Here’s a four-step plan to develop a social ROI formula that reflects your priorities:

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    Step 1

    Calculate your true investment in social media.

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    Step 2

    Set objectives that connect to larger business goals.

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    Step 3

    Choose the metrics that are right for your organization.

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    Step 4

    Calculate social’s impact on revenue and business goals.

Step 1: Calculate your true investment in social media

To accurately gauge your return on an investment, you first need to know exactly how much you’re investing. Your investment in social media includes:

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    Cost of the tools and platforms you use to manage social media

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    Time spent by employees running your social media efforts

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    Budget you’ve allotted to buying social advertising


A winning formula for social ROI

See how the Vancouver Canucks hockey team measures their investment in social—and calculates their return.

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Step 2: Set objectives that connect to larger business goals

To prove meaningful social ROI, you need to connect social media activities to specific business outcomes, such as:

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    Conversions, including revenue

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    Brand awareness or perception

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    Customer experience

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    Security and risk mitigation


Choosing the right objectives

Learn how to choose goals that make sense for your organization in our webinar Proving the ROI of Your Social Strategy.

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Step 3: Choose the metrics that are right for your organization

Not every metric will be useful when measuring the ROI of your social efforts. Go beyond vanity metrics—choose
metrics that connect social activity to real business results.

  • These could include:

    • Reach
    • Audience engagement
    • Site traffic
    • Leads generated
    • Sign-ups and conversions
    • Revenue generated
  • When deciding what metrics to measure, ask yourself:

    • Does it align with my objectives?
    • Does it help me make decisions?
    • Do I have the capacity to measure it effectively?


7 social media metrics that matter

Discover seven metrics that will help you define your return on social, and identify the ones that work best for your needs.

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Step 4: Calculate social’s impact on revenue and business goals

With your business objectives and the metrics that matter in place, it’s time to calculate your ROI and connect social to real business results.


Your unique ROI formula

Learn how to contextually define the ROI of social media and prove success in a way that speaks to your entire organization.

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Next steps: Improving your social ROI

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    Get paid and organic working together

    With social advertising you can get clear metrics to gauge the true business impact of your efforts. And by testing, optimizing, and applying insights from how your organic social performs, you can make your social ad spend go even further.

    Your guide to social ads
    Learn how to prove the ROI of your social ads and use your organic social data to make your ad spend go even further in The Guide to Paid Social. 
    Get the Guide Now

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    Use social data to guide marketing decisions

    Use data from your social media efforts to make smarter marketing decisions, outpace your competitors, improve SEO performance, and more.

    Your social data cookbook
    Learn how to use social data to make smarter marketing decisions in The Social Data Cookbook. 
    Get the Guide Now

Get executive buy-in to take social to the next level

One of the benefits of being able to measure (and prove) your return on social is that it can help you make the case for bigger budgets and more resources. After all, everyone likes to back a winner. Frame the impact social is having (or could have) on the bottom line in ways that will resonate with not only your boss, but the C-suite, too.

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    Demystifying Social ROI—A Guide for CMOs

    Social is the right channel for digital growth. But most teams measure it the wrong way. This book will help you fix that. 

    Read the guide now