Blog

Measuring the Value of Social for Legal

Matthew Martin
Marketing Manager

In a recent post, we wrote about the importance of secure social collaboration for law firms. Today, Above and Beyond KM, a blog about how we work and how knowledge management (KM) can help, posted a great write-up of a session on this topic at this week’s KM World Conference in Washington DC.

The session by Euan Semple during KM World titled “Measuring the Value of Social Tech” captures some of the most important metrics and aspects that law firm leaders should look at, in determining the successes (or failures) of an internal collaboration platform, including:

  • What should you monitor?  Treat your ESN as an ecology rather than a mechanical system. As you monitor activity, track where the energy is. Then deploy tools that help you follow and amplify that energy. What should you look for?
    • Who is using the ESN?
    • What are they doing with it?
    • Where are they using it from?
    • How often are they using it?
    • What are the reactions?
  • Thanks. The most important metric is the extent to which the system is actually helping people. To show this, Euan did a monthly search for the word “thanks.” Next, he dug deeper to identify what help was provided and how that help made a difference. Then he told stories that explained the impact. A member of the audience reported that they have introduced simple hashtagging so contributors can tag success stories as #forthewin. Then the KM group can track that hashtag to collect the success stories.
  • How to report the ESN activities? While there may be pressure to report numbers, try to keep the focus on stories that matter in the context of the person enquiring about value.
  • The biggest value of an ESN? Often the biggest value of an ESN to an organization is that is shows what actually is happening inside the organization. Admittedly, sometimes uncovering this pushes the organization to a dark place. However, it is necessary if we want to manage and improve the organization’s performance.
  • Senior Sponsorship? Euan was lucky that he had sufficient network clout to move (several times) to a new sponsor who could provide the support necessary for the ESN initiative. His advice is to find a new boss and move if you need something your current boss cannot provide.
  • Reverse ROI. Euan pushes back on ROI inquiries. In his view, social business activity is happening, so we should go with the flow rather than using ROI inquiries as a means of stopping the activity. He asks the inquirer to provide the cost of ignoring or disallowing ESN activity.

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