Social Media ROI — Why it Matters, and How to Measure It

Social media is an important element of marketing strategy for many enterprises. Savvy marketers know that today’s consumers are looking for familiarity and trust before deciding on a product or a service. After all, we’re living in the trust economy now. Social media can help you achieve the following:

  • Establish the brand or product as an industry leader
  • Aid in building a positive reputation by providing an open community forum for active users of a brand’s products or services

But like any marketing program, a social media campaign is not just one advertisement or sales pitch — it is a series of targeted and highly strategic messaging points delivered over a prolonged period of time. While we don’t know exactly how many times a consumer needs to see a product or service before pursuing it, research shows that “following a schedule and maximizing the value of each contact will decrease the time, effort and total cost of each sale.”[1] Essentially, the more times a consumer sees your product, the more likely they are to consider purchasing it—the takeaway being that you want to “touch” a consumer as many times as possible using a variation of content types.

Social media marketing presents a huge opportunity for businesses to share and amplify direct marketing initiatives, publicity, and relevant industry information across broad social networks. It also provides a great platform for humanizing a brand—giving the spark of life to a marketing campaign.

What Is Social Media ROI?

ROI stands for Return on Investment; social media ROI refers to the return on your investment in social marketing. Enterprises typically use social media for brand awareness and heightened visibility, marketing, and for lead generation. In addition to a targeted social strategy, businesses rely on social advertising to reach a much larger audience with their marketing content. Today the internet represents the world’s second largest ad medium, and that makes sense because the internet is where today’s consumers spend most of their time.

Defining Your Goals

How Do You Measure It? 

Measuring Social Media ROI can be a challenging nut to crack; how do you know when/how a touch on social media translates into a purchasing decision online? That’s why multiple touches is important, using different types of content in both organic and sponsored posts. By using the analytics found on the various social networks themselves, more sophisticated analytics tools offered by social media management platforms, and now machine learning and artificial intelligence, we can specify objectives such as lead gen, and measure engagement as well as see information such as click-through rates on marketing content.

If you want to measure social media ROI, stop wasting your time doing software demos and attending webinars. Just figure out what you want to track, where you can track it, think about both current customers and new customers, and go do it.

— Jay Baer

Can You Afford To Not Invest In Social Media?

The simple answer is no. The world of marketing is rapidly evolving, and people’s purchasing habits are greatly influenced by what they see online. For example, 67% of the 500 million Twitter users are more likely to buy from brands they follow than from brands they do not.[2] A social marketing plan is critical if you have a product or service you want to sell, if you want to broaden your brand’s audience, or if you want to establish your brand as an industry leader. Social media ROI will be specific to your business, and the more visible you are to your target audience the more likely they will be to use your services or buy your products. What is the value of a contract to use your services? How much do your products cost? Social media can offer lead gen and eventually sales, but also offers something of equal value long-term: strong relationships with your customers. The emotional bonds forged over the social setting are what will keep consumers coming back.

[1] Business Insider

[2] Adweek