nervous Congratulations! You were able to convince the social media skeptic in your boss to let you spend some time on social media marketing . Let's say you've been trying it out over the past few months -- you're tweeting, managing a Facebook presence for your company, and publishing content links to LinkedIn and other social media sites. That's all well and good, but what do you do when your boss approaches your desk to request an update on how your time spent in social media-land is generating measurable business results?

Rather than breaking out into a cold sweat , why not instead battle your boss' social media trepidation by using cold, hard facts as your weapons? As marketers, we can't deny the powerful need to demonstrate the ROI of our efforts, so here are three key metrics that can help justify your social media participation to your superiors :

Metric 1: Website Traffic From Social Media Sources

Social media sites can be a great source of traffic to your website. Use a tool such as HubSpot's Sources Tool or Google Analytics to track how much traffic you're generating from referring social media sites, and show your boss the trend over time. If you're noticing a significant upward trend, this is a great indicator that the time you're spending on social media marketing is producing results.

social media traffic

Metric 2: Leads Generated From Social Media

What's even better than website traffic from social media? Social media traffic that actually converts into leads ! Measuring and sharing this information with your boss will likely help to quell his/her doubts about the ROI of social media engagement.

social media leads

Metric 3: Customers Generated From Social Media

Nothing can be more convincing of the power of social media than proof that all the time and effort you're spending on social media is actually generating customers .

social media customers

Don't underestimate the power of analytics to justify your marketing programs. Keep your boss aware that your social media efforts are paying off by providing monthly reports showcasing this trifecta of metrics to demonstrate your progress. You might also consider taking a deeper dive into your data to determine which particular social media sites are generating the most traffic, leads, and customers for you. This will help you make decisions about how much time and effort you should spend on certain channels.

Over time, as you continue to increase your social media following and reach , your traffic, lead, and customer numbers will continue to increase, and the social media skeptic in your boss will resign.

Photo Credit: Sasha Wolff

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Originally published Dec 21, 2010 8:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017


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