How to calculate ROI in Social Media

Below are some of the methods to track the return on investment of a social media campaigns and use that knowledge to maximize ROI

Set Social Media Conversion Goals

Different organizations and campaigns will have unique social media conversion goals. But in all cases, you will want customers to take a measurable action that ultimately has monetary value.

ROI can be measured in a variety of ways: through customer acquisition, lead generation, clicks, revenue, contest entries, etc. It all depends on your goals. Before you can track and measure your ROI, you need to determine your goals so you know which factors you’re measuring and what success looks like.

Determine the Right Platforms

Your social media goals and resulting strategies must align with your platforms. Some fan bases are primarily on Twitter, others on Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram. Find where your audience spends their time so you can position your plan to be successful. Wasting efforts on wrong channels will not only bring the ROI down but also impact the success of the social media campaign.

Track Campaigns

How you track campaigns will vary with your social media platform, IT systems and conversion goals. But google analytics and built-in tools on many social media platforms will cover most situations, and there are a lot of great apps out with sophisticated tracking.

You need to track the time spent, cost of ads, etc., as well as the activities and campaigns you launch as part of your social media marketing. There are a variety of tools you can use to do this. The top 5 metrics are:

  1. Reach
  2. Traffic
  3. Leads
  4. Customers
  5. Conversion Rate

Report Findings

It doesn’t matter if you’re reporting to a supervisor or for yourself, you need to determine a way to report your results. You will also want to come up with a timeframe that makes sense—weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly or all of the above. Also you need to assign monetary value to each conversion and for that you can use either historical data or guesstimates. Moreover measuring total benefits from each channel is important. Collect incoming traffic and conversion numbers by site from your analytics tool. Create a spreadsheet that correlates that data to the total monetary value of those conversions.

Review Results and Reset Goals

Once you have your stats in front of you, you can calculate your ROI and review the results of your marketing to see what worked and didn’t work. If you did paid advertising, that’s important to measure as well, because it relates to a specific cost.

But the bottom line remains: Don’t get too hung up on the numbers. Remember that social media is about branding, building loyalty and good will, and opening a channel of communication with your customers. The value of all that? Priceless.


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