You may be spending hours working on your social media outreach efforts but do you know whether your inputs are successful? Your clients may be breathing down your neck for some proof of success of your social media marketing campaign so you have to measure the return of investment (ROI) of your social media activities. It’s not an easy job to do and can prove to be one of the most difficult challenges of this profession. According to statistics, 52% of marketers cite difficulties in accurately measuring ROI as their biggest source of frustration in social marketing. But you need to do it just the same because you and your client deserve to know if your strategies are working or not.
Why Do You Have to Measure Your ROI?
Measuring ROI is an essential practice for consultants and companies in order to mount successful social media campaigns. You need to keep yourself updated with the changes in algorithms and get to know the tools that you can use for more efficient measurement. Afterwards, you need to test and implement those tools to harvest the results that will prove to your client that you are worth the consultant fee you’re receiving.
So how do you know if your social media activities are delivering the goods? Find out by doing these six steps on how to measure social media campaign results.
1. Know your objectives and set your goals
In order to find out if your campaign is effective, you must first know your objective and then set your social media goals. You need to set which results are relevant enough to measure. Determine why you’re set on using social media in your marketing campaign and how it can affect sales, revenue, and your business in general. Common goals include raising awareness for your brand, driving more traffic to your website, increasing visitor loyalty, and increasing conversion rates. This is where you might consider to develop a close-loop uber funnel for your social media campaigns, which can serve as an illustration of how digital marketing campaigns can affect your sales and revenue.
There are many ways to measure your ROI, depending on your goals. You can do it via clicks, revenue, lead generation, and customer acquisition, contest entries, among others. Consider the following when establishing the metrics you will use in auditing your ROI.
Each practitioner has his or her own standard for measurement. Hubspot’s Pamela Vaughan suggests the following metrics: customers, reach, traffic, leads, and conversion rate. For Troels Kjems, senior consultant at Think!Digital, his website conversion goals include social interactions, newsletter sign-ups, PDF downloads, online purchases, and contact forms. These are the desired actions that he wants his visitors to perform.
2. Know which platforms to use
A lot of marketers do not maximize the capabilities of the platforms they choose. According to a survey, less than 25% of marketers use their platforms to their full potential. In order to get results, your goals plus your data-driven strategies and campaigns should be aligned with your social media platforms. You need to find out where your audience spends most of their time so you’ll know which platform to target. This detailed infographic from Melisa Leiter can help you with this task. You need to find out who your target group is, which platforms they regularly use, and how much time they spend in those platforms.
3. Track your campaigns diligently
A solid chunk of your time will be spent tracking your campaigns, as well as the money you’re spending on the ads. You also have to keep track of the campaigns and activities that you initiate as part of the entire campaign. You can make this job easier by using multi-platform tools, from free ones like Google Analytics to paid ones like Socialbakers.
Take note of the benefits, costs, and functionalities of each tool in order to choose the right ones for your campaign monitoring tasks. Here are some of the tools you can test for measuring your social media ROI.
4. Make a rating system for your social engagement
This is a must when you want to generate awareness in line with your strategy. It’s a simple but effective way the measure the effects of your efforts on the social channels that you’re using. For example, you want to generate Facebook buzz for a product or service. So what you do is post an update on your page so you’ll get the likes you’re looking for. The day after, you post another update of a different nature. You noticed that this post gets lesser likes but people are sharing the post more and commenting on it. This means that this post makes people engage more compared to the previous post.
There is a difference between liking and sharing posts. When a person likes a post or comments on it, it is an indication of a deeper interest, which is good. But sharing is better because your update gets moved beyond your own page.
Now you have to weigh different types of audience engagement by using a tiered point system. For instance, Facebook likes get a point each. Comments get 5 points each while shares get a whopping 10 points. Summing up these values will let you know if your activities on Facebook are helping you reach your goals.
5. Report your results
Reporting the results of your campaign is necessary, whether you’re working solo or reporting to a boss. A good report should have a timeframe, in which you can present results in a weekly, monthly, or annual basis. You need to make use of report tasks provided by Google Analytics to be able to present the results of your campaigns. You can also use the uberVu platform for more comprehensive reports that include qualitative and quantitative metrics, sentiment and result for social media sites, and platform distribution, which will help greatly if you need to make a presentation.
6. Reset goals according to results
Once you have gathered the stats that you need and reviewed the results of your ROI monitoring, you can now see what strategies worked and what shouldn’t be used again. This is especially important for paid advertising, since it involves cost. To get the right results, you have to understand the math. In order to generate accurate results, you have to combine the conversions and audience size.
If you’re not seeing the results you want, it means something is broken and you have to find it and fix it. Rare is the practitioner who gets it right the first time and you shouldn’t feel so bad when things didn’t go as well as you like. It takes time to understand the needs and expectations of customers in social channels.
Lots of your time will be spent doing significant testing in order to strike the right combination in creating effective content strategies. Patience will pay off big time after you learn to promote yourself and add value to the community at the same time.