5 Ways to Measure Social Media ROI
Wednesday 17 April 2013 | Guest2 Comments
Written by CX’s Social Media/Content Strategist, Nicki Escudero
Whether you’re considering hiring someone to coordinate social media efforts for your business, or you’re in charge of digital marketing strategy for a brand, social media is one area where measuring return on investment can get a little complicated. Here are some things to ask from your social media manager or metrics you can provide for your company if you’re in charge.
Use your website analytics tool, such as Google Analytics, to examine which channels people are on before they enter the sales funnel. Depending on what types of messaging you’re promoting, track visits throughout the journey – are people clicking on blog links you’re promoting on your Facebook page, and then clicking on blog ads for your products after they’re reading?
Of course, if people are getting to the sales page from social channels but then bailing before the purchase, it’s time to examine the product or other elements within the sales process.
Why this is important: Sales are the easiest way to track return on investment, since they’re direct forms of income for your company.
2. Website visits
Using those same analytics tools, determine how many visitors to your website are coming from social media channels. Examine factors such as how many new visits are a result of social media – then, work on converting those new visitors into sales by optimizing your website’s elements.
Also, use visits to your website from social media channels as opportunities to convert new visitors into e-mail newsletter subscribers, and make sure it’s easy for visitors to see other social channels they can subscribe to, as well.
Why this is important: According to a study by Razorfish, “64% of consumers have made a first purchase from a brand because of a digital experience such as a website, microsite, mobile coupon, or e-mail. No other medium has so impacted the traditional marketing funnel.” With e-retail spending expected to increase by more than 60% by 2016, online purchasing must be made a priority by businesses, and social media is a brand’s opportunity to make a great first impression to new customers.
If your business gets its fair share of negative sentiment online, social media is a great way to create more positivity surrounding your brand in the social space. Use a sentiment monitoring tool, such as Radian6, to examine what’s being said about your brand in the social space, and allocate social media messaging to those channels that most need improvement.
Also, social media can be used as an additional customer support channel, since you’re able to listen to complaints and problems and coordinate with the appropriate team members. Social media channels also reinforce positive relationships with customers who are complimenting your brand and turn them into brand advocates that will help spread your message, whether that’s simply by word-of-mouth or something more substantial, such as writing a blog post that might gain your brand a credible backlink to aid in search engine optimization, as well as additional exposure.
Why this is important: According to a study by Bazaarvoice, “The average consumer today checks 10.4 information sources before buying.” If you can turn your brand’s overall online sentiment into a positive one, you’ll gain significantly higher sales because of social trust.
Social media channels are great outlets to connect with influential journalists, bloggers and product reviewers. Not only do they provide opportunities for initial connections, but they serve as representations for your brand in general – they convey the culture of your brand, as well as show off how your followers feel about you.
LinkedIn, Klout and YouTube are three great channels to garner new press from. Use LinkedIn groups to display your thought leadership in your field and build relationships with other influencers. Log on to Klout to find the social media users who are highly regarded in topics related to your field. And scour YouTube for videos relating to your business, and contact their creators to see if they’d like to review your product, too.
Why this is important: Sure, your brand could pay a public relations firm $150/hour to get a couple newspaper articles a month for you – which you may have no way to measure the impact of if they’re only in print. Or, your social media manager can shift focus to online writers and bloggers, where you’ll be able to track visits to your site, as well as conversions from, usually at a much lower price than what you’d pay a traditional publicist.
5. Followers and engagement
Obviously, if you have someone monitoring your social media channels, increases of followers, “Like’s,” Retweets, comments, etc. are ways to tell social media efforts are paying off. On some channels, such as Facebook, the more engagement your posts have, the more likely they will appear in other people’s Facebook feeds – which impacts future posts, such as marketing messages, too.
The power of social media is its virality – the ability for messages to be spread quickly in the digital space. The more followers and engagement your social channels have, the more your messages about your brand will spread – which becomes free advertising for your brand.
Why this is important: According to a study by Chadwick Martin Bailey and iModerate Research Technologies, “60% of Facebook fans and 79% of Twitter followers are more likely to recommend those brands since becoming a fan or follower. 51% of Facebook fans and 67% of Twitter followers are more likely to buy the brands they follow or are a fan of.” The more active your social media channels are, the more likely they are to get new engaged followers, who are then more likely to purchase from your brand.
How else do you measure social media ROI for your business? Let us know in the comments.
Nicki Escudero is the social media and content strategist for , which provides cloud storage solutions to businesses and individuals, with a focus on collaboration with features such as groups, chat and social network sharing. To try out CX for Business for free for 30 days, no credit card required, go here.