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We’re often asked, “How do I measure the ROI of social media?”. This is an excellent question.

In order to ensure that you’re not only measuring ROI but also maximizing your efforts to get the highest return, it often requires some Q&A to drill down and see what processes are in place and what strategies are being followed.

Our approach to getting the most out of social is dependent on the answers to these questions among others.

To keep our answer relevant to the title of this post, we’ll make some general assumptions:

We’ll assume your company has defined your buyer persona(s).
We’ll assume you’ve identified which questions they are asking in each stage of the buying cycle.
We’ll assume that you know which social channels they frequent.
Finally, we’ll assume that you post relevant content frequently and consistently.

By following these best practices, you’ve already surpassed most of your peers. However, unless you check your analytics regularly, you’ll never know how your content assets are performing across the various social networks.

By understanding which social media channels are driving traffic back to your site, which site visitors are converted into leads, and how many of those leads are closed into customers, you can adapt your content strategy to take advantage of what is working.

Here are 4 social media metrics every company needs to know.

AVERAGE MONTHLY REACH
This number is defined based on the number of people who have seen your post, tweet, or published content. Depending on the social media channel, these numbers can be attained from directly within each platform.

Facebook displays Post Reach
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Twitter displays Tweet Impressions and Profile Visits
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This is just one way to check your metrics to see which pieces of content are getting the most views. You can also employ third-party software and get into much greater detail.

Software options we recommend include Simply Measured, Sprout Social, and Crowdbooster for Twitter.

SOCIAL INTERACTION
Although reach is a good starter measurement, it’s useless without engagement. Social interaction is measured by how many people are interacting with your posts. These numbers are fairly easy to derive just based on looking at the account data inside the platform.

Facebook interactions include post likes, comments, and shares. Twitter interactions are re-tweets, likes, and responses to a tweet. LinkedIn interactions are measured by likes, shares, and comments. We’ve likely re-stated the obvious for most of us, but believe it or not, there are late adopters still jumping on board these social media networks.

Again, social interaction is an important number because it lets you know if you are delivering relevant content to your target market. If you’ve followed some of the best practices (as mentioned above) then you’ll likely see greater engagement with your content.

WEBSITE VISITS
This should be the goal for the majority of companies using social media today. Start the conversation on social media and use the platform as a channel to get visitors back to your website.

Once they are there, you need to be able to track how they arrived at your site. You need to know which social media channel they were on, what content they were consuming, which link they clicked, etc.

Knowing how a visitor lands on your page is critical to understanding how your social media posts are performing and which content pieces resonate with your buyer personas.

Hubspot Sales and Marketing Automation Software fits the bill for gathering this intel + a lot more!

CONVERSION RATES
This is perhaps the single most important social media metric to track. At the end of the day, it’s all about converting visitors to leads. Everything leading up to this point is a good indicator to see if your content is “conversion worthy”. But this is where the rubber meets the road.

You can set up social media goal tracking in Google Analytics to discover and monitor trends from right within your dashboard.

social_analytics

You can view reports for the following:

  • Network Referrals – shows which social media channels refer the most traffic
  • Data Hub Activity – let’s you see which links were shared
  • Landing Pages – shows which link originated from which social channel
  • Trackbacks – discover which sites link back to you
  • Conversions – displays total number of conversions
  • Plugins – provides data based on social media widgets or buttons on your site
  • User Flow- shows origin of visitors to your site from related social channels and their navigation path

Google analytics is also useful for revealing the sources of traffic to your site, whether from organic search, direct, or referral. They’ll also show the most relevant keywords, how visitors navigate within your site, bounce rates, etc.

Beginning and ending with the same question, “How do I measure the ROI of social media?” It’s simple, use tools that allow you to gather metrics to show average monthly reach, social interaction, website visits, and conversion rates.

With this information you’ll better understand how your social media posts are performing and what changes need to be made as a result. This should help guide you moving forward and provide the numbers to prove ROI.

Is your social media content optimized for lead engagement? Get a free assessment and customized recommendations for getting the most out of your social interactions.
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Also published on Medium.