ROI and Social Media


October 31, 2013 by EmilyCRios

Social media allows brands to freely reach an endless number of people, yet some brands may not know how they should go about utilizing their social media profile or measuring the ROI or Return on Investment these sites can have.

Social media is a great tool when it comes to building relationships and once a relationship is built people are more like to buy and continue to buy from a brand. According to Deloitte :it is important for companies to strive for relationships with customers that are “R.E.A.L.”: Reciprocal, Empathetic, Authentic, and Long-lasting.” These types of relationships are valuable because they create an engaged environments where audiences feel hear and valued and will be more likely to remain loyal to the brands and share brand information with others.


Courtney Sieter of Raven writes that measuring ROI for social media is not a one size fits all. Brands need to know what they are trying to accomplish through social media, Sieter makes the following suggestions:

  • Want to measure increased brand exposure? Keep an eye on your brand mentions and sentiment per reporting period.
  • More interested in traffic? Get beyond likes and followers and use Google Analytics to determine exactly how much traffic social media is bringing you.
  • Only care about sales? Create some goals and focus on how many conversions social media is bringing you.

If a brand does not know what they want to accomplish via social media then there is no way that they will be able to track how well they are performing. Brands that are unsure of their social media goals should start by simply experimenting with various platforms. Experimenting is one of the tactics mentioned in “5 Social Media Tactics to Increase ROI” the other four tactics include:

  1. Engage. Engagement is key because people want to be able to communicate with brands and know that their voice is being heard.
  2. Be Authentic. People who respect your brand will definitely support you but they will also call out a brand if they stray from brand ideals.
  3. Keep Content Premium. Social media is more than just a selling tool and can be used to involve the audience and forma community.
  4. Integrate Real-Time Apps.

Aaron Perlut, writes that “today we must act decisively and in real-time to ensure brands remain relevant and in touch with the interests of their brand advocates.”

Social media can also be a great tool further a cause and aid in fundraising efforts because it allows a brand to create a campaign that can be easily shared and they can see what people are saying and answer questions. According to the Sales Force Marketing Cloud Blog 5 Simple Tips for Fundraising With Social Media social media can help brands fuundraise by helping them tell their story, recruit influencers, add a call to action, brand the initiative and thank those that are involved.

Social media is constantly changing and people are finding news ways to make it work for them which makes it hard to come up with a set formula to determine ROI

How much value should brands place on their ROI of their social media accounts?

As it become more popular do you think brands will begin to rely more on social media fundraising?


6 thoughts on “ROI and Social Media

  1. jbutkevics says:


    I believe that brands should demand ROI from their social media activity. After all businesses are investing time, money, and personnel into communicating with potential customers and it would be crazy not to ask for ROI. I understand that at this time measuring success can be complicated since the medium is rather new and there is no sure fire way to determine ROI. However I believe this will change in the near future.

    • EmilyCRios says:

      I definitely agree that determining ROI from social media will become easier as the platforms become even a bigger part of business operations. ROI is needed because brands want and need to know that there social media efforts are worth it.

  2. tjstrese says:

    If brands are investing ANY money in social media, they are going to want to think they are seeing a return. I think it is up to the social media manager to help them see the gains as well. An increase in engagement on a social media platform may not be something an executive can appreciate necessarily, so as social media managers, we have to have a clear definition of success on social media before even beginning.

    • EmilyCRios says:

      Because determining ROI on social media can be hard to measure I completely agree that social media managers should be showing executives all the different benefits and interaction they are seeing on their social media profiles based on what the brand’s social media goals are.

  3. Like Sieter said, I think it really depends on what a company is trying to measure. A company needs to figure out exactly what it wants to get out of social media and from there put a value on it. Building a brand on social media really takes time, so that must be taken into account when placing a value on the return of investment.

    I think fundraising for a cause through social media is definitely going to become more popular. Instead of just a single market, social media can expand your fundraising efforts to the whole world and increase your return on investment right away.

    • EmilyCRios says:

      I think some people want to see immediate return investments on social media, but you are right when you say it takes time to build a successful social media brand. My younger sister just raised all of her money for a class trip via Facebook and I love the idea of fundraising via social media because it allows you to share and see results instantly.

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