The ROI of Social Media – It’s Easy, Right? (return on investment)

the social media roi chart

The big questions before you begin a social media effort are:

  • What are your goals?
  • Who will continue the social media effort after the initial launch?
  • How will you measure success?
  • Are there other benefits to using social media?

The three key business motivations for using social media are:

  1. Financial
  2. Customer Support
  3. Brand Building

Let’s take a closer look at each motivation and see how it applies to your business.

1. Financial

This is very likely the most important objective of a social media campaign. Let’s look at a few of the possible financial goals of the social media plan:

  • Revenue
  • Leads
  • Building Email List
  • Referrals
  • Meetings

If you can track your social media campaign down to the lead form, you are golden. But when the traffic is being driven from your facebook page it’s a little bit harder to point exactly to the ROI from your facebook LIKES or “activity.” And if your sales cycle is a bit longer than your normal Google Analytics report, it might be harder to identify the customers who found you and purchased your goods or services because of one of your social media efforts.

2. Customer Support

By using Twitter and Facebook for customer communications companies like Zappos and Starbucks have made a healthy case for social media as part of your customer outreach program. Is there a dollar for dollar ROI on this one?

Here is the ROI fomula: ROI=((Gains-Costs)/Costs You can do the math for your situation.

3. Branding

This is what the big companies like McDonald’s and Progressive are doing with their facebook campaigns. They are not trying to directly sell you a Big Mac ™ or a car insurance policy, but they want you to think of them when you are hungry, or you do need car insurance. So they are building brand awareness in your mind. If you go to Jack in the Box, the effort was not successful. But if you get some McDonald’s fries next week, how is McDonald’s going to measure that ROI?

By setting clear objectives and putting clear Google Analytics and reporting together, a good strategist can set up your Social Media campaign for success. Social should be a part of every business objective, and I can show you how to achieve a solid ROI on your marketing efforts by including social media.

Stay tuned and Stay Social.

@jmacofearth (also seen on Google+: jmacofearth)

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. A very sensible analysis of social media ROI. A key thing is making sure you metrics are tailored towards you brand and your objectives.

    I am however, often concerned when people use formulas to generate a figure for ROI. Gains can be more than simply financial, as you say.

    1. ROI formula is quite simple. Applying it to social media or any online marketing is more of a challenge. And the Returns can be more than simply income.

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