How to measure your social media ROI

If your business implements a social media marketing plan, it's important that you put processes in place to measure ROI. Find out how here.

Businesses are all told they should be on social media, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram. But if you’re spending big money on social, shouldn’t you be measuring your return?

Social media has become an integral part of our lives in a very short space of time, and the logic is that if your customers are on social media, you should be too. But if you’re spending a significant portion of your marketing budget on social media marketing, you need to measure the return on investment (ROI) of that spend. 

Should you or shouldn’t you? 

Some social media commentators argue that you shouldn’t measure ROI, and that it’s all about engagement. However, the reality is that any business writing a cheque every month should know what the payback is for the investment. It may well be true that your social media efforts are directed towards engagement rather than outright sales, but even so you should at least measure the engagement. 

Connecting social media with business goals 

As with many things, the secret to measuring the ROI of your social media marketing campaign is making sure what you’re doing with social connects back to your business goals. 

Are you a startup that no one has ever heard of that just wants to get people talking? Are you an established company that wants to generate leads and boost sales? Are you trying to get people to sign up to a mailing list for later conversions? 

Look at your business goals and ensure your social media strategy aligns with these objectives, and then set clear KPIs to measure the success of your strategy.

These KPIs could range from site traffic to lead generation, reach or sign-ups and conversions. Determine what metrics and numbers you want to hit and set a timeline to achieve them. 

Using the right tools 

Whatever your social media goals, once you’ve identified them you need to put in place the processes and tools to track their performance and progression. 

This may mean you’ll need to build a custom landing page or add a tracking code to URLs. There are plenty of tracking tools available including Hootsuite Analytics, Salesforce tracking codes and Google Analytics. 

Data driven 

Once you’ve chosen your tracking tools, you need to track your progress against the KPIs you set under your social media strategy. 

Set up an analytics template that eliminates the need to build a custom report for each campaign and presents the data in an easy-to-understand format. Then monitor your data. 

Social media campaigns tend to be very short, so it’s important to check the metrics regularly – at least once a day. Whatever time frame you set, make sure you stick to it! 

Plan, monitor and re-plan 

As you monitor your social media metrics – whatever they are – you’ll be able to identify what works and what doesn’t. Once you’ve done that, you’ll need to revise and update your strategy as social media campaigns are supposed to get better over time – it’s not just about tracking ROI. 

By the same token, a failing campaign needs to be changed as soon as possible. 

Nevertheless, if your internal stakeholders are wondering what return they’ll see on their social media investment, you’ll have the data and numbers to confidently demonstrate where that spend is going, and how the business is benefiting.

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