Disproving The Social Media ROI Myth In 3 Easy Steps

By the end of these three steps, you’ll be equipped to appraise and improve your social media marketing campaigns.

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Photo: Florentina Istrati,  Facebook Ads Strategist; Source: Courtesy Photo
Photo: Florentina Istrati, Facebook Ads Strategist; Source: Courtesy Photo

Have you tried social media marketing and come up with nothing?

Have you sat for hours on Facebook, updating your statuses and creating witty memes in order to attract more customers, only to discover you’re not actually getting a flood of new clients? If so, it’s time to take a long hard look at your social media ROI.

But wait… “There isn’t a tangible form of ROI for social media is there?” That’s what many people say.

Well those people are wrong. Or at the very least they’re looking at social media ROI in the wrong way. There is a very real way to measure the success of your social media marketing efforts.

By the end of these three steps, you’ll be equipped to appraise and improve your social media marketing campaigns.


Step #1: Examine Social Media Metrics

If you’re going to measure something, you’ll need to know what units to use. Generally, ROI is based on how much money is spent in relation to how much money is made, all of which is a direct result of a specific action—your return on investment (ROI).

For social media it isn’t so straightforward. Mainly because there are two succinctly different reasons why entrepreneurs launch and manage a business social media account:


  • Brand Awareness

    To raise awareness and build brand trust – This is the reputation management, brand building and customer service part of social media. Your quirky statuses and engaging behind-the-scenes photos help you befriend and build relationships with would-be clients.

  • Lead Generation

    To generate leads for a sales funnel and drive traffic to the website landing pages. As you create interest with interesting status updates and link to something else your audience will find valuable you are able to boost conversions as they click onto your page, love what you do and take a specific action.

Both objectives are essential to one other. However, they are measured in completely different ways.

Building brand awareness can be measured through engagement. For example, how many likes, comments and shares each post gets is a good indicator of how well it’s working. Meanwhile, viewing analytics dashboards (e.g. Twitter Analytics, Facebook Page Insights, Google+ Insights, etc.) associated with each social media platform can help you strategically view and manage performance.

When it comes to sales, though, you’ll need to know how many people are clicking through to your website and completing actions within the sales funnel. This can be accomplished with web analytics tools. That’s where you will see if your efforts are being rewarded.


Step #2: Where are clients finding you?

Website traffic is vital to every business. Where are your ideal customers finding you? Is it from a Facebook Ad, Twitter or have they found you through a Google search? Once you know this information, using tools like Google Analytics, you can begin to get a clear idea of how well your social media marketing is working.

For example, Facebook ad campaigns are a great way to drive traffic to your website. But if you’ve tried it before and the results were weak consider tweaking your ad before jumping head first into it again.

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