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How To Measure Social Media ROI (Without Looking At Follower Count)

By Darren Pierce on Oct 16, 2014 6:00:00 AM

Too many social media marketers put too much stock into the importance of follower count.

Of course we want to expand our presence on social media, and we definitely want as many followers as we can get to listen to us speak, but measuring your return on investment based on follower count alone sells yourself short. It doesn’t provide the whole picture—just one part of it.

Let’s get into two different ways you can measure social media ROI without just relying on number of followers.

1) Look AT Your Metrics

Believe it or not, social media ROI is quantifiable.

It starts with understanding your goals.

Are you trying to drive traffic to your site? Are you trying to expand your brand presence on social media? What are you trying to accomplish?

Once you have your goals in place, identify the relevant metrics and establish your target numbers. Measure these metrics as you implement your campaigns and then compare them to the total effort exerted, which includes everything from time spent on campaign development to the cost of boosting posts.

You may hit your goals, but how much effort did it take to get there? How much time and money did it take to generate those referrals to your site?

You may have driven 1,000 visitors to your site, but it took you 15 hours to develop those campaigns. That’s about 66 referrals per hour of work. Is that return worth the investment?

2) Look PAST Your Metrics

Higher ups want to see numbers and metrics. They want to see how sales are rising because of your efforts, but unfortunately, not all the benefits of social media are quantifiable. Because they don’t directly translate to sales, these benefits might be over looked.

Here’s a good example:

Social media can help you develop industry authority, and no, there may not be a direct correlation between level of authority and conversion rate, but if people trust your opinion, they’re more likely to buy from you.

Just because you can’t prove it with the numbers doesn’t mean it should be ignored. Sometimes you have to look past your metrics and take the intangibles into account when you’re talking about social media ROI.

How do you measure social media ROI?

Share your thoughts in the comments!

Image: Flickr

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Written by Darren Pierce

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