To secure buy-in and budget for your social media marketing strategies you need to demonstrate how your efforts are contributing to your goals. Social media, like any other marketing channel, must prove its return on investment (ROI).

Measuring your social media ROI allows you to identify gaps in your overall strategy, key messages and content, as well as helping you to understand customer perceptions, conversations and preferences.

So how do you ensure you’re delivering value from your social media efforts?

Compared to other marketing channels, the social media monitoring and measuring process is still in its infancy. While you can talk about the value of social media campaigns and why they require budget and resources, nothing is more convincing than showing actual results.

Your ROI measurement strategy should consist of the following elements;

Establish your business goals and consider your conversion goals

Always have your overall business goals in mind when determining your conversion goals, that way you know which factors you’re measuring. This could be customer acquisition, enquiries to a competition, newsletter sign up, links clicked, video views and many more. It’s important to remember that this goes beyond simply measuring revenue as social media activity can have other business benefits such as increasing customer service levels, industry positioning and boosting public relations.

Reach, traffic, leads and customer conversion rates are all metrics that may determine social media success.

Determine the right platforms

Your social media goals and strategies must align with the platforms you use. Some audiences are primarily on Twitter, others on Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram. Find where your audience spends their time so you can position your plan to be successful.

When determining your target market, you should look at who they are, what platforms they prefer and how much time they spend there. From there you can decide which platforms are most appropriate for your business

Social media ROI measuring tools

You’ll also need the right tools to set up conversion funnels, track consumer actions, analyse data, and report on the results. The following are useful starting points;

Google Analytics: Track website traffic, on-site conversions, and sign-ups originating from social media campaigns.

Hootsuite Impact: Accurately measure the ROI of social media across paid, owned, and earned social channels.

Facebook Pixels: A piece of code that placed on your website allows you to track conversions from Facebook ads from leads to sales.

Hootsuite Insights: Will help you identify conversations and trends within your industry as well as reach, brand sentiment, and more.

Success with social media is an ongoing pursuit, one which will require continual refinement. Social media campaigns can have a short life cycle, and are never static, you have to consider changes in customer behaviour, technology and business goals.

Measuring your ROI isn’t just an exercise to prove your social campaigns are valuable, the aim is to increase their value over time.