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Measuring Social Media ROI for Small Businesses

March 13, 2024

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Every small business should be on social media today, and many already are. But there’s a difference between having a social media account and using it effectively.

Of course, there’s the basics–you have to regularly post content that is engaging, useful to customers, and on brand. 

But at some point, you should also be asking, “am I getting any return on the time, energy, and even money that I’m putting into social media?”

Too many businesses are wasting resources on efforts that have no return. 

In this article, we’ll show you how to measure your ROI on social media so that you can focus your time and money where they have the greatest impact.

Social media ROI is a measure of the profit generated from your social media efforts compared to the cost incurred. It’s about understanding how your social media activities contribute to your bottom line.

It’s used to determine whether the time, money, and resources you invest in your social media marketing efforts are yielding tangible results. The simplified formula is:

ROI = Revenue from social media – Cost of social media campaign * 100%

Think of ROI as the result of your ad spend, time, and effort your team puts into creating content and engaging with your audience. Although ROI can be the value you gain in terms of actual sales, some other metrics that measure ROI include increased brand awareness, website traffic, and lead generation.

Depending on your campaign focus, you can quantify these outcomes in a way that reflects whether or not your business is achieving its target.

measuring social media roi

measuring social media roi

#1. Set Clear Objectives from the Outset

To measure ROI effectively, you need to start with clear objectives. These should roll up to your overall business strategy. What do you want to achieve with your social media efforts? Is it increased brand visibility, more website traffic, or direct sales? 

If your goal is to drive more website traffic, you can track the number of clicks on your social media posts that lead to your website. For a lead generation campaign, focus on measuring the number of sign-ups or inquiries resulting from your social media efforts. Whatever your goal, being clear about it provides a tangible target for your social media ROI measurement.

#2. Choose the Right Metrics

Different goals require different metrics. So, if your business aims to drive conversion, you need to track metrics such as conversion rate, lead generation, and actual sales attributed to your social media campaigns.

If your primary goal is to boost brand awareness and engagement, focus on metrics like likes, comments, shares, and follows. These metrics provide insight into how well your content is resonating with your audience.

To measure the impact of your social media efforts on website traffic, look at metrics such as click-through rates (CTR), the number of visits from social media, and the time visitors spend on your site.

#3. Track the Customer Journey

One of the key factors that will help simplify your social media ROI measurement is understanding the customer journey. Why is this?

It’s rare for a customer to make a purchase or take a desired action after just one interaction with your brand. So, tracking the entire customer journey, from the first touchpoint to conversion, allows you to see how social media contributes to the overall process.

Use tools like Google Analytics to analyze users’ paths on your website after clicking on a social media link. This will help you identify the touchpoints that lead to conversions and assess the impact of your social media efforts on the customer journey.

#4. Calculate Conversion Rates

Conversion rates are a key indicator of how effectively your social media activities turn prospects into customers. 

It shows the ratio of how many people performed an action you requested (like signing up for a newsletter or making a purchase) to the total number of people who clicked on your post or ad. 

To illustrate, if a Facebook ad leads to 100 clicks and 10 purchases, your conversion rate is 10%. By monitoring conversion rates, you can identify high-performing posts/ads and optimize them for better results.

#5. Calculate Financial ROI

Financial ROI lets you know how much money you got in return for the money you spent, or the success rate of your ad spend in percentage.

Let’s say you have a goal to increase holiday sales. So you run targeted Facebook and Instagram ads with $500 and pay your ad specialist $200. The ad resulted in 50 additional sales at $50 each during the campaign. 

Your Social Media ROI Calculation will look like this:


In the end, your social media campaign generated a return of 257%, proving that your investment in social media marketing was a resounding success.

Measuring social media ROI isn’t a one-time task; it’s an ongoing process of analysis and optimization. Remember it’s not just about numbers; it’s about understanding the impact your social media efforts have on your audience and your business as a whole; integrating your social media marketing into your overall business strategy.

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