Measuring social media ROI

No doubt about it—showing ROI for your social media efforts can be really hard. And there’s no one-size-fits-all answer, because it hinges mostly on what your brand’s goals are.


But typically, proving ROI will require you to boil down how much you’re spending on your social media efforts, and how much they are worth. That first part—how much you’re spending—is typically pretty easy to track, and most businesses do track those numbers, which include how many hours are being spent by the team, amount you’re spending on social ads, and tools you pay for. There will also be other expenses unique to your campaigns and efforts.


It’s the other part, the part about knowing how much your efforts and outcomes are worth, that’s harder. But you CAN do it.


The first step is to—you guessed it!—identify your goals. For the purposes of measuring social media ROI, those goals should be tied to concrete, trackable numbers—think X percentage increase in referral traffic, or email list signups, or purchases from the online store. Ideally, your goals will center on the social media user taking an explicit action instead of passively scrolling past your content on their feeds.


Now, you’ll want to link those goals you just identified to specific campaigns, which you can do in Google Analytics. (PRAISE YOU, GOOGLE ANALYTICS.)


Here’s how you do it: log in to your GA dashboard, and click Acquisitions→ Social→ Conversion. From there, click “set up goals”. Then you can name your goal and choose the goal type that is most fitting for your goal, whether that’s duration on site or associated with an event (like if the person clicked or scrolled through a slideshow on your site).


Next, you’ll have to associate a cost per action. If you have a sense of what your average sale totals out to, you can use that number. This number, plus the goals you’ve set up in Google Analytics, should give you a sense of how much the campaign you’re running is worth.


Of course, you’ll get some return that you can’t measure, including increased brand awareness or backlinks to your website. It’s a little bit of give-and-take, but measuring ROI isn’t impossible. It just takes some hard work.


Related Posts: The language you should use to win social media business

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