Is There Such a Thing as Social Media ROI?

Social Media has quickly become a major tool for companies and marketers to use. These platforms help companies engage and communicate with their customers and prospects, as well as promote products and services. In fact, in a Vocus social media survey, approximately 87% of companies have said these social platforms have helped their business in one way or another. 
In any business, when you invest time and money into anything, you want to know your return on investment (ROI). The concept of ROI is not new and is a natural measurement to think about if you are investing money and time into social platforms. However, ROI is strictly a financial measurement, the ratio between cost and profit that you directly tie to something. This is what makes talking about “ROI” and social media so difficult. 
Social platforms are intended as communication mediums. Sharing messages, engaging with others, and bringing people together is what social media is all about. Each social platform has advertising opportunities, in which case you can tie financial measurement to a specific campaign cost. But your overall social plan and efforts are much more than cost and profit. 
Every companies’ goals on social media are different. Some organizations just want to bring their employees closer together and increase company culture and morale. That in no way has any financial tie to the bottom line, but is very important for business communication. Other businesses want to connect with new prospects on social media and convert them into email list subscribers. Some business owners may just want to drive traffic to their website and have the website set up to convert users into customers. Some companies just use social media to run a unique loyalty program. Others simply want to create awareness for their latest products and services with people who have already showed interest in them. Many are now using social media as an extension of their customer service departments.
Additionally, many organizations use social media for customer retention. Business owners and marketers know that it is often easier to retain a current customer than it is to gain a new one. Social media has proven to be an effective way to engage current customers.
Again, everyone’s goals with social media are different. This means the measurement for success on social media is different and personalized to each company and each goal. Every goal that is set for social media can have a quantifiable way to be measured for success, but not all of which can be tied to a financial return on investment. 
Social media should be part of an overall marketing plan for your business and tie into other communication and marketing plans for your company as a whole. If you need help identifying your social media goals, contact us now.