Social media provides companies, freelancers, and influencers out there with an amazing set of platforms and promotional tools. Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok can help marketers put their brands on the map and tell the world about their latest product launches.
However, all social media campaigns require solid investments in money and time. This happens because these platforms favor accounts that constantly push out fresh, quality content that keep users engaged and scrolling. Therefore, without proper metrics to follow, it’s rather easy to invest more than you get back.
That’s why specialists created the idea of social media ROI, which is a return on investment from a brand’s social media activities and actions. However, to get an accurate reading of your social media ROI, you have to measure the metrics that matter the most for your brand. This can be difficult since each social media platform offers a plethora of metrics and analytics.
To avoid investing in social media without any tangible results, you have to define the main metrics to include in your ROI calculations. These metrics will help you understand if your content creates value for the target audience and if it brings back any results (in sales and leads). For this, you first need a solid social media monitoring tool that can be customized to meet your needs. Next, you need to know the basic metrics that matter for each campaign, regardless of goal (as described below).
In a few words, engagement summarizes the type of interactions the audience has with a brand over time. The comments, likes, shares, clicks, and other actions users take to interact with a post on social media.
With more users online than ever, brands have a real chance of increasing engagement with audiences. However, as the social media walls get more crowded, it gets more difficult to keep users’ attention even for a few seconds. Therefore, it’s crucial to know how to measure engagement to understand if things go in the right direction or not.
Here’s what to track:
- Clicks – track click links to understand if your content really leads readers to click for more information. Links that don’t get clicks just aren’t interesting enough.
- Likes – some like to call likes vanity metrics (like empty pats on the shoulder), but they also show a broader reach and more interest from your audience.
- Shares or Retweets – if users share your content, they do so because they found it interesting and want to tell their network about it.
- Brand mentions – it’s important to know if your brand is mentioned online and where. As a rule of thumb, if a brand starts getting more mentions it means people find it interesting and want to share their experiences.
2. Referrals and conversions
Know what sites send users to your website (referrals) and check if the social media campaign brings in as many users as you’d hoped. This metric is easily available in analytics tools such as Google Analytics.
Conversions let you know if the users who land on your website from a social media platform make a purchase. If both conversions and referrals show social media users visit the website and show interest in your products, it’s a good sign your campaign is working proof of social media ROI.
This metric is more important in campaigns that focus on brand awareness and perception. The reach metric lets you know how many viewers accessed your content and provides an estimate of the size of your audience.
In most cases, a killer content marketing strategy will bring lots of engagement and referrals while also increasing the reach of the brand. However, this doesn’t mean the sales will increase.
That’s why the leads metric is super-important if your main goal is to sell more. Social media is the perfect environment for brands and customers to meet, but it has to start slow, like in a real relationship. Start by identifying your leads and getting to know your prospects (their preferences and needs).
The metrics mentioned above will allow you to understand if your social media campaign is working as planned. However, these are not the only metrics available, which is why it’s important to find the ones relevant to your strategy and brand. Overall, the goal of measuring results is to understand what works and adjust the processes that need a bit of help.