It’s been a constant struggle for marketers to be able to prove ROI on their marketing efforts. This has not changed and is especially true for social media marketing. We need to know if the time and effort spent on running our social media pages is making a difference.
What makes this more difficult is, what is done on social media does not always convert to dollars and cents. Many business owners only view ROI as money they’re profiting off of, but that’s just not the case.
It’s generally not possible to ascribe revenue directly to social media. Value shouldn’t always be measured by money, anyway. Associating ROI with only money prevents you from identifying other ways an investment might be paying off.
Define your objectives
If you need to prove to your boss or yourself that social media is worth the energy, you need to first define exactly what you want to get out of having a social media presence. Making additional money is obviously the ultimate goal, but you have to break it down to more specific objectives to get there. For example, a great objective is to raise brand awareness. Consumers can’t purchase from you if they don’t know about you.
Track your metrics
It’s a MUST to track your metrics! The number of followers and the engagement you’re receiving helps you identify if your content is good or not. It makes it more clear what your audience is interested in and you can prove that what you’re doing is benefiting the organization in some sort of way. Depending on your campaign you can also track things like the number of emails you receive, how many people contact you, downloads, etc.
Track your expenses
Another aspect that is important to track, are your expenses. This does not only include what you’re spending on ads, but also how much time you’re spending and the cost of the social media tools you’re using, if any.
It’s best to calculate your social media ROI by each campaign. This way if one campaign is bringing in negative ROI you can either adjust it or discontinue it altogether.
It’s all about defining your goals and objectives and tracking your campaigns. That is the only way you’ll be able to figure out your return for social media. It does take a lot of time and effort, so make that effort worthwhile.