One of the most effective forms of marketing nowadays is to market on social media. At least, that’s what seems to work for everyone else. But how do you measure the actual success of your social marketing strategy after you’ve implemented it? How do you know what your Return On Investment (ROI) is after everything is said and done?
While it’s not always straight-forward, there are some ways of measuring exactly how profitable your marketing is, whether that’s in terms of revenue or other valuable metrics, including engagement, clicks, or conversions. Here is how you can measure the ROI of your social media marketing strategy.
What is ROI?
Let’s start by defining ROI – in short, it means Return On Investment. Traditionally, this refers to monetary gain, and whether you manage to make enough profit to cover your initial investment.
However, since we’re talking about social media, there are other aspects that are valuable and that may result from your investment – for example, engagement, brand awareness, conversion, followers, etc. In the same way, not all investment is defined financially; time and effort are still an investment.
Why is ROI important?
Okay, but you may be wondering why ROI is that important, in the first place. Well, when you’re running a business, this kind of measurement can give you an idea of how effective your actions are when it comes to creating value with your social media marketing.
That’s extremely valuable information even when you’re only a one-man operation, but especially when you’ve got a larger company, with partners, clients, or stakeholders, real numbers are essential. The more you’ve got to show, the better.
bctt tweet=”Measuring ROI can help you gain insight into what your audience is like, what they are interested in, what they’re looking for, etc. That can potentially help you out long-term, not just in the immediate future.”]
How do you measure ROI?
So, now you know that it would be helpful to measure your social media ROI, but how do you actually do it? Let’s take a look:
Know what you’re trying to achieve & set appropriate goals
In order to be able to measure effectively, you need to know what you’re trying to achieve and how well you’re fulfilling that goal. When it comes to social media marketing strategies, your goals are probably going to be related to increasing brand awareness, conversions, risk decrease, and improving the experience of your customers.
To set more specific goals relevant to your business, you need a system. You’ve got to know what you want to do, and what your deadline is. For example, let’s say you want to increase your number of followers in the next six months.
You should also set a specific number – say, 10,000 people. That gives you something specific and attainable to focus your efforts on. No matter what your ultimate objective is, you’ll need to compare to what you’ve achieved in the past in order to get a sense of the progress you’re making.
Know the right tools & metrics
It’s all about the metrics you are measuring and the tools you are using for this purpose. A lot of the time, companies make the mistake of only measuring revenue and dismissing engagement like sharing, commenting, liking, etc. but these, too, hold value, depending on what your objective is. If your aim is to increase sales, likes may not do much for you. But if brand awareness is what you’re looking for, all those shares and likes are valuable.
There are all kinds of tools that can help you track your outcomes and give you an idea of your ROI. They include Urchin Tracking Module (UTM) parameters, Google Analytics for conversions and traffic, code that tracks conversions from social media ads, an aptly named social ROI calculator that makes it super easy to get clear results, and other tools you can find for free online or that you can purchase.
Measure over a longer period of time
If you want to actually reach any valuable results, you can’t just track for a month, because that will not be accurate. The moment you measure is important, as well, because different times will yield different results.
Ideally, you’d be able to track your activity over a period of at least a few months and then implement some changes in order to see how those can affect the results you are obtaining. It’s a longer and more complex process than most people realize, but it’s necessary in order to get results that are accurate and helpful in the long-run.
So, let’s say that you’ve been measuring your ROI and you’re not incredibly satisfied with the results, so you’d very much like things to pick up. Here are some simple ways to step up your social media strategy and improve your ROI.
1. Try new things
Sometimes, your ads need a little tweaking before they can reach their final form, where they’ll garner the most clicks and the best results. You can play around with a lot of things, from the wording of the ad to the length of the text, size, images, graphics, etc.
Keep an eye on trends and how other ads look and see what you can “borrow” from their format and if that makes a difference in the results you are getting. You may discover some new techniques or formats that work better for what you’re trying to achieve.
2. Make improvements based on tracking results
Keep a close eye on things and you’ll start to notice all kinds of fluctuations and that some things garner more activity than others. This kind of tracking can go a long way towards helping you improve your ROI. As long as you follow these trends and hints you notice, you’ll be able to make improvements based on proven results, and not just outside trends.
Of course, some of these may not end up working out or may just be new things you’re trying out, but generally speaking, if you notice something that’s working, it’s worth following it.
3. Keep things updated
One thing about online marketing, and social media in particular, is that things change at lightning speed. You’ve got to always be changing and improving if you want to keep up. Click To Tweet That includes everything, from the strategies you put together to the actual ads that you run, target customers, techniques, etc.
With such a rapidly changing market, you may find yourself falling behind, and your ROI strategies will no longer be as effective as they once were. It’s important to assess not only where you are right now, but where you can go in the future, and how you’re going to adapt to new trends and strategies.
Measuring your ROI is not always clear or easy, but thankfully, there are ways to measure it, so that you gain a better idea of how your social media marketing strategy is really doing. You’ll need some specific tools, but everything starts with knowing what you are trying to achieve and setting a specific goal.
Once you have that step figured out, you can use your tools to track for a fixed period of time and notice any changes that are taking place. Based on your findings, you can tweak your strategy or make improvements that are likely to lead to a better ROI for your company.
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