The likes might be stacking up on your social media accounts, but that doesn’t always tell the whole story. We don’t know about you, but we haven’t seen many businesses last without making a profit. That’s why it’s critical to compare your expenses and revenue to see if your digital marketing efforts are bringing in the dough or if they’re going to waste.
When it comes to your social media campaigns, your return on investment, or ROI, is the best way to ensure you’re getting rave-worthy results. Examining ROI can show you what messaging or content types are resonating with your audience, what actions they’re taking on your website or eCommerce store, and what effect social media is having on your bottom line.
Shockingly, almost half, or 44% of businesses, don’t measure the ROI of their social media marketing because they consider the process too time-consuming or confusing.
Luckily, there are fantastic tools out there that make calculating ROI easy. Get ready to show off your stellar social skills and share insights on your growth and engagement to make your ROI plain as day.
What is Social Media ROI?
Your social media ROI, or return on investment, is a measure of how effective social media is in generating profits for your client’s business.
Since organic social media can reach a large audience at a low cost, social media managers need to track the ROI of their social media campaigns and ensure they are getting a good return on their investment.
While quantitative or tangible returns like increased sales or a higher volume of website traffic are nice to see, don’t ignore the returns that aren’t directly associated with a monetary value, such as brand awareness and customer service.
Measuring Your Social Media ROI
There are a handful of ways to calculate social media ROI. Some businesses simply compare the amount of money they’ve spent on social media campaigns to the amount of revenue generated. Others use more complex formulas that account for things like website traffic, leads generated, and customer engagement.
No matter which method you use, you must follow the same general ROI formula:
(Earnings – Investment Made) x 100/ Investment Made = Social Media ROI
Sounds simple, right? But you might be wondering: “where on earth do I get the numbers for this formula?”
That’s where social media ROI tools come in handy. With a dedicated tool designed to track your social media success, you’ll have everything you need to use this formula effectively.
What Are Social Media ROI Tools?
Social media ROI tools are software applications that help business owners measure the ROI of their social media marketing efforts.
Most tools used to calculate social media ROI are analytics tools. Social media analytics are an essential aspect of any content marketing strategy because they help collect data on important metrics like brand awareness, engagement, clicks, and sales. In marketing speak, these metrics are also known as key performance indicators, or KPIs.
While talk of analytics and KPIs might make your eyes glaze over, they’re an essential part of social media marketing. They show you what’s working well, what’s not, and where you can improve.
How Social Media ROI Tools Can Simplify Your Life
As a social media manager, you might feel stretched thin at times. You want to feel confident that your tools are doing their job so you can show clients that your efforts are paying off.
The best tools save time and un-frazzle nerves. Here are a few more ways social media ROI tools can help social media managers.
First, they provide valuable insight into your audience and social media performance. This includes metrics like:
- Customer demographics (e.g. age range, location, gender, etc.)
- Engagement rates
- Conversion rates
- Website or landing page traffic
- Lead generation
Aside from providing you with cold hard data, social media tools enable you to build bigger and better-engaged audiences across platforms like Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. You can optimize campaigns and evaluate if your social media strategy is working all in one place. That’s the beauty of these tools — they make monitoring your social media activities much less complicated!
ROI tools take the guesswork out of your decision making. The right tool can help you benchmark current performance against past performance or against competitors to provide a fuller picture of your social media efforts.
The benefits of using social media ROI tools vary depending on the tool. Common benefits include improved insights into your social media goals, active monitoring of metrics, and automated social campaigns. You can even get tools that specifically look at the ROI of influencer campaigns.
Additionally, many social media ROI tools offer free trials or free plans, making them accessible to businesses of all sizes.
Investing in a tool to monitor your social networks and marketing spend is the best way to achieve your social media objectives. Back up your strategy with valuable insights to show your clients that their business is in good hands.
The Top 5 Social Media ROI Tools
Your social media journey doesn’t end when you hit the “publish” button. In fact, it’s only the beginning. Once you’ve sent your content into the social sphere, it’s time to start analyzing and learning from each post.
