Social Media Management: How to Measure Social Media ROI

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You’ve set up your social media profiles, created stellar design assets, and have an appealing, well-defined voice for your brand. But how do you truly measure social media marketing success? While making lasting connections and growing your fan base is important, knowing how to measure and capitalize on your brand’s social media ROI is vital to the success of your marketing campaign.

To help businesses tackle this challenge, we’ve assembled the following tips on how to understand and measure social media marketing ROI.

Define Your Social Goals

Many brands that report having difficulty measuring SMM ROI have not defined specific, tangible goals. Often, businesses just want to have a presence on social media because their competitors have one and they feel like they should too – but they don’t stop to consider how it is going to add real value to their business. A brand cannot measure success without an end game in mind – therefore the first step in measuring ROI is to establish the goals you would like to achieve through social media and build a strategy to compliment your efforts.

Goals should be specific, realistic, quantifiable, and have a set deadline by which goals should be met in order to effectively measure success. Whether you are just trying to generate brand awareness, drive new traffic to your webpage, generate more engagement, or increase your sales numbers, you need to understand what the goals are so you can build an appropriate strategy.

Tailor Your Metrics

A big part of meeting your goals is to understand what social metrics are the most important for your business. There are three key metrics to monitor – reach, engagement, and conversion.

Reach will define how many users were impacted by your social media content. If the entire world of social media is ignoring your message, your strategy is inefficient and you’ll fail to produce results. Reach gives brands a decent understanding of how appealing the message is to their target demographic. Businesses can measure reach by tracking metrics like number of followers, connections, page likes, and subscribers. Most networks like Facebook and Twitter have analytics reports to easily track these numbers.

Engagement is determined through clicks, retweets, mentions, shares, comments, and other elements that require a brand to actively engage with your business. An increase in engagement is obtained by creating valuable content that inspires your followers to involve themselves with your brand. If your engagement levels are low, your brand should consider reworking its strategy to improve the timing of posts as well as the message being delivered to potential customers. Engagement can be tracked organically, through most platforms but as with reach, there are a number of third-party services available to marketers as well. We highly recommend Sprout Social, Klout, and Radian6 as viable options to track your brand’s engagement levels.

Conversions can be the most difficult to track on social media, and pose the greatest problem for the inexperienced community manager. Conversions define which users took an action because of your message and entered the lead-generation funnel. Conversions can be tracked through registrations for webinars, content downloads, form completions, etc. It is essential to your tracking success to measure these values in Google Analytics or another analytics platform that you can add to a social media landing page on a website you have control over. Leverage this service by using the campaign tracking feature, creating traceable links, and determining a goal tracking strategy to identify your online conversions. Google Analytics offers an online course to users who are inexperienced with the platform. Check it out, here.

Understand Your Results

Success is subjective to circumstance, and whether you’re looking to expand your reach, drive high levels of engagement, or convert fans into customers, being able to understand which key performance indicators are right for your ROI is vital to the success of your campaign.