The ROI of Social Media (Part II)

In part one of our two-part blog series on The ROI of Social Media, we scratched the surface on the importance of using social media channels in your business. Essentially, social media can both give and get information to and from your core target audience.

One unanswered question you may have is how do we measure social media?

It is difficult to apply the traditional ROI equation against social media because it’s not a direct response or transactional strategy. ROI is perhaps one of the most commonly used and most misunderstood words in social media marketing today. Given the textbook definition of ROI—net profits divided by costs—it’s actually impossible to measure exactly the ROI of your social media efforts, because the net profit variable cannot be measured. Though measuring social media ROI may not be perfect, it’s not impossible either. Social media can produce highly quantifiable results in marketing efforts. It all begins with learning to measure it properly.


We recommend knowing your objectives. Are your social media tactics being used to build leadership? Increase brand awareness? Drive retention? Create advocates? Or a combination of these? Once you have defined your objectives, we apply Specific Measurable Actionable Realistic Timed (SMART) methodology to them. For instance, a brand awareness objective can be defined as the amount of brand mentions you receive or influencer post counts. Sales objectives can be defined as the number of leads you receive or endorsements. Again, while not the traditional formula for measuring ROI, applying these measurement strategies is actually positioned to be the most measurable marketing effort in your company’s arsenal.

Here are some rules we follow at Grey Matter Marketing when measuring social media: 

  • Keep process and tools as simple as possible
  • Collect data regularly and measure trending

To achieve meaningful results, social media requires time, consistency, and continuous monitoring to uncover key insights about your target audience that you can address and leverage. The key to successful social media participation is engagement. Sharing content shouldn't be viewed as broadcasting to the market but rather as seeking to start conversations. The point is to draw in interested parties, key influencers, and ultimately prospects by engaging them in discussions and building relationships and trust. 

Finally, we recommend following our social media strategy tips below to ensure a successful social media campaign and a ROI that exceeds your business goals. 

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