social media return on investment

By T.E. Cunningham

As a business owner, you may be struggling with how to measure your social media return on investment of both time and money on your social media outlets. Welcome to a very, very large club.

Social media applies to every area of the consumer purchase funnel that is so often touted in marketing meetings, but even people in the business sometimes struggle to “justify” efforts in this area. Here are some really simple ways to understand what success may look like in social media for the small business owner, and I will try to leave out all the insider marketing jargon!

Social Media Return on Investment Success Metrics

1. The first step in the buying process is creating awareness of your business, services, and products. Social media posts create reach via impressions. This is a way to prove your social media return on investment.

2. The next step is consideration. Again posts are key, as are responses to them. You can also measure traffic to your website from your social media channels to evaluate your success in this step.

3. The third step in the purchase funnel is when the customer makes the decision to purchase your product or service. For this, you want to measure conversions. These could be the purchase of your product or the customer or taking an action. Examples include downloading a coupon or an informational piece, signing up for an e-newsletter list, etc. Conversion data is a quantifiable way to measure your social media return on investment, and many times business owners only look at this measurement. A word of caution, while this is the easiest measurement, it is only one piece of the social media ROI formula.

4. Adoption and Advocacy are the final two stages, and in this stage, you are measuring how your customer reacts. Examples include Google reviews, posts from customers on your site, pinning your information on Pinterest, sharing of your product/services on their Facebook page, along with other actions.

There it is, short and sweet. And if you want to move your business forward, measuring your social media return on investment is a vitally important part of your success.