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5 Answers to Top Social ROI Questions

Defining social media’s ROI is a tricky task. It’s essential to prove that your efforts are working, but on social there’s no one-size-fits-all formula for determining ROI.

So, what are social media marketers to do when their boss asks them those dreaded questions like, “What is the ROI of social?” or “What was the ROI for this campaign?”

First of all: don’t panic. Impress your boss and take those dreaded ROI questions on with confidence by putting analytics first.

Obviously, everybody wants to dominate their competitors, improve upon past performance, and serve their audience. But before answering your boss’s social media ROI questions, it’s crucial that you identify your social presence’s top priority.

Once you’ve done this, you can carefully craft the perfect answer to a ROI question. We’ve rounded up five great ways to prove to your boss just how valuable social media and social media marketers are to your brand.

#1) Compared to the Competition

A great way to prove the ROI of your social media efforts is to benchmark your performance against your competitors.

Are you crushing the competition in terms of audience size, engagement, and reach? If your goal is to achieve dominance in the market (whose isn’t?), then dominance on social media is a fantastic measurement proxy.

twitter competitive analysis
This chart is from the Simply Measured Twitter Competitive Analysis.

Hand our competitive reports over to your boss to give him or her the stats that prove your work’s worth.

#2) Compared to Past Performance

Another great way to prove ROI is to show how your campaign is generating tangible results across your entire social media footprint.

If you run a campaign on Facebook and sink time and money into it, showcase those results! Your results might come in the form of new fans, engagement, or spikes in reach that you’ve never seen before.

facebook fan page
This chart is from the Simply Measured Facebook Fan Page Report.

With social analytics, you can showcase one campaign’s impact on your entire social brand.

#3) Alleviating Pain Points

Are you alleviating a pain point for a different sector of your marketing org? If your social media presence is tasked with customer service, you want to be able to prove your success and showcase your contribution to the marketing org as a whole!

A great way to do this is by showcasing your workload and efficiency.

customer service simply measured
This chart is from the Simply Measured Customer Service Analysis.

For example, let’s say the above report is your own. You can take this to your boss and say, “I dealt with 555 customer service inquiries and addressed 117 complex cases with an average response time of 149 minutes.”

5 Answers to Top Social ROI Questions

This gives your work teeth, highlighting the number of cases and the amount of time your boss has saved your company’s account management or customer service team by hiring you and investing in social.

Not bad, eh?

#4) Providing Context for Your Social Campaigns

Proving the success of your campaigns is the #1 necessity for social media survival.

Answers like “It went well” or “Everyone seemed to like it” to campaign questions don’t cut it in this day and age. You need to show the numbers and not just, “We averaged 13k engagements” data. You need to tell a story about how your activities led to an increase of XYZ% and a total of XYZ.

twitter scorecardThis demonstrates the ROI of social media, your campaigns and your job. If you’re running a hashtag campaign, make sure to plug it into our Twitter Activity Report.

#5) Analyzing Your Share of Voice

My final and favorite way of showing ROI is similar to our first about competitive analysis.

One way to take prove your ROI and take your competitive analysis to new depths is to analyze your share of voice on an industry topic or hashtag.

For example, although you might not necessarily have more engagements than your competitor, perhaps more people are talking about your brand in conjunction with a relevant hashtag, i.e. “Simply Measured” + “#SocialAnalytics”.

This type of analysis is great for demonstrating your brand’s thought leadership in a community.

If your goals are focused around brand awareness, this is an excellent way to prove that what you’re doing is working. Be sure to add filters onto your keywords to add an extra-pro layer of analysis.

share of voice
This chart is from the Simply Measured Share of Voice Analysis.

Well, there you have it. Proving social ROI is tricky — but doable with social analytics. Hopefully these five methods of proving ROI will help you in those tough conversations with your boss down the line. Good luck!

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Jade Furubayashi

My name is Jade and I'm the Social Media Manager for Simply Measured. We can find common ground in Beyoncé and Chipotle burrito bowls.

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