Turning Social Media Into ROI

Social media can be hard to measure, and often ‘translate’ into something of quantitative value to departments that aren’t marketing. How do we change that? How can we showcase to our team members AND clients the ROI on operating and maintaining a social media presence? Dive in with us as we break it down step-by-step. 

Step 1: Understand the importance of ROI.  

ROI, or Return On Investment - can be different results to different professionals, but at the end it all comes down to one question - how much bang for my buck can we get for this thing, or decision, or campaign? How will we know we've achieved it? This can be daunting for many digital marketers, especially since your results aren't measured in money, but by actions. To many, digital marketing is pointless. It's our jobs to prove them wrong. So what can we use? Measurable goals.

Step 2: Set measurable goals. 

Setting measurable goals will provide detailed ways to tell the story or mission of your upcoming campaign and how it will benefit the company or client. This can be anything from visits to a specific landing page, a monthly subscription sign up, or product purchase. There are even companies like RevTrax who provide serial codes to track user activity from ad view to final purchase. These opportunities give us ways to share exactly how we plan to implement our strategies, analyze them over time, and grow from its results. 

Step 4: Pick your tools. 

Within each social media platform is a built-in analytics report system, each with varying degrees of provided information. These are typically called "Insights," or just plain Analytics. This is where information such as customer demographics, where and how they're learning about you, and what times they're on your accounts.  Unfortunately, these provided tools will not sustain your efforts in the long run. We recommend using a couple of different programs like Google Analytics to see where your customers are coming from, SproutSocial to make sure your information is shared as well as search for new content and what you're customers are talking about, or why they're upset with their purchase. 

Step 5: Set up a campaign. 

So - we've set our goals, we've gathered our tools, we've done some social listening, we're ready to set up a campaign. At this point, you're already halfway there, having gathered important information and readied your tools. Now is the time to set your plan. We recommend using a social media content calendar, like the one HubSpot provides for free, to plot what you'd like to share and when across social media. Then use SproutSocial to schedule your posts, so you can strategically craft language and overall design within your posts. In turn, this will create brand consistency and streamline your message.

Protip: If you're starting from scratch, follow the 80-20 rule - 80% of your content should inform or entertain your audience, and 20% should directly promote your brand. Been around for a moment? Follow the rule of 3rds - one third of content promotes the business, one third of content should come from influencers, and one third of content should be audience interactions. Test both out to see which works best for you and your audience! 

Step 6: WAIT.

This is the easiest and hardest.part. Yes, Tom Petty was right. In order to provide actual results, time has to pass so there's room for comparison. Depending on the length of your campaign, how long you've existed as a business online and on social media, etc., will all affect your results. Take the time to monitor with diligence, but not in excess. We recommend taking these times to regroup as a team, reflect on the work done, and return to other projects. 

Step 7: Measure, Compare, Repeat. 

Once the data starts to roll in, you'll want to analyze and re-evaluate your campaign or general strategies regularly, as the social sphere is always changing, as are your consumers. Speaking of consumers - ask them how they're doing and what they think about the recent changes. You'll find that consumers are *typically* pretty honest about their experiences. This can be anything from a survey, email blast, or as simple as a Tweet or Instagram Story Poll. 

At the end of the day, we never know exactly how things will pan out. Sometimes, opinions and social standards can change in seconds. The best that we can do as brand managers, digital marketers, as business owners in general, is be transparent, listen and act when and where possible. Maintain these values and you've a steady one-way ticket to success. 

Or just let us do it for you.