Here are five of our favorite tools to measure social media ROI;
1. Google Analytics
With relevant quantitative data, Google Analytics is one of the most powerful tools to measure the ROI of your social media campaigns. It helps you quickly identify which social media platforms drive the most traffic and which content is getting the most traction.
By tracking results such as website visits, page views, and conversions, you can see which campaigns are attracting and converting visitors.
There are a few different ways to calculate social media ROI using Google Analytics. The first is to look at the total number of website visits generated from social media platforms.
To do this, go to Acquisition > Social > Network Referrals. This report will show you how many website visits were referred by each social media platform.
You can also track conversions from your social ads to calculate social media ROI.
To do this, go to Conversions > Goals > Overview. This report will show how many conversions were referred from each social platform.
By tracking these metrics, you can see which socials are providing the best ROI and focus your efforts on content creation for those platforms.
2. Sked Social
Is your social media marketing primarily done through Instagram? Then a savvy, Instagram-first platform like Sked Social could be the tool for you!
Sked Social’s advanced Instagram analytics allow you to quickly deduce which posts and content topics create the most affinity and engagement with your audience. Their all-in-one Instagram tool allows you to track every conversion, interaction and lead generated from your Instagram stories and posts.
Measure the success of your Instagram stories, compare your activity to competitors, or track web traffic coming from your link in bio. There are endless ways to use Sked Social to monitor your socials and calculate your social media ROI.
To make things even simpler, you can get started with Sked Social’s 7-day trial – completely free!
3. Hootsuite Social ROI Calculator
In the world of social media, there are all sorts of opinions about how to best calculate social media ROI. Navigating the online noise can be a bit of a challenge, but Hootsuite’s social ROI calculator gets the math done quickly and effectively.
Simply input your expenses (like total ad spend) and compare them with relevant metrics like conversions, website traffic, brand awareness, or audience engagement. This information can aid you in making better decisions about where to allocate your marketing dollars in the future.
To effectively use a tool like the Hootsuite Social ROI Calculator, it’s crucial to set social media marketing goals. Without clear goals and objectives, you’ll find yourself monitoring vanity metrics like likes and followers, which don’t always accurately reflect ROI.
To determine which social media metrics align with your goals, we recommend checking out 10 key metrics to help measure ROI.
4. Facebook Pixel
If you aren’t familiar, the Facebook Pixel is a piece of code for your website that monitors insights from Facebook ad campaigns.
To start measuring conversions more accurately, you must first install the Facebook Pixel on your website. Next, install your conversion events (i.e. the end goal you want your customers to take), insert the code into your website, and input any necessary information.
Under the Results tab, you’ll see a list of all the conversion events you have set up. For each event, you can view how many conversions occurred as well as the total value of those conversions.
These Facebook insights can help you determine your social media marketing ROI and adjust as needed. For example, if you notice that a particular campaign isn’t generating many conversions, you can adjust your targeting or budget for that campaign or scrap it altogether.
5. UTM Parameters
UTM parameters are pieces of code you can add to the end of a URL to track how people interact with your business online. The code lets you see where website visitors are coming from, what social media channels they’re using, and how they interact with your content. UTM parameters can be organized by medium (e.g. email, social media, Google search) and campaign or content piece (e.g. Instagram Story).
This information is invaluable when calculating your social media ROI. It helps you make more informed decisions about how to market your business online and shows where your efforts are paying off.
To create UTM parameters, you’ll need UTM tagging. This comes built-in with tools like Google Analytics. Once you’ve generated your code, you can add it to the URLs for your social media posts, website, and any other online marketing materials.
Social media marketing is no walk in the park. It takes consistency, ambition, and a lot of hard work. Don’t let that hard work go to waste and show your clients a clear ROI that demonstrates the payoff for their business.
Calculating ROI doesn’t have to be challenging. Nowadays, you can leverage some amazing tools to streamline your process. With a tool that offers detailed analytics and reporting, you’ll blow your clients away in no time with just how impressive your social media skills are.
Get deep analytics you can actually act on with an Instagram-first tool like Sked Social. Find the best time to post, analyze your Instagram Story performance, compare your activity against competitors and more – all without a Data Science PhD. Start your free 7-day trial today.