Not so long ago, there was just Klout. Now there’s a whole host of other social media-driven “leaderboards” (oddly enough, all are gross misspelling of an actual word with the first letter being a “k” – the grammar nerd in me cringes) that give points and rankings based on certain criteria. Some leaderboards are based on retweets, the number of clicks, even usage of hashtags…but are these rankings really something we should be looking into and basing our social media strategy on?
While an app like Klout gives you prizes for your score, others are just rankings of who’s the most “influential” or ranks at the top among the algorithm criteria. Personally, I don’t buy it. You could argue it’s because I’m never featured at the top…sure, I’m competitive, but I’m not going to start tweeting out junk or misusing a hashtag just to get atop a leaderboard. To me, this defeats the purpose of social media – being social, not using certain tactics to get ranked.
As for whether these leaderboards serve any other purpose than a competition (or perhaps a good place to find people to follow) remains to be seen. What is the real purpose of these types of gamification apps? Monetary gain, for some. But what do you get out of it? That depends on what you’re trying to get out of social media in the first place, of course.
What are you trying to accomplish?
Stop putting emphasis on numbers, algorithms and leaderboards! Instead of trying to compete for all the wrong reasons, think about the right ones – YOUR OWN GOALS. What are you trying to accomplish by using social media and are you meeting those goals? It’s really as simple as that. You want quality and not quantity. (How often have you heard that phrase?!) Don’t empoly certain tactics because it’ll rank you higher, use them in alignment of your strategy. Don’t over-saturate a hashtag because it ranks you higher, or tweet popular content that has nothing to do with your interests or practice because it’ll get retweeted a bunch (I think of Heather Morse-Geller’s Justin Bieber post)…do it because it furthers your goals.
And just because you aren’t ranked doesn’t mean you aren’t engaging your target audience. Go ahead and sign up for them, but don’t let it drive what you’re doing or think that it’s the end of the world if you’re not ranked.
Get to your lawyers before “they” do
My inbox is flooded with vendor emails and one caught my eye – a new ranking system…for LinkedIn! Curious, I opened the sample they sent me – which told me what I already knew, and included things that I’m teaching my lawyers. Great, I’m glad we agree on what should go on to a LinkedIn profile, but I don’t need a new, paid ranking system to tell me that. Or to tell my lawyers. Can you imagine the frenzy if the attorneys found out their “cred” on LinkedIn wasn’t high? It doesn’t matter if we think it’s nonsense – they are competitive and want to be at the top.
The marketing messages from these companies may scare your attorneys into thinking this is a must-have, another type of legal ranking (it’s no wonder we all find ourselves filling out profiles for Super Lawyers, Chambers, and every other legal ranking out there). While these companies may tell you and your lawyers in-house counsel won’t hire you if you’re not ranked, I can predict that when it comes down to your Kred score, companies will NOT dismiss you or your law firm because of it. (Just like most companies won’t dismiss you because you don’t have a social media profile on Twitter.)
So before your attorneys get that direct marketing email, educate them. Give them best practices and teach them how to create a strategy, but let them know these rankings aren’t something to worry about.
What do you think?
Do you have a reason to believe lawyers and legal marketers should be concerned about these types of ranking platforms?