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5 Steps to Proving Social Media ROI

“What does social media do for my business?”

… have you been asked this before? Chances are, you have. If you’re a marketer like us, you most definitely have. If you spend hours on social media and aren’t able to fully show the return on investment, keep reading.

If you think you are able to show the ROI for your social efforts but are still getting questioned by your boss or clients, this article is for you too.

The strategy and metrics used to determine if a company’s social media tactics are successful vary, however, the steps you should take to get to your strategy are similar.

In this post, I’ll walk through five must-do steps in order to prove your time, energy, effort, and thought leadership when it comes to social media are, in fact, having a positive effect on business.

Social_Media_ROI1. Make sure social media is ultimately servicing one (or more) business goal(s)

First of all, make sure the effort you’re putting into social media is, at the end of the day, in service to business goals. These goals can vary – converting visitors to leads, generating more online transactions, increasing the amount of views on particular pages of your website, etc.

If your goal is to increase online transactions, make sure you have content and ads that are incentivizing your social media following to click through and make a purchase. If you want to convert more visitors to leads, provide them with an offer that will get them to click to a landing page and submit their information.

If your social media efforts aren’t aligned with business goals, the remaining four steps will be a waste of time. Get these ducks in a row and then move onto step two.

2. Define metrics that will show your success

Reporting is going to be key in showing social’s ROI to leadership within your company (I’ll get to that later). Before you can report though, knowing what metrics are going to show your successes and areas for improvement is vital. Using the example above regarding increased transactions, being able to show how many visits your website received from social media and how many transactions occurred from these visits would be a strong metric. Engagement on posts that directly correlate and drive traffic to transaction opportunities would also be something good to report on.

If your goal with social media is to reach a new demographic, showcasing information regarding your increase in following following increase and where and who these people are will help you tremendously.

Know what it is you want to measure before embarking on any type of reporting.

3. Stay consistent

It is very important to stay consistent with your content strategy, even if you aren’t seeing your metrics skyrocket right away. Your following needs frequent, meaningful consistent content in order to engage with you and keep interacting with you following. Keep this in mind and don’t lose sight of your ultimate goals or get caught up in serving only one type of content. One way to do this is to use your target audience profiles to create a short list of topics you know they are interested in, then audit your efforts monthly to ensure you’re not neglecting (or overpowering) any one topic.

Furthermore, if you are reading this article and realize you maybe need a shift in the type of content you’re putting out there, don’t make a 100% switch overnight. Ease into your new strategy or mix the new type of content in with the existing. Moving into a total makeover could turn off some of your followers. Think of these people as just that, people. They need to be communicated with delicately and thoughtfully.

4. Analytics are your best friend

Those metrics you’ve put into place aren’t going to mean anything without numbers to go along with them and comparisons showing how your work has caused increases or decreases overtime.

If you sell things online, make sure you have these sales set-up in Google Analytics. Dig deep into your analytics and insights so you can tell what types of posts generate the most engagement, website clicks, and conversions. Share these numbers with others to further prove how much the hard work you’re putting into social media is paying off!

5. Report… often!

The frequency of reporting to your boss, clients, or senior leadership will depend on your business and the amount of time, on average, it takes someone to convert or purchase from you. Reporting for your own knowledge though should happen often, as well. If you have the bandwidth, check into this daily. This way you won’t be blindsided when it comes time to share your analytics with others by any big changes, and you can proactively adjust your campaigns and tactics based on the trends you’re seeing in your analytics..

Use numbers, always compare to previous periods, and provide key takeaways so those not in marketing or not as familiar with social media will also have a strong understanding of what social is doing for the company overall.

Some free tools we recommend utilizing for measuring include Facebook Insights, Twitter Analytics, Keyhole, and Buffer.

What tools and tips do you have for proving social media ROI that we missed? Leave a comment below and let us know!

Does part of what you’ll be reporting on moving forward include generating prospects from social media? If not, is this something your company could benefit from?

Click the button below to download our free Social Media Handbook on developing plans for prospecting via all the major social media channels!