5 Ways to Track Your Social Media ROI

Are you tracking your return?

What information will help you determine if your campaign is effective?

Today, I was sent an article in which one writer argues that tracking your number of “interactions” on social media platforms will not yield an actual return of investment (ROI) for your business. According to the author, likes, re-tweets, follow-backs, and posts are only anecdotal in nature and really don’t do anything to improve your overall revenue goals.

While I agree that tracking tangible returns is important, I disagree that developing increased involvement within your community isn’t a worthwhile activity. Online communities have many moving parts, and I feel that tracking only one aspect of your involvement is a mistake.

When creating a social media plan, include a way to measure all of your metrics. Here are 5 ways to do just that.

1.) Find out how many interactions you get per month. An interaction can be anything from a “like” to a re-tweet. While some interactions may not have a direct impact on your revenue, the time you spend building this community will have long-term positive affects on your business relationships. Social media creates a unique opportunity to create heightened trust between you and your client/customer. The higher number of interactions you have, the more likely you will see a payoff when it counts.

2.) Track your direct ROI from posts designed to increase revenue. When you make a post that is designed to illicit a transaction, track your sales for the next 24 – 48 hours from the post. For example, if you are providing an educational training, see if there is a registration spike that correlates with your tweet or Facebook post. If there is, you are doing something right.

3.) Survey your existing customers. Periodically survey new or existing clients and customers to find out where they heard about your services. If none of them mention your social media sites, your may be talking to yourself on your outposts.

4.) Track what isn’t working. Some material and tactics will turn off your audience. When I first starting using Facebook for a professional purpose, I noticed that if I posted to our page more than once per week, I would start to see spikes in unsubscribed users to our feed. As a result, I made it a point to not post to our page with too much frequency unless I had a good reason. Doing this decreased the spikes. Knowing what doesn’t work can sometimes be just as useful as knowing what does work.

5.) Periodically review your overall return. In general, most of us are already asking the question “is my effort worth my investment?” If you are putting a large amount of time and energy into your outposts, and you aren’t seeing any positive gains, it might be time to re-evaluate your strategy. However, if you are seeing increased networking opportunities, or better yet, an increased revenue stream, the time you are putting into your campaign may be well worth the effort.

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About Sara L. Wood
Sara L. Wood is the Manager of Digital Communications for a national non-profit association. Specializing in social media and digital marketing, she is a regular magazine columnist and serves as her company's resident expert in all things online. When not working for her association, Sara manages social media efforts for local non-profit groups in the Washington, DC metro area. Also a music and sports enthusiast, readers may see rogue posts on Led Zeppelin, Dream Theater, golf, and the Philadelphia Eagles. Disclaimer: This is Sara’s personal blog, and all opinions expressed are her own. Any references to her day job are purely anecdotal and are not affiliated with the Association.

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