Sylvia Jensen
Sylvia Jensen 6 May 2014

Prove ROI from Social Media Engagement

How do you ensure that your social media marketing is worth your investment?

With marketers under unprecedented pressure to prove the value of every marketing pound, here’s how to meet the social media evaluation challenge.





Leading marketers expect to devote 9% of their marketing budget to social media in 2014 – and as much as 16% by 2018. It’s not hard to see why. The benefits of using social media are widely acknowledged, such as:


  • More business exposure and building of brand awareness.

  • Rise in search engine rankings.

  • Increase in lead generation.

  • Gathering of marketplace intelligence.

  • Reduction in marketing expenses.


Research from Oracle Marketing Cloud says that social referral traffic has doubled year on year as marketers have diversified investment in social channels beyond Facebook. And ’influencers’ have the potential to trigger six times more conversions when they share a brand’s content on social channels.



However, in a recent SelectMinds survey, while 72% of executives regularly use social media for recruitment and 69% for brand engagement and awareness, few can agree when it comes to evaluation best practice – they are far more likely to agree on the impossibility of effectively measuring its ROI.



ROI from social media engagement – where to begin?


An important starting point for any organisation seeking to meet the social media evaluation challenge is to understand the array of tactics already in use to assess what can be improved and how.


In the SelectMinds study:

– 86% of respondents maintained a presence on Facebook.

– 82% of respondents maintained a LinkedIn group.

– 71% of respondents maintained a Twitter account.



Social media was seen as an effective platform:


– for communications by 60%.

– for improving brand awareness by 57%.

– for increasing marketing effectiveness by 55%.


Evaluation by these companies focused mainly around easy-to-count measures such as:

– hires via social mediaa metric used by 66% of respondents.

– website visitors a metric used by 65% of respondents.

– Facebook fans a metric used by 63% of respondents.



Only 27% measured cost savings and just 10% measured revenues increased – two bread-and-butter traditional ROI metrics.


Use metrics that count


According to a recent survey of Chief Marketing Officers, between 2010 and 2013, the percentage of marketers using a revenue-per-customer metric on social media decreased from 17% to 9%. The reason? Growing consensus that traditional ROI metrics alone are not the answer and a belief that those most successfully evaluating their social media are doing so by focusing on tracking audience reach, engagement and sentiment.


For example, Facebook ’shares’ are particularly valuable, as normal users’ posts are seen in a relatively high percentage of friends’ newsfeeds when compared to posts by brand pages. Which is why it is important to go beyond top line metrics, to apply analytics across disparate channels to answer key questions such as: what motivates someone to post a Facebook ’like’ then visit your website and make a purchase?


Valuable tools at your fingertips


Canny organisations understand the plethora of utilities already available to help. For instance:

  • Facebook Page Insights allows users to dig into optimal timings for posts or optimal content formats to maximise engagement.

  • TweetReach enables the user to break down, then compare and contrast impressions, exposure and approximate reach of past tweets.

The moral is simple. It’s not just more data that’s the key to successful social media evaluation but better data. Value, not volume, then, is what will really count.




  • Traditional ROI metrics are not the answer for measuring social media engagement.

  • Focus on tracking audience reach, engagement and sentiment.

  • Apply analytics across social channels, to increase your chances of accurate evaluation.


For more essential information on how to run and evaluate successful campaigns, take a look at Oracle Marketing Cloud’s Modern Marketing Charts

Please login or register to add a comment.

Contribute Now!

Loving our articles? Do you have an insightful post that you want to shout about? Well, you've come to the right place! We are always looking for fresh Doughnuts to be a part of our community.

Popular Articles

See all
4 Important Digital Marketing Channels You Should Know About

4 Important Digital Marketing Channels You Should Know About

It goes without saying that a company can't do without digital marketing in today's world.

Digital Doughnut Contributor
Digital Doughnut Contributor 5 November 2014
Read more
Google Analytics in Only Three Numbers

Google Analytics in Only Three Numbers

Financial advisors and other professionals can decipher a lot of information from Google Analytics with three simple categories.

Marina Howell
Marina Howell 17 October 2016
Read more
How to Optimize Your Confirmation Email Design and Make It Bring You More Sales

How to Optimize Your Confirmation Email Design and Make It Bring You More Sales

Email marketing is not just about newsletters! Transactional and confirmation emails shouldn’t be neglected when it comes to design and content. An exceptional confirmation email can help you nail another purchase in minutes.

Roland Pokornyik
Roland Pokornyik 17 October 2016
Read more
Get a Complete View of Your Customer Journey in 5 Easy Steps

Get a Complete View of Your Customer Journey in 5 Easy Steps

Here's how you can get a complete view of your customer journey so that your email campaigns continue to win new customers.

Sophia Skinbjerg
Sophia Skinbjerg 18 October 2016
Read more
How to Solve the Two Biggest Challenges of Social Media Marketing

How to Solve the Two Biggest Challenges of Social Media Marketing

Most small businesses spend more than 6 hours per week on social media marketing and more than one-third post at least once per day. Along with finding the time, the other biggest challenge professionals face is finding the right content to post. If you’re experiencing these challenges, keep reading because we’re going to help you solve them.

Melissa Darcey
Melissa Darcey 20 October 2016
Read more