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In Search of Social Media ROI

We all know we need to measure the impact of our social media efforts. But how? Determining the return on investment (ROI) of social media is a challenge.

Every brand has different business goals, different audiences, and different reasons for using social media. So, it follows that there is no single ROI formula that works for every organization.

The right ROI measures are specific to you, and defining them starts with asking the right question. You need to get to the specifics of what you want to achieve on social media.

  • What business challenges do you want to solve?
  • What are your social media objectives?
  • What is the baseline that you want to impact?

If you don’t take the time to answer these questions, you can’t truly measure the impact of your social media effort. You can see trends in traffic and engagement, but you won’t know if it really matters to your business.

Social media metrics like reach, impressions and engagement are offered by all the major platforms and other tools. What they don’t necessarily tell you is whether any of that is helping you with your business challenge or advancing your objectives.

Define what it means to achieve your goal and reach your objectives. Then, select social metrics that reflect progress.  If your goal is to increase sales, then the number of followers on Facebook is not nearly as important as the sales numbers.

Don’t be afraid to start with assumptions of what measures will accurately reflect progress. It can be difficult to make a direct correlation between social activity and goals.

The important thing is to start with defining what you want to achieve. Then assess. You may need to refine your metrics as you go.

  • Are you making progress toward business goals?
  • Are objectives being met?
  • What role does each social tactic play?

Ask yourself these questions regularly. Look at the data. Adjust as needed.