Measuring social media ROI is an indispensable part of your social media strategy. At the end of the day, you need to know whether your social media marketing activities deliver the outcomes you need to bring your social media presence to the next level.
Measuring your social media ROI is, however, a problematic marketing area for many social media managers.
According to Sprout Social, 55% of social marketers said measuring the results of their social media activities is their number one challenge.
Why measuring social media ROI is such a challenge?
One of the reasons might be the versatility of social media. You can build social media presence to sell your product, establish your company as an industry leader, run a promotion campaign, and much more.
Of course, you can easily measure the results of your paid ads, but what about other social media goals, for example, boosting your brand awareness or providing excellent customer service?
Each of these goals requires a different social media ROI metric. Some of them are easy to measure, while others are impossible to track without dedicated tools.
This blog post will help you learn how to measure your social media ROI for even better social media marketing results.
Here’s what’s ahead of us today:
Why do you need to measure social media ROI?
Before we delve into the nitty-gritty of measuring social media ROI, let’s establish some basic facts.
You might ask yourself, why bother with social media ROI in the first place? Especially, when it comes to measuring things that are hard to measure without the help of an external tool, for example, brand awareness or the sentiment around your brand.
The hard truth is, you need to measure social media ROI.
First of all, a metric you can measure is a metric you can improve. Competition is fierce, especially when it comes to social media marketing. Knowing the exact effects of your social media presence will help you implement any necessary changes and stay ahead of the competition.
Secondly, many of us, if not the majority, need to present the results of marketing campaigns to your superiors. The metrics you present can make or break your social media campaign.
If you present metrics such as the total number of likes or followers, it won’t say much about the health of your social media marketing campaign. Especially now, in the times of bots and fake accounts made only to cheat the algorithms.
Measuring your social media ROI helps you prove the effectiveness of your social media marketing campaigns.
How to measure social media ROI?
Now that we established the importance of measuring your social media ROI, it’s time to see how exactly do you track the metrics that matter to you.
With a discreet help fo some social media marketing tools, it’s easier than you think!
1. Establish social media objectives
That sounds, like a no-brainer, doesn’t it? Well, you’d be surprised how many social media marketing campaigns lack clearly established objectives!
Take a deeper loot at your social media presence. What would you like to achieve by being active on different social media channels?
Think about aspects such as:
- reaching new audiences;
- providing customer care;
- increasing brand awareness;
- selling your product or service via social media channels;
- preparing an in-depth competitors analysis;
- establishing your position on the market by becoming an industry leader.
Of course, you don’t have to limit your social media presence to just one goal. You can use Twitter to handle customers’ queries and Instagram to boost your brand awareness. The sky is the limit!
Just remember that every social media goal needs a different social media ROI metric to assess its success!
2. Set up goals
Once you know what you want to achieve, it’s time to set up social media goals.
Some people will tell you to set up SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely). These people are 100% right.
What’s an example of a SMART goal?
“Increasing Twitter reach by 25% by the end of next quarter.” You know exactly what you want to accomplish and when you have to deliver the results.
Setting up your social media goals according to the SMART technique will help you monitor the results of your actions and will add some structure to your social media presence.
3. Track the right social media metrics
Now comes the tricky part – measuring your social media ROI which means tracking the right numbers over a defined period.
Some metrics are much easier to measure than others but we’ll show you how to measure your social media ROI.
You will need some external tools to measure your social media ROI.
The social media ROI that is the easiest to measure are metrics related to conversions.
All you have to do, is to set up Google Analytics account to track conversions, and voilà! Every time someone signs up to your newsletter, sign up for a trial or buy your product, you will be able to see this event in Google Analytics.
What about measuring other social media goals, for example, brand awareness, the social media reach of your hashtag campaign or the online sentiment around your brand?
That’s where you could benefit from a social media monitoring tool!
A social media listening tool gathers and analyses all the mentions containing your predefined keyword from different social media channels and other online sources, for example, forums or review sites.
From the moment you set up your project, Brand24 will gather all mentions and put them in one, neat dashboard.
Here’s what social media ROI metrics you’ll find inside the tool:
- social media reach – to see how far your posts travelled across social media channels;
- type and number of interactions – to spot the most engaging content;
- sentiment analysis – to see whether the association around your brand are positive or negative;
- the share of voice – to see what part of the online discussion was generated by specific social media author;
- monitor the performance of your hashtag campaign.
Measuring brand awareness, reporting on the results of your hashtag campaign, or assessing the sentiment around your brand – all these are social media ROI metrics that will help you assess the results of your marketing activities and your social media presence.
See the power of social media listening for yourself!
What metrics could you disregard when it comes to social media ROI?
Certainly all the vanity metrics. It might be tempting to base your social media ROI on metrics such as the number of followers or the number of likes, but that’s a dead end.
Building a robust social media presence is not about gathering the biggest audience; it’s about reaching the audience that will respond positively to your message.
Social media accounts with high followers number but low interactions rate are, most likely, fake accounts powered by bots. Putting your energy into building such an account is equal with broadcasting into the void.
4. Calculate all the expenses
To know the return, you have to calculate what the investment costs your precisely.
Although using social media channels is free, preparing content or analysing the results of your campaigns might not be.
Think about expenses such as:
- Social media tools. Native social media analytics tools won’t deliver some of the metrics you need; you’ll need some external tools to do that. For the time of the campaign, you should add the costs of the tools to your social media budget
- Social ads. That a relatively easy metric to follow. Every social media platform will show you how much you’ve spend on social media ads.
- Content. You can outsource content creation, be it developing a landing page or making sure your Facebook fan page is always up to date. You have to add these costs to your analysis.
- Time. Even if you pay an external agency to run the campaigns for you, you still have to monitor the results. If you do all the marketing activities in-house the time cost will be even higher. Take a look at the costs that were generated by specific campaign to measure the social media ROI.
Once you know what does your social media marketing cost, you can calculate the social media ROI.
How do you measure your social media ROI?
Measuring the performance of your social media channels can bring you a lot of benefits. Think about the costs of unsuccessful marketing campaigns, lost revenue because of ineffective communication with your audience or poor customer service.
Measuring your social media ROI will help you determine which aspects of your social media marketing campaign are performing well and what elements you need to improve.
Focusing your marketing campaigns on achievable goals helps you bring the results you need to bring your company to the next level.
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