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How to Measure the ROI of Social Media | #GetSocialSmart Show Episode 043

Today’s #GetSocialSmart Show is all about ROI. This is a question I get asked all the time, “Katie, how can you prove the ROI of social media?” As Gary Vaynerchuk has said many of times…What’s the ROI of your mother?

Because when it comes to ROI, ROI is one of those tough things that is hard to prove. With social media it’s just like any other marketing. How do you prove the ROI of a billboard, or a newspaper ad, or a post card? I come from the traditional world of marketing and I remember when social media really came into it’s own, a decade or so ago, if not longer, when it comes to business. What I love about social media is that it’s not a one way street, it’s an opportunity to connect to your clients, to your customers. Here’s the thing when it comes to social media, you have to give enough time. Most people, when it comes to social media, they start posting consistently, or they start creating content for a very short period of time. They do it for three months, or six months, or even a year, and then they’re not seeing that return. They’re not seeing a lot of likes, they’re not seeing a lot of traffic, because they haven’t given it enough time. 

My biggest tip is that when you’re thinking about your social media strategy and ROI, you’ve got to give yourself a long enough runway to really see the fruits of your labor. Sometimes it’s not until 12 to 18 months down the road that you start to hear people say, “Oh I see you all the time on Facebook,” or, “I found you because I’m reading your blog,” or, “I love your video series.” It takes time. There’s so much noise that’s out there right now on social media. My big tip when it comes to ROI is get consistent with your strategy, with your content, that’s something that makes a really big difference. 

Then also look at your numbers. Look at the metrics that matter for you in your business. A great metric to measure is website traffic. Look at your Google Analytics to see how much of your website traffic is coming from social media. See if you can increase that by 20, 30, maybe even 40%, over the course of the next six to 12 months. Looking through that ROI, but understand that a big part of what we do on social media is that brand building. It’s that recognition. A lot of that comes after the fact.

My last tip, this is a bonus tip, is one of the best ways to figure out ROI is to start asking your clients where they heard about you. If you’re not doing this, make sure you ask your clients, and your customers, “Hey, where did you hear about me? Where did you first hear about me?” If you’re doing your job right, they’ll probably say things like, “Oh my gosh I see you everywhere. I saw you on Facebook, and then my cousin referred you, and I’ve also subscribed to your email newsletter.” Make sure you really ask your clients and your customers where they’re hearing about you. Give it that effort. Don’t give up too soon. That’s really the name of the game.

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