Social media has become an essential part of many businesses' marketing stack over the past decade.
With an estimated 4.14 billion active social media users globally, investing in social media marketing makes sense for most businesses. What isn't always clear, however, is exactly how to track the ROI of your social media marketing efforts.
As a marketing agency, without tracking the right metrics and KPIs, it can also be challenging to clearly demonstrate the value of your services to clients.
In this guide, we’ll look at how to track the ROI of your social media marketing by identifying 12 of the most important metrics. In particular, we’ll discuss:
Defining the Social Media Sales Funnel
Let’s get started.
Defining the Social Media Sales Funnel
Before we get into specific metrics to track the success of your social campaigns, let’s first review the social media sales funnel. We won’t go into detail about the social media sales funnel in this article, although you can check out our guide on How To Build A Social Media Sales Funnel That Actually Converts if you want to learn more.
At a high-level, the social media sales funnel can be broken down into four main stages:
Awareness: The top-of-funnel involves attracting new prospects and making them aware of your brand.
Consideration: The middle-of-funnel involves getting people to consider your offers, including viewing your products or downloading your sales material.
Conversion: The bottom-of-funnel involves getting the prospect to take the desired action—in most cases, this means making a purchase.
Advocacy: After the first conversion, you want to track how effectively you're turning customers into loyal advocates and brand evangelists.
Now that we've reviewed the various stages of the buyer’s journey, let’s look at 12 key metrics that will help you track the ROI of social media marketing.
Awareness metrics won’t necessarily give you an exact monetary ROI of your social media marketing, although they can provide an indication that your efforts are heading in the right direction and your audience size is growing over time.
Reach refers to the total number of people that have viewed an individual post since it was launched. With our Facebook integration, for example, we have a tab dedicated to reach that includes additional insights such as:
Organic vs. paid reach
Age and gender
Top countries, cities, and languages
2. Follower Growth Rate
Although followers may seem like a vanity metric, your follower growth rate indicates that you’re reaching a larger audience over time. Follower growth rate is calculated by dividing your net new followers over a certain period by your total audience. Below you can see an example of an Instagram widget that measures follower growth over time, including organic followers gained, lost, and how many came from paid advertising.
Also referred to as engagement, consideration metrics allow you to determine if the content you’re creating is resonating with the audience and that a certain percentage of people are moving down the sales funnel.
3. Audience Engagement
Audience engagement can mean different things depending on the platform, although it typically includes actions such as likes, comments, and shares. On YouTube, for example, you can see there is a tab for engagement metrics that includes single statistics and time-based charts:
4. Engagement Per Follower
Tracking engagement over time is important, but engagement per follower is perhaps more important. Social media algorithms have gotten much smarter in recent years and can tell if you have a low engagement rate, which may result in lower reach for your posts. As Later puts it in their article on how the Instagram algorithm works:
If a large percentage of your following is inactive, they could be doing more harm than good for your account’s algorithmic ranking.
You can calculate engagement per follower by dividing total engagement—including likes, comments, shares, saves, etc.—by total follower count.
5. Website Traffic from Social
One of the best ways to measure the effectiveness of your social media marketing is to track website traffic from social. Measuring social traffic can be done with our Google Analytics integration—under the “Acquisition” page you’ll find a tab for “Social”, which includes website sessions from each platform:
6. Click-Through Rate (CTR)
Another useful metric related to traffic is your Click-Through Rate (CTR), which is calculated by dividing total clicks by the number of impressions. This metric gives you an idea of how effective your social call-to-actions (CTAs) are at getting prospects off the social platform and onto your site.
With our Facebook Ads integration, for example, you can automatically track the CTR over time of your ad campaigns in a dedicated dashboard:
Conversion metrics allow you to measure the number of desired actions visitors take, including conversions, conversion rate, and the actual monetary value that came from social media marketing.
7. Goal Completions from Social
Also referred to as conversions, goal completions are how Google Analytics tracks a completed activity that you’ve defined as valuable to the website. Goals can vary based on the site and include things like signing up for an email list, completing a form, or making a purchase.
You can track goal completions from social within our Google Analytics dashboard under the Acquisition > Social tab and compare the performance of each platform:
8. Conversion Rate
Conversion rate, or goal completion rate, is defined as the number of conversions divided by the total number of visitors. Tracking your conversion rate from social is key to making sure that your landing pages and website copy are effective at turning leads into customers. This can again be tracked for each social platform in the Google Analytics dashboard, under Acquisition > Social:
9. Goal Value
When you’re defining goals in Google Analytics, you can also optionally assign a monetary value to its completion. Of course, there’s no better way to track the ROI from social media than to have a specific monetary value attached to each goal. In order to get your overall ROI from social, you can simply divide this number by advertising or employee costs associated with your social media marketing.
10. Return on Ad Spend (ROAS)
If you have an advertising budget for your social posts, you should also be tracking the return on ad spend (ROAS). Most social ad platforms will have this metric available in the ads manager. For example, Facebook Ads has a metric called Website Purchase ROAS, which is based on the value of all conversions recorded by the Facebook pixel that's attributable to ads:
After someone becomes a customer for the first time, the next step is to track how effectively you’re turning them into loyal advocates and evangelists.
One way to measure advocacy is to use a reputation management tool like Birdeye and track customer reviews on social. Even if the review didn’t come from a social platform, customer reviews and user-generated content are great for future posts.
12. Net Promoter Score (NPS)
Net promoter score (NPS) is a number between 0 and 10 that measures the likelihood of a customer to recommend a product, service, or company. Tracking NPS gives you an overview of the customer experience and allows you to identify any issues that may have otherwise been missed. This metric can also be tracked in AgencyAnalytics through our GatherUp integration:
Summary: Tracking ROI on Social Media
As a marketer, you already know the value of increasing your client's exposure on social platforms. The challenging part, however, is definitively proving the ROI of your social media marketing efforts to clients. Tracking your social ROI is essential for getting approval for budget requests, retaining clients over the long run, and also landing new clients to your agency.
At each stage of the social media sales funnel, there are metrics that can help prove the value of your services. As a busy marketer, however, tracking these metrics on each individual platform is time-consuming and inefficient. With a dedicated social media dashboard, you can automatically pull each of these metrics in real-time from various platforms. You can also give your clients their own login so they have access to the data on their own schedule.
If you're ready to prove the ROI of your social campaigns to clients, focus on these 12 key metrics and check out our dedicated social media dashboard here.