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How do we measure social media ROI?

It's the question we get asked all the time: "how do you measure your social return on investment?", and it's often the topic that everyone in the digital world has an opinion on.

Many organisations we work with struggle to understand and determine social ROI, and they use that as an excuse as to why they're not embracing social media to converse with their audiences and build a digital community. 

The following points should give you an insight into social ROI.

Define your KPIs

Whether you currently have a social presence or not, you're sitting at Point A (the baseline). Working out what you want to gain from social media and where you want to be in 'x' period of time is Point B. You can't evaluate accurate ROI without understanding your baseline:

Looking to increase traffic to your website from social? Increase your following? Brand awareness? Is social media going to be your main arena for customer feedback?

Once you've decided what you're measuring, you'll have a better idea of how to implement your strategy.

But remember: there's no standard measurement because every business has different overall objectives - ROI is always going to be different for everyone. 

Don't get hung up on numbers

Too many brands focus just on the numbers, whereas the trick is to not solely rely on these factors, but to always look beyond them. For example; has the increase in followers and conversations through social resulted in new registrations to your website?

Tools like Google Analytics and HootSuite are completely free and offer fantastic analytics for your social media campaigns and web traffic stats, if used correctly. 

Investing in social can save you time and money

We've found that investing time and resource heavily into our social media strategy has allowed us to remove time and resource from other areas of the business.

  • Site members/clients can see how active we are on social media, and now they're more inclined to converse with us in 140-character stints on Twitter than picking up the phone or writing a lengthy email.
  • Monitoring keywords on social media has allowed us to view conversations and gain local feedback without us having to invest in PR or insights.
  • We're pro-actively building an online community with those who are advocates of similar interest-groups with ourselves - amplification through our community now seems effortless. 

Conclusion

Social ROI really can be measured, and isn't as difficult as you may have first thought. Set out by determining your KPIs and goals, as well as the resources your consider your 'social media investment', and away you go.

Alternatively, you could always drop us an email and we'll be able to give you a push in the right direction.

Leave your comments/questions below if email's not really your thing...

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