Calculating the ROI of Social Media Campaigns

Not everything that can be counted counts and not everything that counts can be counted.” – Albert Einstein

This is exactly the dilemma faced by marketing managers when then look for ways and methods to calculate the ROI (Return on Investment) of social media campaigns. There are various ways in which ROI can be measured for a social media campaign. We will discuss some of them in this blog.

The simplest way to measure social media ROI involves measuring ones followers on Twitter, ones likes on Facebook, and all other social media sites that one’s associated with. Keeping a spreadsheet to track the growth of ones followers and fans can help one identify trends and the success of specific campaigns. Tracking engagement through shares on Facebook, retweets on Twitter, and other social media shares is also vital to explaining success. Simple tools like Facebook Insights and Twitter Analytics allow one to track how successful a specific post was, which can be helpful in pinpointing the content ones customers respond best to. While this type of data is relevant and easy to measure, it should not be the only measure of social media ROI.

Click-through rate is most commonly used to measure the success rate of ads on social media. Click-through rate, or volume of click-through, is vital to proving that one’s brand is visible on social media. Click-through rate, is the ratio of how often people who see your ad, keyword, or brand on a particular site actually click and follow it.

Or in a simple formula, CTR = Clicks ÷ Views (or Impressions).

Almost every social media site gives access to these measurements through their ad reporting sections.

Measuring influence on social media platforms can be difficult, and it’s been the topic of debate in much of the industry. It’s not easy to assign a specific number to ones company’s influence, but some tools have attempted to do so. Klout, Social Authority and Brandwatch are popular tools that measure “influence” in one’s industry. It’s helpful to see how people interact with what one’s share on social media, although tracking influence is still an imperfect art.

Another difficult but important metric to track is sentiment. Sentiment is the general feeling and tone of conversations surrounding ones brand, company, or product. It can be painstaking to track sentiment manually, but it is possible. Tools like HootSuite, Klout, Buffer and Social Flow allow one to connect many of one’s social media accounts and track what’s happening on each account from one dashboard. Platforms that track sentiment automatically are becoming increasingly popular. The beauty of these tools is that they also allow one to track what people are saying about ones campaign on social media, which people are talking about the social media campaign, and the general attitude towards ones brand or product.

All this data can be overwhelming and difficult to track at times, as necessary as it is. Another way of measuring the ROI of social media campaign is through dashboards. It’s worth investing in a dashboard that provides real-time feedback from all social media accounts. A customizable dashboard that provides the specific data ones marketing department needs is vital as ones social media marketing efforts expand. Automating all this data through one centralized platform will increase opportunity to analyze future trends and opportunities for your social media marketing.

So to summarize there is no one foolproof way of measuring the ROI of a social media campaign. But one can use one of the above methods to get a fair idea about ones ROI in social media campaign.