Social Media ROI – Why You Need it and How to Measure it

Kimberly Surico |
 03/20/19 |
3 min read

It seems impossible that any brand or business could question the usefulness of social media, but some still do. This is likely because they aren’t seeing the ROI they want – but it’s not social media’s fault!

In most, if not all, cases the problem is not social, but a disconnect in what you’re measuring. Here’s how to find the proof you need – and how to use it to keep gaining as a brand.

Beware Being Overwhelmed

“The beauty of digital is that everything is tracked; the horrible part of digital is that everything is tracked.” Patti Gomas, Senior Consultant with Deloitte Digital couldn’t be more on point here. She accurately notes that digital marketers can easily become overloaded with metrics and lose focus on what they’re trying to accomplish.

The focus of ROI is understanding relationship between cost and profit, at its root, but it’s not always so simple to determine. Start by figuring out where you are now – and where you want to be. How will social media get you there?

For example, if you want to increase sales, you need to understand well beyond the dollars and cents of last quarter’s revenue. You need to know how social is driving revenue – or not. Was there an active campaign that boosted sales? Or did a viral consumer complaint on Twitter impact things negatively?

These are things you can measure – and use to set new goals. But you have to establish a baseline to know if you’re gaining or losing.

Look for Deeper Connections

It’s also important to remember social media results aren’t always as cut and dried as those of other campaigns. It’s easy to correlate increased sales to a one-day promotion that consumers flocked to, but it can be more challenging to assess how social efforts are having an impact.

Consider all the areas you can explore on social:

  • Consumer desires and talking points
  • Customer service issues
  • Competitor insights
  • Influencer impact
  • Consumer trends

Each of these offers value, but you have to look deeper to find the insights that matter – and then track the connection to your brand goals, understanding whether its offering awareness, increased engagement, sales, or more.

Identifying these connections is where the true power of social ROI lies. Uncover a kernel of consumer insight your competitors haven’t discovered, and you can amplify ROI beyond expectations.

How to Apply What You Find

Social media ROI requires a bit of finessing. It’s easy to say that social media doesn’t offer much if you merely take note of the data you find and aren’t putting it to action. Social analytics tell you what matters and why – but it’s what you do with that information that brings true results.

For example, Text 100’s #SleepLikeAHero campaign for Vodafone used a partnership with John Boyega to extend the brand’s reach.

And while following the results of the campaign, they discovered there was huge earned media response. Consumers were creating their own conversation based on the resonant messaging of the campaign.

Understanding that allowed Text 100 to prove to Vodafone that the messaging they were putting out on their own channels was getting through to their social audience organically.

The point is, you have to allow yourself to be led by the data – versus trying to make it look like whatever you think it should.

That way you can ensure you’re getting what you want for your investment – and correct your trajectory if you’re not.

Using capabilities like social media auditing and brand analysis reporting, you’ll always know what’s happening, and how it compares to previous benchmarks. This is crucial to making the most of your efforts, of course, but also when it’s time to illustrate to higher ups (especially naysayers) that the investment is worthwhile.

With so much on offer from Next Generation AI Analytics and other tools, now is definitely not the time to walk away. Just use social data to prove your case and you won’t have to.

Want to see our Next Gen AI Analytics in action? Reach out for a one-on-one demo!


Join The
15,723 People
Who have subscribed to our blog

Sign up to receive the latest updates

Premier social media analytics platform

Expand your social platform with LexisNexis news media

Power of social analytics for your entire team

Media analytics and market intelligence platform

Enrich your media analytics with social data

Social media benchmarking
and competitive intelligence

Data streams & custom KPIs for advanced data science

AI, Image Analytics, Reporting Tools & more

Out-of-the-box integration with other data sources