Participating in social media
can have a number of beneficial business applications such as facilitating customer service and boosting public relations. But when it comes down to it, most B2B marketers are measured mainly by how their programs and campaigns perform in
generating leads and revenue
. While positive brand sentiment and a high level of customer service are important, your boss wants to know that the time you're spending in social media is actually translating into leads and customers.
Revenue is the ultimate indicator of social media marketing success, but depending on your sales cycle, it can be many months before you have closed customers from a social media campaign. Because of this delay it is important to use leading indicators of revenue success such as leads and the other 3 metrics we discuss in this post.
Top 5 Social Media ROI Metrics
The number of Twitter followers, Facebook fans, LinkedIn group members, etc. you have is directly related to your
social media success
. Also known as "reach," the more of it you have, the more people will see your content, spread your messages, and therefore increase your ROI. Track how your reach is increasing over time. If you're not attracting new followers as time goes on, focus more of your social media efforts on generating new fans and followers and building your reach to increase the value you get from social media marketing.
In social media marketing, one major goal you should have is to generate traffic from social media to your website and/or blog. Look at your website/blog's referral sources to determine how many visitors came from social media sites. Monitor this number over time. Are you noticing an increase in social media traffic as your reach improves?
This is arguably the most important metric to use when measuring social media marketing ROI. Take another look at the traffic you're generating from social media sites. Of that traffic, how many of those website and blog visitors are converting into leads?
Now take that leads data one step further. Are your social media leads actually turning into customers? And just how many of them are? Being able to attribute actual
can be a powerful indicator that the time you're spending on social media marketing is actually worth it.
5. Conversion Rate:
What's the visit-to-lead conversion rate of your social media traffic? In other words, of the social media traffic you're generating, what percentage of those visitors become leads? While this may seem like a useless metric in itself, conversion rate can be very useful when comparing one channel with another. For example, you can compare your social media conversion rate to your blogging conversion rate to analyze the ROI of those channels relative to each other.
Conduct a Social Media Audit
Using these five metrics for social media marketing success, conduct an audit of your current social media presence. What surprises you? Are you getting more (or fewer) leads from social media than you thought? Does social media traffic convert better or worse than other channels?
Adjust your time spent in social media accordingly. While social media participation can do wonders for some businesses, it might not be as powerful a marketing method for others.
Analyzing your marketing programs
can help you focus and fine-tune your time and efforts, so use the data you gather to make your marketing most efficient and effective as possible!
What other metrics do you use to measure the return on investment of your social media marketing?
Originally published Jul 1, 2011 2:22:00 PM, updated October 20 2016