How to Decipher Your Social Media ROI

Make sure the work you’re putting in is resulting in a better bottom line.

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It’s easy to get caught up in the social media numbers game. More content, more followers, more promotion … but is it actually making a difference? As companies spend more and more resources on perfecting their social media strategies, it’s important to stop focusing on vanity metrics like followers and instead focus on concrete sales numbers. You don’t work for a higher social media following—your social media presence should be working for you.

The first step in deciphering your social media Return on Investment (ROI) is to look at where people are hearing about your business. For a brick-and-mortar store, this may mean an informal customer survey. For an online business, it means digging through your website analytics to see which websites are sending traffic to your sales page. Are more people finding you through Facebook or through simple word-of-mouth recommendations? Are people clicking over to your page from your wildly popular Instagram presence, or are you just shouting into the void? There’s no use in taking time to create stunning images if they aren’t leading to a higher profit.

Once you’ve deciphered which platforms are making an impact on your business, you can focus in on that platform and create some conversion goals. This may look like downloading a PDF, clicking onto your sales page, or sharing your content. Narrow down and get specific on what you’re hoping your social media presence does for you. Trying to be an expert at every single platform will probably be too overwhelming—look for the top one, two, or three, at most, that seem to come most naturally for your business and that are home to most of your ideal clients.

Lastly, track those conversions and assign a monetary value to them. For instance, if 50 people download a PDF from one Instagram story, and five of those people then purchase from you, you can place a monetary value on that specific story. Or, if one YouTube video results in 10 clicks to your website, and one of those people purchases your coaching package, you have a monetary value assigned to that video of the price of one coaching package. Once you have these monetary values, you can see which social media actions are resulting in more money in the bank.

Social media can be tricky to measure, but with today’s analytics tools, it’s actually never been easier. Make sure your social media presence is having a concrete effect on your company and not just serving as a way to procrastinate or seem popular.