Measuring Social Media Return on Investment (ROI)

Many companies believe that gaining followers on social media sites is enough. However, these numbers are meaningless in what they want to achieve. After analyzing social media options and deciding what platforms work for your business, Social Media ROI depends on what your company’s specific goals are and what you want to get back.

Return on social media investment (ROI) is often difficult for companies investing in social media because they do not know how to measure it. So Why you should they measure Social ROI? Businesses need to track their online activity to avoid wasting time and resources. ROI is proof that your company’s marketing efforts are working. In the book by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff, Groundswell- winning in a world transformed by social technologies, they mention multiple ways Social ROI can be measured. Examples include ratings and reviews, blogs, support forums, product development, sales and more (Li & Bernoff, 2011).


How Social ROI is Measured

Step 1- Set SMART Social Media Goals
How can you measure something without a starting point? Your goals should be quantifiable in determining where your specific campaign is heading and who it’s affecting. It should be based on a measurable action that can be tracked. Examples would be e-mail signups, purchases, or contact inquiries.

Step 2- Track Progress
Many of the platforms pages come with analytics and statistics pages informing you about who, when and where people visit your page. For example “Google Analytics track website traffic, on-site conversions, and sign-ups originating from social media campaigns (LePage, 2017).

Step 3-  Analyze the Results
Calculate the ROI by assigning a monetary value (by historical data or guesstimating) from the data collected from the previous step. Determine your total costs by using the calculation below. Then analyze your results however you want and look for ways to make changes and improvements (Bennett, 2014). Don’t forget to measure other contributing factors such as man-hours, content, social media tools (like Sprout Social), or Ad costs (Jackson, 2017).

(Earnings – Costs) x 100 / Costs

For example, Dell’s online support system ( allows customers to ask questions about products of services where other users answer and more people to view these Q&A’s. Based on $10 a call, “Let’s say 630 people view this post, and 100 found the answer they were looking for, that means Dell saved $1,000” (Li & Bernoff, 2011, pg. 160).


To conclude, other than providing promotion to your organization, analyzing the social media return on investment allows you to dedicate more time and resources into what’s working and to change aspects that aren’t adding value.



Bennett, S. (2014) 6 Steps to Measure Social Media ROI. Retrieved from

Jackson, D. (2017) Ultimate Guide to Measuring Social Media ROI. Retrieved from

LePage, E. (2017) A Comprehensive Guide to Social Media ROI. Retrieved from

Li, C. & Bernoff, J. (2011). Groundswell: winning in a world transformed by social technologies.  Boston, USA: Forrester Research Inc.

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