The Role of ROI in Social Media in 2018


By Jessica Austin, eLocal Social Media Manager

Most marketers understand that having a social media presence is a must in this digital age. However, the continuous growth in the use of social media means that quantitatively measuring the return on investment has gotten a little trickier. The shifting landscape of content, platforms and devices, along with the increasing number of users, means that not all content is going to be seen, users are spending less time digesting content and consumer trust has declined. Analytics that may have packed a punch in the past, such as engagement and reach, don’t mean the same things that they used to.

A survey by Ad Age found that only 15% of Chief Marketing Officers are able to quantify the impact of social media. Here are things to consider when measuring the ROI of your social media strategy.

Social Media is a Major Driver of Customer Insights

As organic reach continues to decrease, it’s becoming more difficult to justify social media success with traditional analytics. Social media is becoming the most popular form of consumer research and purchasing even if users aren’t interacting with brands like they used to. Use your social media presence as a valuable customer research tool to increase social media ROI. Analytics and insights on the various platforms provide a wealth of information about your current and potential customers such as:

  • Demographics
  • Behaviors, thoughts and feelings
  • Preferences and decision-making influences
  • Customer journeys
  • Technology and devise usage
It’s All About “Social Listening”

Just like social media is a great tool for learning about your customers demographically, “social listening” is the process of tracking customer behaviors around specific topics, phrases, keywords and industries. Companies, like Sprout Social, have tools you can integrate into your social media management platforms that help you “listen” to your customers. These tools can track everything from brand sentiment analysis, customer preferences, product feedback, overall brand health and help increase your social media ROI.

Effective social listening, used in conjunction with mining customer insights, will give you an enormous amount of data that will inform your social media strategy. It’s also a good way to keep an eye on our competitors to see what they are doing and how effective their strategies are.

Drill-Down Your Strategies, Tactics And KPIs

Detailed information allows you to be more specific about your goals and objectives. Instead of setting overall metric goals, create specific goals for every aspect of your strategy. Be specific about what content goes where and create different content for every goal.

Use all the wonderful data you have on your customer insights and social listening to craft content that is personal, detailed and targeted. The days of using the same post across all your platforms are over. Your customers should be reached on the platform they prefer when they are on it and with content that pertains directly to them. Create multiple customer profiles and tailor your strategy, including goals and KPIs to each.

Don’t Be Afraid To Get Creative And Make Assumptions

Everybody loves numbers that back up their strategies. However, the rate at which social media is evolving means it’s time to move beyond the box of traditional quantitative analytics. Don’t be scared to make assumptions and connect dots.

Make the most of Google Analytics. A majority of conversions happen on your website so make sure you set up the Google Analytics conversion funnel in order to track what conversions are coming from or are assisted by social media efforts. Especially if you have detailed marketing strategies, it’s important to know how the customer is moving through the sales funnel, even the smallest assist from social media is important to know.

All actions your users take are valuable, even if they are not directly measured by your social platform. Assign values to actions that support your objectives, such as signing up for an email on your social media profile, or a Share by an influential user and assign it a value. Be detailed.  For example, a social share by Taylor Swift is going to be worth a lot more than one from your mom and yield a higher social media ROI.

What’s Next?

Don’t discount the impact of having a robust presence on social media just because you can’t quantify it right away. You’re sorely undervaluing social media if you only focus on the numbers. Think of social media as a larger tool in your toolbox and an informative, and integral, part of your overarching strategy.

Don’t have a social media marketing strategy? Contact us to learn how we can help your business optimize your digital presence.

E-Local Solutions specializes in marketing your business via the digital marketplace. We use search engine optimization, social and review promotion, and Email marketing for all types of businesses from local to global. We utilize various digital marketing techniques to increase your Internet presence, optimize your traffic and generate new business.