How to Gauge Your Social Media ROI

How to Gauge Your Social Media Roi

Published by Alison Masniuk | @AlisonPaigeM

Congratulations – you want to learn how to gauge your Social Media ROI in order to determine whether it is the right avenue for distribution and marketing in your business.

What is this powerful online phenonmonia and how is it affecting marketers budgets?

According to technology research firm Gartner, the Digital Channel Survey 2016: Social Marketers Expand Tactics for Results discloses that 80% of social media marketers are making a shift towards allocating their marketing budget to social media advertising within the next 12 months.

While you can view your immediate ROI after reviewing the results of an ad campaign, social ROI itself is much more dynamic to determine success or failure.

For businesses making the shift to incorporating more time and money into social media, there are a few things investors and clients need to be aware of to understand the overall goal of Social Media ROI.

First Off: What is Social Media ROI?

Traditionally, a return on investment is defined as “a profitability measure that evaluates the performance of the business by dividing net profit by net worth.

Unless your main focus is sales from social campaigns, Social Media ROI has a broader characterization depending on your specific goals.

Social Media ROI in itself can also be classified achieving valuable engagement and building customer relationships that result in brand advocacy and brand love.

You need to identify what that desired return is foremost before you can bring metrics into the equation.

A great place to start is acknowledging that referrals and testimonials are your most valuable asset.


The New York Times stated that 65% of new business comes from referrals and Nielsen reports that “people are four times more likely to buy when referred by a friend.”

Have others share about your product or service by creating unique, shareable content that drives engagement.

While many notable contributors have stated Social Media ROI is centralized around social media ad campaigns, I try to steer my clients in the direction of aiming for a long-term return on investment and building lasting relationships with their fans and followers.

Here’s how you can get started on gauging your Social Media ROI.

1. Set Social Media SMART Goals

Just as you would in any other marketing plan, you must set SMART goals for your business to determine where and what you’ll be measuring.

Vancouver’s very own Hootsuite tackles the importance of defining specific social media goals using the SMART system.


By setting Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely Social Goals, you will give yourself a leg up on the competition and help define the ROI for your social media.

An additional tool you can utilize from Hootsuite to help formulate these goals is their free social media audit template.

While I’ve restructured my audit for clients, this template is easy to use for anyone who is not as socially savvy.

The combination of the two will enable you to determine what social media platforms your business should be active on, what content is resonating with your audience and what you need in your content strategy to achieve that particular return or result.

2. Determine Your Key Performance Indicators

After you’ve set your goals and completed a review or an audit of your business’ current social standing, you need to decide what metrics and measurements to follow.

These metrics fall under the term of Key Performance Indicators – the must-have metrics for social media monitoring.

Some KPI’s I tell my clients to concentrate on include:

• Overall Reach
• Conversion Rates
• Actions (Comments/Interactions)
• Repeat or Return Visitors
• Shares


But beware of focusing on vanity metrics such as likes and your follower count.

Social Media Today’s Ben Harper hits home with his reflection on vanity metrics:

 “a metric that boosts [your] ego, …makes [you] think [you’re] doing a great job, …. [it] doesn’t tell [you] anything about what’s going on”.

As mentioned earlier, focus on engagement and what “kinds of activities that lead to customer acquisition, sales, and revenue down the line.”

Always keep in mind that your actual audience is typically 4 x larger than your perceived audience so harness some of these excellent analytic tools below to keep on top of your metrics and engagement:

Keyhole to measure impact on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
BuzzSumo to track social content in your industry
Edgar to track engagement

These are just some day-to-day analytics you can review but find what suits your company bests to review results that are relevant to your social goals.

3. Review, Report, and Restructure

You’ve come this far – you have your goals set, you know what to monitor, but now you need to analyze and interpret those results once they come in.

The best way to review, report and restructure is collecting the data under a social media management software that you can share with your marketing team.

The most commonly used social media management platforms include:


These platforms will help you collaborate, share information and even have built-in analytics and plugins to help you monitor the Key Performance Indicators I touched base on earlier.


Keep in mind – many factors contribute to making a social campaign a success or failure, so don’t feel bad if you didn’t get it right the first time.

The beautiful reality of social media marketing is that it is constantly developing and you can continue to experiment with your campaigns and structure.

Here are a few recommended resources that can point you in the right direction with your content and social strategy:

AdEspresso helps you understand Facebook Ads Targeting to construct efficient Facebook Ad Campaigns
Moz is a great place for SEO software and inbound marketing tools
Insightly helps manage your CRM and Project Management (bonus: it has MailChimp integration for e-mail marketing)


Now you have an idea of where to listen, look and learn to be able to gauge your Social Media ROI.

You know your business best so make sure you do your research and select the tools that align with your social goals to help you accurately determine the success or failure of your Social Media ROI.

Don’t write off the opportunity either to bring someone on board to help you prepare a social strategy to include these details whether it be through a digital marketing agency or a consultant such as myself.

If you are interested in establishing a long-term, effective social strategy, you can check out details for my custom Social Media Blueprint Packages in the video below.

Alison Masniuk is an entrepreneur residing in Calgary, Alberta. She runs a social media consulting business while attending University of Calgary Continuing Education, finishing up her second certificate program in Marketing. Her particular focuses are digital marketing, e-recruitment, and social media. She is also a work-at-home mom to a wonderful little girl named Sadie. Alison is a meticulous worker and scholar, who has mastered the art of multitasking and the creative process to provide her clients with authentic and unique digital solutions for their business.

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