It’s not uncommon for an organisation to have a presence across several social networks. Social networks are great for building a fan base, engaging with the market, gauging public opinion and sending out direct messages at the touch of a button. However, many organisations are using social media without evaluating what benefit it has.
They don’t know what the return on investment is because they don’t know how to measure it on something that doesn’t result in monetary value.

So how can social media be measured in terms of ROI?
When we think of ROI we generally think about profits, social media doesn’t provide direct profits so it’s time to stop thinking of ROI in terms of monetary value. Setting goals and targets that are achievable through social media will help to produce results and an idea of ROI.

Examples of Goals/Baselines

  • Increase the amount of interactions from followers over a month
  • Increase the amount of positive interactions
  • Get five followers to mention our brand in their own posts every month

Setting a baseline and understanding the current situation means tracking results is possible.
It is also important to monitor tone, whether a conversation or comment is positive or negative. A negative tone wouldn’t be measurable in terms of benefit however positivity would. Monitoring tone is just as crucial.

Social Media never stops and to monitor everything that is being said about an organisation is impossible. There are a number of social media monitoring tools out there, as I evaluated in a previous post. These tools can track coverage across social networks allowing organisations to filter and tag the relevent content and produce data reports.

Once the data has been obtained translating it into ROI is often the difficult part. With the help of the original baselines organisations can produce comparisons and track trends.
Other points to consider are increases in sales as a result of a social media based promotions, or increase in footfall to a shop. This information would need to be gathered direct from the consumer, so isn’t always measurable.