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We talk a lot about social media and the success we can see from paid programs but tracking that success has always proved to be difficult. Nothing sparks that deer-in-a-headlights look faster than measuring social media ROI.

We’re here to help you out! Measuring results for paid social can be difficult, but it’s certainly not impossible. Before we jump in, we should make one thing clear. What exactly does ROI mean? Really, it’s anything your brand places value in, which could be awareness or engagement metrics, conversions, or, of course, revenue. Let’s dive in to the five steps we can do this.

  1. “Identify Your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) To have any kind of success with a social media campaign, you have to truly understand the KPIs. If you are unclear on how to measure success with actual metrics, your campaigns will suffer. What metrics show your company success? Is that visits to the site, time spent on page, leads, engagements? You can’t define all social media successes based only on conversions or sales. Social media doesn’t typically drive immediate conversions, it takes some time to build up the necessary brand recognition and loyalty. 
  2. “Build Your Social Media Strategy with your Business Objectives in Mind” So, you know your KPIs, now it’s time to build up your strategies. To do that, you have to keep your objectives at the forefront of the plan. If you are optimizing your strategies towards engagement metrics, but your goal is conversions, you are setting yourself up to fail from the start. Understanding how you judge performance helps you understand the right ways to strategize, execute, and report on your campaigns. Creating the most relevant content strategies in alignment with your paid social media ultimately helps you better measure your ROI. 
  3. “Leverage Google Analytics and Social Pixels” This is how you understand the quality of your campaigns. Diving deeper into who and how your content is being engaging with helps push your forward. Google Analytics proves out the quality performance with measurable and quantifiable data. The social pixels play a huge role as well. Not only do they help you optimize towards the right goals, but they can paint a much more holistic picture of how your audiences are moving through the funnel. It also helps illuminate who exactly your audience is and how you can better serve their needs. Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter all have pixels to use! You can also create UTM codes to track through Google Analytics (GA). Between the pixels and GA you can better track the ROI coming from social specifically. 
  4. “Build a Reporting Dashboard” Data is so important. It’s how we figure out what is working and what is not working. A dashboard ties all of our data sources into one platform and visualizes it in a clear way. Visualizing data helps us better package up our findings and prove out success. You can easily see performance trends to see how certain optimizations, goals, and other strategy choices have affected the success. Month over month and quarter over quarter data can better represent long term trends. 
  5. “Remember the Contradiction” Social media is not just about the post-click experience. We tend to measure success on the last touch conversion model and that is just not how social works. With the social pixels we discussed before, you can see view-through conversion to show how ad recall can help drive a higher volume of quality conversions.

We loved this article from Social Code and think there is great merritt in social media, it’s just a matter of properly tracking and understanding the success. Are you ready to better understand the type of ROI you can get from social? We sure are!