Social Media and ROI

ROI, Social Media

The success of a business or a marketing campaign is often determined by how much revenue is generated. In this revenue-driven world, it’s difficult to determine a correlation between ROI and social media, but it’s not impossible. Chris Heuer suggests flows of attention, data, stories, labor and capital can provide a means for determining the value of social media. The flows can be identified, measured and converted into financial equivalents, enabling an organization to view returns in a more traditional manner.

Adam Popescu created a list for how businesses can use social media to increase their ROI:

  1. Engage – People want to have relationships with brands online.
  2. Be authentic – Your loyal followers will call you out if your putting out content that doesn’t reflect the brand. When in doubt, ask your followers what content they want.
  3. Provide quality content – Post consistently and make followers feel like their part of the brand.
  4. Integrate real-time apps – Incorporate social media into everything you do.
  5. Experiment – Text tone, style and content to see what works and what doesn’t.

I’ve never worked specifically with ROI, but I’ve already incorporated many of Popescu’s tactics into my social media strategy to increase followers and traffic, and improve my personal brand’s SEO.

For a brand that focusing on fundraising, social media can play a critical role. Social media enables businesses to drive awareness to their cause(s). Brands should use YouTube to create and share a video that shows their audience who and what will benefit from their donations. A good example of this is the “Kony 2012” video, (below). This video introduced social media users to Jacob, a man who survived the reign of Joseph Kony. The video went on to inform viewers of all the crimes Kony was committing, and at the very end it let viewers know how they’re donation could help make the world a better place. The video has been viewed over 98 million times.

Other ways brands can increase awareness for fundraising is creating identifiable hashtags and recruiting brand influencers to pass along your message.

Brands who ask social media followers to donate to a cause and promise to match a portion of the donations not only benefit from helping out a good cause, but they get free positive publicity. Brands that give to charity gain more exposure and have better connections with consumers.

Whether your trying to measure your brand’s ROI, or your fundraising via social media, there are many measurable business goals that social media can help a brand to achieve. These include:

  • Increase brand exposure
  • Increase traffic to website
  • Receive better marketplace insights
  • Development of brand advocates
  • Improved organic search traffic
  • New business partnerships
  • Reduced marketing expenses
  • Increased sales

Social media has changed the way consumers interact with each other and brands. Make sure your brand is a part of the conversation!

Questions to consider:

1. How does your brand measure your social media’s ROI?

2. What techniques have you used to increase your social media’s ROI?

3. Is a monetary value even important when measuring the value of social media?


7 thoughts on “Social Media and ROI

  1. Hi Lauren.

    Content Marketing is one of the best strategies for a brand to differentiate itself from competitors.
    Content transforms social networking into social media. The media portion of social media refers to both social channels and social content. Utilizing social media, small companies can level the playing field with larger, richer, more traditional ones. Building brand awareness through content marketing is critical to ge a brand recognition and trust from the target audience.

    Increasing social media ROI can occur through being social and engaging with the target audience on the platforms that are best for the brand. A hard sell is not necessary. Offering exclusive, location based marketing deals to your followers on Twitter, or exclusive content to your Facebook fans works like a charm. It’s been proven time and time again.

  2. I think ROI doesn’t have to be monetary on social networks. I believe if you post quality and engaging content you will see a better response from your audience and in my opinion that is what’s the most important for brands on social media. These platforms are designed to connect with people. The more a brand connects and interacts with their audience the more trust they build with their consumer, which can ultimately lead to monetary success.

    • I completely agree. Social media isn’t intended for sales, it’s all about making connections. If a brand is doing a good job of posting engaging and relevant content, I think it will have a positive impact on their sales.

  3. I tend to go with our likes, comments, retweets, etc. And when I’m looking for actual dollars, I’ll see how we did on promotions that we ran through social media campaigns– not from advertising, but promotions that required fans or followers to call into one of our locations and order something if I’m looking for tangible ROI. Is that slightly archaic? Sure. Does it get the job done? Yep.

    I actually think the intangible (non-monetary) aspect of social media is more important when it comes to measuring ROI. Here’s why– our fans do not really want to feel as if they’re being bought and/or sold. So if we’re measuring dollars, they’re going to figure it out. They’re smart, they know we’re measuring something. If we’re continually hitting them up to buy product, they’ll know what we’re doing. Finding the way to value your customers and get them to make purchases and interact with you is the key. Great post!

    • Great response! It’s definitely nice to get insight from someone putting the techniques into practice. I think you’re exactly right about customers not wanting to follow brands on social media in order to be sold to. Social media is all about forming relationships and being a salesman, is going to prevent that.

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