Originally posted on The National Law Journal on June 6, 2012
There is another social media metric for law firms to take notice of. Forget about your number of Twitter followers, LinkedIn connections or Facebook “likes.” The new standard in judging your social media influence is your “Klout” score. To find out what yours is, just head on over to Klout.com and enter your information from LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or any other major social media site and you will see your Klout score from 1-100.
In practical terms, your Klout score is a measurement of your influence on others in the social media space. Let me explain what that means. If you share 10 tweets in one day that nobody reads, nobody comments on and nobody retweets or re-shares, your klout score would fall. If you share a great new article that is retweeted by more than a dozen people, or liked by a hundred people on Facebook, your Klout score will increase substantially.
Why is it important? Looking at the klout score for your firm and for your lawyers will help you appreciate that having more lawyers engage in using social media is the only way to increase your influence. Take, for example, a firm like Jones Day. It has an official Jones Day Twitter feed, which has a Klout score of 37. The average attorney who is active on Twitter is likely to have a Klout score of somewhere between 30 and 40.
So what is better: having a firm Twitter account with a Klout score of 36, or having 100 lawyers who each talk about a unique practice area or industry with a Klout score of 30+. The second option is not only better; it is exponentially better. The firm Twitter feed can inform a few journalists and a handful of the friends of the firm; 100 lawyers can inform and influence thousands.
How do you raise your Klout score? The exact algorithm is kept a secret to prevent people from gaming the system, but there are a few basic principles that will raise your score. Share good content on a regular basis; engage in conversations with other users on the various social media sites; be active enough to start new discussions. Your score will decline if you are inactive, tweet self-promotional garbage that nobody cares about, or if you use social media as a personal billboard instead of an engagement tool.
Does your firm have real Klout? Now you know.