Is your organization experiencing a return on investment from your social media presence? For most, the answer is foggy. Determining the ROI of social media is an age-old challenge shared by the majority of marketers.
Sadly, organizations are often hesitant to pursue social media because of the confusion surrounding ROI. Is social actually worth the time and money? Are marketing dollars better spent elsewhere? Further, organizations pursuing search marketing efforts may question if social media and SEO are compatible and complementary.
According to the Social Media Examiner, only 10% of marketers strongly agree they can measure ROI, and the 2018 Sprout Social Index report revealed that 55% of social marketers cite ROI measurement as their biggest challenge. Marketers simply aren’t talking about ROI with clients, colleagues, or supervisors.
Social media marketers should attempt to break the silence and prioritize ROI reporting. Understanding return on investment is understating meaningful interaction, determining if social media a significant marketing channel for your goals? In the following content, we explore the process of uncovering social’s actual ROI – unique to every organization.
Define the Purpose of Social Media for Your Organization
Defining the purpose of social is defining the return on your investment. ROI is not a one-size-fits-all measurement. Determining your key objective, the “why” behind your social media presence, is the beginning of measuring meaningful interaction.
Organizations – and even some marketers – assume ROI solely means money. Cash profit. However, this is not always the case. For example, a Pregnancy Resource Clinic may invest in social media to reach young women in need. A startup ecommerce company may emphasize brand awareness first to win sales later. Other brands are concerned with building a community of trust and providing expert customer service. Sprout Social found that nearly 80% of marketers started social media with the purpose of brand awareness; 65% emphasized community engagement.
At the same time, a plethora of brands are concerned with monetary return and rightly so. Companies spending money on targeted ads should look for profitable results. Some organizations invest in social media with a combination of the aforementioned goals!
In essence, no single goal must define a brand’s social presence, but determining your purpose is crucial to measuring ROI.
Set Actionable Goals, KPIs
You have established a purpose. How will you assess your ROI? Measuring success is accomplished via realistic goals or key performance indicators.
If your purpose for investing in social media is brand awareness, realistic goals could include 15% engagement rate on shared content or 5% page follower growth, month over month. These goals are measurable and can be tracked. Other common, specific goals include newsletter sign-ups, downloads, purchases, free trials, or contact form submissions. Once again, every goal listed is actionable, trackable, and measurable.
Set goals based on defined actions and tracking meaningful interaction will be significantly easier.
Determine Campaign-Specific Goals
Creating campaign-specific goals and accomplishing these is a realistic way to approach your social media purpose. The very definition of a campaign includes goals, a measurable outcome, and purposeful steps to reach the outcome.
Measure the Success of Your Goals
Creating goals is your first step; assessing success is a second and equally crucial part of measuring ROI. Tracking can be as simple as utilizing a management tool to evaluate how many new followers you received – did you reach 25? If not, why? If so, what aspects of the campaign were successful?
Google Analytics is another excellent tool to track social media success. The image below shows a dashboard offering information on traffic-driving social channels.
To create custom conversion tracking, enter your Google Analytics dashboard and go to Acquisition > Social > Conversions. Click “Set Up Goals” and enter any predetermined campaign goals. Enter Goal Details, select a Value (often monetary), and choose to turn on a Funnel, if applicable.
Evaluate Your Initial Strategy
Establishing goals and measuring success are only valuable if the strategy is evaluated and tweaked to overcome challenges. Were your goals reached? Were meaningful interactions performed with your content? Were KPIs met? Did you see a return on your initial investment?
If not, what needs to change? For example, if you hoped to receive 15% engagement rate on shared content but only received 2%, your content strategy should look a little different next month.
If the answer is yes, great! Evaluate the achievement and aim to repeat successful strategies.
RivalMind: ROI-Oriented Social Media Management
At RivalMind, we emphasize ROI across every facet of our business. We are dedicated to the success of our clients. Understanding key objectives and goals, building a strategic content schedule, and evaluating success define our social media management service.
To inquire further about our services, contact us today at (630) 492-0470 or via our online contact form.