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How to measure ROI from social media

Perfect for a 4 minute break •  Written by 
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As a social media marketing manager, every action you take on social media should align with your wider business goals. One of the key goals for almost every large brand is to generate a substantial return on investment (ROI). However, measuring ROI from social media can seem like a daunting task. But fear not, below we dive into practical strategies to help you quantify the return on your social media investments and identify how Employee Advocacy can amplify this ROI. 

Firstly, it is crucial to understand what counts as ‘return’ in your social media investments. For some brands, return means direct sales generated from social media campaigns, while others may consider customer engagement, brand visibility, or lead generation as their primary returns. Accordingly, what you measure and how you calculate ROI can differ. Nevertheless, the big question remains the same – "Did your social media actions lead to quantifiable results that align with your brand's goals?"

To answer this, you will need to define goals that are SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. For instance, if your goal is lead generation, a measurable goal could be – “generate 60 qualified leads from our new social media campaign in the first quarter”.

Now, the formula to calculate ROI is simple: 

(Return – Investment) / Investment * 100 = ROI %

So, if you spent $2000 on a campaign and generated $2500 worth of leads, your ROI would be 25%, indicating a successful campaign.

However, when it comes to measuring ROI in social media, things can get a little complex since a part of your return is intangible (brand awareness, customer loyalty, etc.). This is where Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) come into play. KPIs could be 'reach' or 'impressions’ for brand awareness, 'likes', 'shares’, 'comments' for engagement, and 'click-throughs' for lead generation.

Now, transitioning to Employee Advocacy - the promotion of a company by its staff members - can significantly boost your social media ROI. Simply put, who better to advocate for your brand than those who live it every day?

Your employees have their personal social media networks filled with potential customers waiting for authentic engagements. By encouraging an Employee Advocacy program, you are expanding your brand reach without increasing your advertising budget.

A study found that content shared by employees receives eight times more engagement than content shared through brand channels. Further, leads developed through Employee Advocacy efforts convert seven times more frequently than other sources.

Consider implementing a strategic Employee Advocacy program such as Ambassify where employees share updates about the brand, products, or services on their social networks. This creates authentic conversations about your business, increasing brand visibility. 

Measure the success of your advocacy program by setting KPIs around reach, engagement, and traffic or leads generated. Use social media tools to track these metrics, and tie them back to the ROI. Additionally, social listening tools can also provide insights into brand sentiment, credibility, and authenticity – key intangibles that directly impact consumer decision-making.

In conclusion, measuring ROI from social media is critical to demonstrating its value. Defining SMART goals, tracking the right KPIs, and leveraging Employee Advocacy are proven strategies to effectively measure and optimize your social media ROI. Remember, while direct ROI matters, the indirect benefits such as increased brand loyalty, advocacy, and customer satisfaction also amplify the overall return on your social media investments.