepaper, as well as the success of the whitepaper itself is important.


Measuring the reach usually includes tracking vanity metrics, which are designed to be impressive but usually aren’t relevant (such as the number of new followers acquired a during a campaign). Instead, track mentions of or references to your white paper. (This is different than shares – see engagement below.) In this instance, think more about a reporter or influencer quoting or referencing the work in their own content.


Measuring the engagement includes tracking metrics such as retweets, shares, likes, and comments.


Measuring conversion includes downloads and opt-ins (such as signing up for a related mailing list).

You should also keep an eye on notable individuals and/or companies who have engaged with your content.

It is easy to get excited (and distracted) by all the metrics available to report but establishing meaningful metrics during the planning process is the key to tracking your success.

What is one resource you recommend to legal marketers who want to learn more about social and digital media?

It’s difficult to pick just one!

The Content Marketing Institute (CMI) offers valuable advice for creating the best strategies for your business and brand. It is the resource that pushes me most to think outside of the box. The content is primarily from the B2C marketing perspective, so I find the articles help me stay in the loop on the latest content marketing trends and push me to think more creatively about the application of B2C strategies in the legal marketing world.