Changing Expectations for Measuring Social Media ROI

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Changing Expectations for Measuring Social Media ROI

By Janette Speyer and Katrina McNeill, Web Success Team

Five years ago, all you had to do to show you were a success in social media was deliver a certain quantity of Facebook likes or Twitter followers. Those investing in social media are no longer satisfied with the standard metrics of success. That’s why marketers need to be aware of the trends in success measurement and get on board with utilizing them.

An Uphill Battle

We must start with the knowledge that according to a Marketing Sherpa survey, only 20% of marketers think social marketing produced ROI in 2011. This means that marketers are already dealing with a skeptic client. Throughout the different social media platforms, there are similar values you can track to show your skeptic that this is not just a “like” or a “follow”, these are efforts producing measurable results.

Find Your Customer Lifetime Value (CLV):

Marketing is not always about sales, especially in social media. In social media ROI we also need to place a value on customer retention. A repeat customer might seem to have an immeasurable value, or maybe you only see value in the sale, but for social media, you can measure success based on sales you are potentially creating via relationship maintenance. Finding the customer’s value can be done in many ways, try using a tool like the Havard Business School’s Customer Lifetime Value Calculator, just to get you started.

Bringing New Traffic to Your Website:

Social media is not all about seeming accessible or relationship building. Sales leads can absolutely also be obtained through social media. Once they link from FB or any other social media site to your actual company website, you can track that social to sales conversion using Google Analytics or any other website tracking software. Don’t assume this is just for direct sales, it may simply be a contact form submission, both can be tracked, and both are incredibly valuable metrics.

Actual ROI

For any non-economics geeks, here is the ROI formula; ROI = (Revenue – Cost) / Cost, x 100. If your social media efforts cost you $15,000 but drove $20,000 of business, this would mean you had an ROI of 35%. So the first step is to find out your sales conversions via a website tracking software and then present that number as your ROI.

A New Breed of Social Media Numbers

Social media can be used for many purposes. Maybe your goal is for brand awareness, loyalty, or as a forum where you can keep track of what your customers want. But if you or your client needs numbers that make sense to investors then you should utilize CLV, Google Analytics or a solid ROI number (or all three).
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