How should one calculate the ROI of social media campaigns?

It is an established fact that businesses need to use social media as a part of their marketing plan. However, it is also imperative to understand how much time and effort should be invested in marketing on social media. While it may be worthwhile for businesses to be on Facebook, monitoring the same 24×7 can be a waste of resources. The only way to know how much social media is enough it is important for businesses to calculate the return on investment from their activities on social media.

ROI of social media campaigns can be calculated in the following ways:

Likes and Follows: Measuring Engagement

The simplest way to measure social media ROI involves measuring a business’s followers on Twitter, likes on Facebook, and all other social media sites that you’re associated with. Keeping a spreadsheet to track the growth of followers and fans can help a business identify trends and the success of specific campaigns.

Simple tools like Facebook Insights and Twitter Analytics allow businesses to track how successful a specific post was, which can be helpful in pinpointing the content that customers respond best to.

Tolls such as Brandwatch, Grosocial and Keyhole also allow businesses to measure the success of specific keywords, hashtags or unique topics.

Understand Click-through Rates and Impressions

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

Click Through Rate = Clicks ÷ Views (or Impressions)

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

Tracking Influence

Measuring influence on social media platforms can be difficult. It’s not easy to assign a specific number to a company’s influence, but some tools have attempted to do so. KloutSocial Authority and Brandwatch are popular tools that measure “influence” in a particular industry.

It’s helpful to see how people interact with what is shared on social media, although tracking influence is still an imperfect art.

Measuring Sentiment

Another difficult but important metric to track is sentiment. Sentiment is the general feeling and tone of conversations surrounding a brand, company, or product. Tools like HootSuite, Klout, Buffer and Social Flow allow you to connect many of your social media accounts and track what’s happening on each account from one dashboard.

The beauty of these tools is that they also allow you to track what people are saying about you, which people are talking about you, and the general attitude towards your brand or product.

Centralizing Social Media Analytics

All the data that is collected can be overwhelming and difficult to track at times. Once an organization has outgrown the beginning stages of social media analytics, it is worth investing in a dashboard that provides real-time feedback from all your social media accounts.

A customizable dashboard that provides the specific data that a marketing department needs is vital as businesses expand their social media marketing efforts. Automating all this data through one centralized platform will increase opportunity to analyze future trends and opportunities for social media marketing.

Measuring social media ROI and collecting all this data can open doors to measuring and improving social media marketing.