How to Measure the ROI of Your Social Efforts
Updated: Feb 27, 2019
“What’s the ROI of your mother?” - Gary Vaynerchuck
The famous social media guru and serial powerhouse entrepreneur Gary Vee spits this out when people ask him to explain how to measure the return on investment (ROI) for social media. It’s notoriously difficult to measure the effectiveness of your social campaigns in actual dollars. The secret to understanding how social media marketing, both organic and paid, provides a return is building your social strategy around the right goals.
Setting SMARTer Goals
In order to get where you’re going, you need to know the destination. This means taking a reality check on what’s possible to achieve through social media, and how your social goals can align with companywide initiatives. So yes, it starts with setting goals.
I used to consider goal making something that only Type A overachievers and teachers actually enjoyed. But in business, setting SMART goals can be the difference between staying in the red and getting to the black. For those who need the acronym SMART goals explained (no judgment)... SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound.
If you want to measure the success of your comprehensive social plans you need to be able to determine what success means. Social media marketing can reasonably achieve several goals including (but not limited to):
1. Brand awareness
2. Brand engagement
3. Community building
4. Increased Word of mouth
5. Improved Brand Reputation
6. Lead generation
7. Increased Site traffic
8. Increased Web conversions
9. Increased Revenue generated
These goals are all possible on social media, but you’ll want to fill them out into full-on SMART goals which means you have to understand how to measure the more abstract goals.
Do Your Efforts Measure Up?
Measuring the success of your social media efforts has to include the measuring part. This means you’ll want to pull analytics. In order to do that, you have to know which analytics match your goals. This is where a seasoned social media marketer can really shine.
Some of the goals have measurements named after them already. Site traffic, for example, is easy to measure because you can check your google analytics for referral types and determine how many of your visitors come from social media. Other goals are a lot more ambiguous. Brand awareness and word of mouth, for example, can seem pretty out-there.
The key is knowing what options you have for analytics reporting, and building that into your smart goals. Brand awareness- for example can be measured by a combination of follower growth and engagement rates. Both paint a picture of the success, but the engagement rate will give you the deeper picture. A current follower might share your update on social, where it’s seen by a potential new client, but that potential client doesn’t follow your page until a few months later. The share was successful in raising brand awareness but didn’t immediately produce an increased follower count. Engagement rates and follower count are often considered ‘vanity metrics’ because they don’t often drive direct sales. That’s why it’s important to understand your goals and which metrics help achieve them.
Connecting the Dots
Now you’re armed with smart goals that align with your overall marketing goals and the tools to measure their success. From here what’s left is to fill in the gaps. This is where strategy comes in. Using the path laid out by your SMART goals create a strategy that you believe will get you the desired results.
Then you test.
Adjust according to your results,
And test again.
Rinse and repeat.
The trial and error piece is the most useful. Record what works and what doesn’t and what changes you make to get closer to achieving your goals. When something yields good results, continue to test different aspects of it until you’ve optimized every level of your strategy.
Brands Doing it Best
Do you remember those viral videos ‘will it blend’? That marketing genius came from a brand awareness campaign gone incredibly right. Target created a facebook group for moms to connect on with no sales or advertisings to get in the way, this resulted in a community building success that couldn’t have been achieved if their goals had been around generating revenue. The point being, that when you create a campaign with a specific goal, you'll want to stick to it.
Rinse and Repeat
When measuring success on Social Media it’s clearly all about setting a goal, monetary or otherwise, and establishing how that goal will manifest through the data you are able to access. This allows you to understand your progress toward your goal. But, more importantly, this allows you to see where your strategy is weak. When you find your weaknesses, you clean them out. Make changes to your strategy documents until you’re getting the results you desire. Social media is an ever-changing space and measuring the ROI and achieving a desired return will require constant and consistent measurement and adjustment.
At Romer Social, we know that meeting social media goals can be as tricky as figuring out which goals to choose. That’s why we spend so much time and effort into researching and building a strategy for our clients. We believe the best way to do social media marketing is with a solid plan. Schedule a call today to find out how we can take your social media presence another step closer to achieving your goals!