Social media now holds a place alongside print and broadcast as a major, essential marketing channel for businesses. As such, social media now should be held to the same standard as those channels: your social media ROI needs to contribute to your bottom line.
To prove that your social media investment is truly warranted, you need to track how social is influencing every interaction you have with your clients. The following explains how to measure social media ROI for your business, in 4 easy steps:
1) Connect Your Social Media ROI Back to Your Business Goals
2) Select Social Media Analytics Tools To Measure Your ROI
3) Calculate Your Social Media ROI
4) Adjust to Improve
The first step involves setting social media goals that complement existing business and departmental goals. If you have set a specific number of leads you’re trying to attain this quarter, set the number of leads you want to specifically be driven by social media. If one of your goals is to increase landing page conversion by 10%, ensure that you’re tracking the conversion rate of people who land on the page through social channels. Audit your existing social media performance to establish baseline targets, then set appropriate goals for improvement.
The brand awareness created by social media—seen in vanity metrics including “likes” and “+1s” and “Retweets”—is valuable, but it is not enough. According to Altimeter, only 34% of businesses feel that their social strategy is connected to business outcomes. To demonstrate social media’s value, you need to measure social media ROI as it relates to your broader business goals.
Key examples of social media metrics to track include:
It’s important for social data to be relevant to stakeholders within your organization, not just social media practitioners. Tying social media to the big picture by linking it to organizational and departmental goals will help you achieve that.
Once you’ve established your social media goals, you’ll need to identify and implement the tools and processes required to measure the ROI on your social media. This may involve adding tracking codes to URLs, building custom landing pages, and more.
There are a variety of social media analytics tools which service to track the diverse metrics you are after. Here are some to consider:
Google Analytics: Track website traffic, on-site conversions, and sign-ups originating from social media campaigns.
Salesforce: Add Salesforce tracking codes to the links you share on social networks. When paired with marketing automation software like Marketo, you’ll be able to track sales leads back to specific campaigns or social messages.
Hootsuite Analytics: Hootsuite offers a variety of analytics tools to help you track your reach, conversions and more. A few noteworthy examples are:
Once you’ve set your goals and chosen your social media analytics tools, it’s time to actually track your social media ROI. The ability to track should be built into everything you do on social media, so you’re never left scrambling to try and prove the success of a campaign.
Creating analytics templates will allow you to track your desired metrics without having to build out custom reports for each campaign. These reports will also present the data in an easily digestible way, allowing you to simply and effectively share your ROI on social media with higher ups in the organization. Learn more about managing multiple marketing channels like a pro.
You should be checking your various social media metrics frequently, often daily, to ensure that your social media goals are being met. The lifecycle of social media campaigns is often very short, so you need to stay on top of the data as it happens. Choose a timeframe that works for you, and stick to it. You can often have reports sent to your email inbox on specific days of the week so you don’t have to even remember to pull reports yourself.
Once you’ve identified what works and what doesn’t work on social, it’s time to adjust your strategy. The point of tracking your social media ROI isn’t just to prove your social campaigns are valuable, it’s to increase their value over time.
Due to the short lifecycle of social media campaigns, a failing campaign should be changed and improved as soon as possible. Social media is never static. To meet your social media ROI goals, you’ll need to constantly update and adapt your strategy taking into account the analytics data you’re tracking.