Yes, You Can Measure ROI in Social Marketing!

If you have a social media consultant and they tell you that you cannot measure the ROI on social marketing, call them on their BS.

If you are a social media consultant and you are telling your clients there’s no such thing as ROI on social marketing, I am calling you out.

Yes, you can measure ROI for your social marketing efforts. Let me explain.

Measuring ROI on social marketing is different than measuring ROI on something tangible, say an expo event or a speaking engagement. ROI in social marketing is looking at many different factors and bringing them together like pieces of a puzzle. Some factors are easy to track, others are a bit harder.

I recently finished Mark Schaefer’s Social Media Explained and in Chapter 6 he goes into explaining why you have to measure your social marketing activities. There were 4 points he made:

  • There is an implied value to everything.
  • If we are expending human effort, it should be justified.
  • If you’re not measuring, how do you know you are making progress?
  • There is no excuse not to measure.

I’d like to bring attention to numbers 3 & 4. First of all, I want to say DUH to number 3. Seriously, if you’re not measuring what you are doing, how do you know if you are getting any return at all? As for number 4, if you are given an excuse as to why you can’t measure what you are doing, well, that’s just a cop out.

Mark also points out in the book that not all ROI is quantitative – some is qualitative. There are some elements you can measure but you can’t put a dollar value on it.

Let me share with you what I consider to be measures of ROI in social marketing (and these are in no particular order).

  • Community Growth
    • Did you see an increase in the number of people in your community? Was there a decline? Why?
  • Engagement Levels
    • Did you provide quality content that inspired likes, comments, shares, retweets, pins, etc.? If so, you would measure that a positive, if not, figure out what didn’t work and try again.
  • Offer Redemptions
    • Did you post an offer for our community? How many people redeemed it? Did you receive any leads from it?
  • Contest Entries
    • Did you contest entries provide you with any leads or sales? Did it attribute to any community growth?
  • Clicks
    • How many people clicked through your content? It could have been a picture, link, coupon, contest, etc. Did you see an increase in your click-thru rate over last month?
  • Overall Sales
    • How did you overall sales look compared to the amount of time you spent on social marketing? Can you attribute any sales increases or decreases to your social marketing?
  • Conversions (tracking pixels for ads)
    • Did you track any website conversions from Twitter or Facebook ads? Twitter Cards? If so, was there an increase or decrease over the past month.
  • Subscribers
    • Did you see an increase or decrease in your email or app subscriber base? Was any of that a result of your social marketing?

As you can see, more than just how much money you made can go into figuring social marketing ROI. What you want to look for are positive increases each month, no matter how small those increases are. Social marketing is about relationship-building, building that trust and loyalty with your fanbase. The sales will come from that, sometimes sooner rather than later.

So please share with me, how do you measure ROI in your or your clients’ social marketing?

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