5 Tips for Understanding Social Media ROI
Many businesses understand the importance of social media. With its ubiquity in the modern world, it’s essential avenue for reaching clients, customers, and potential leads. But few businesses understand how to measure their success on it. If you have no idea whether your social media efforts are successful, or if your clients are bugging you for evidence of your social media prowess, it’s time to consider social media ROI (return on investment).
ROI provides tangible proof that your marketing efforts on social media are working and doing what they should be. It allows companies to know which posts are successful, and which aren’t, allowing you to improve your offerings over time. It can be a challenge, though. Algorithms are constantly changing, and there are always new tools. However, there are some key steps that can be taken to start measuring your social media ROI properly. Here are five we like to use.
Set (And Know) Your Goals
ROI is about quantifying to what extent you got from your posts what you wanted. Clicks, likes, shares, leads – any measurement of your success depends on your intended goals. Before you can track or measure ROI, you must determine your goals so you know which factors to measure. Setting goals allows you to tailor your posts towards achieving them. If you haven’t set goals, do this now – it will be a big benefit for that which will enhance your ROI further. The most common goals that businesses set for their social media posts are reach, traffic, leads, new customers, and conversion rate. Conversions can be anything from filled-out contact forms (which create leads) and link clicks to file downloads and social interactions.
Suffice to say, there are many metrics from which to measure ROI and these depend on your goals. Want to get more customers? Set goals for account signups or new traffic. Looking to spread the word about your brand? Keep tabs on reach.
Measure Your Visitors
Most social media websites include integrated analytics. These allow you to see the performance of a given post or combination of posts. Alternatively, you can use complementary apps like Hootsuite (for Twitter) to get more sophisticated insights for understanding ROI. For more complex goals, like click-throughs on a landing page, consider using software like Google Analytics. It automatically tracks all kinds of information about your visitors – including where they came from. Sophisticated CRMs and marketing automation tools like Hubspot and Mautic also allow you to create landing pages with integrated monitoring and analytics. This is great for tracking post with a common call to action and a shared goal. You can also use it to compare the performance of different pages or social media posts. By measuring visitor activity, you can find out all kinds of insights. These include: understanding how many users click from your site to your social media accounts; which posts/social platforms visitors came to a landing page from; and what pages they went to after clicking through.
Groups of posts with the same goal are grouped into campaigns – a structured effort to achieve something using social media. For each campaign, measuring the time spent, the cost of ads, etc. and balancing it against the performance of the associated posts (in relation to your chosen goal) can help to determine the ROI of a campaign. For example, let’s say you spend 4 hours getting paid £10 an hour to create a campaign of four posts. If this results in 40 purchases being made, then that’s £1 of investment per purchase. That’s a pretty good ROI (depending, of course, on the cost or profit line of those purchases).
Report Your Results
Gathering all the data is useless if you don’t make use of it, so it’s vital to determine a way to report any findings on social media ROI. Whether it’s simple graphs and tables in Excel or more complex solutions like Google Analytics reports, having some kind of visual aid to show the impact of social media on the business can be great for showing success – or for finding ways to improve.
Google Analytics isn’t as intimidating as it seems – this blog from Convince and Convert has a great overview of the top five Google Analytics reports for showing the impact of social media marketing, so you can see what it can do and how to do it.
Review, Reflect and Adjust
Once a report is created, you should be able to quantify and visualise your ROI and review your results. Good ROI tracking can compare different posts to see what worked and what didn’t or compare the performance of paid advertisements against non-boosted posts to see what the added cost got you in return. Reflecting on results can show where successes and failures occurred, and highlight which tactics worked and, just as importantly, which didn’t. Adjusting your goals and posting styles in reaction to your ROI can help to improve your performance on social media over time – and, again, that will show in your ROI reporting.
At the end of the day, social media is a numbers game – be it for likes, click-throughs, or new customers, monitoring and reacting to your ROI measurements can help with all manner of potential goals for your business or website. If you need any help understanding ROI on social, contact us at Colour Me Social today.