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How to Measure Social Media Marketing ROI

Rebecca Graves
By Rebecca Graves on March 04, 2020
How to Measure Social Media Marketing ROI
How to Measure Social Media Marketing ROI

How to Measure Social Media Marketing ROI

Rebecca Graves
By Rebecca Graves on March 04, 2020

These days every savvy company is active on social media, trying to craft content that resonates with their target audience and hoping for a social media ROI. Roping in a prospect through engaging social content may seem like an easy task, but knowing how to quantify your social media marketing ROI is a more challenging task, which Spot On will help you master. 

There are two primary categories for measuring your social media engagement, both of which are important:

  1. Ongoing Analytics – Ongoing analytics gives you a broad-stroke look at the overall impact your brand is having on social. It provides a quick-pulse view of engagement and is easy to monitor regularly to see how effective your efforts have been. For example, the number of overall followers and likes/shares your company has are considered ongoing analytic factors.
  2. Campaign-Focused Metrics – Campaign-focused metrics, which are specifically tied to an event or campaign with clearly defined start and stop dates, allow a deeper understanding of that campaign’s particular impact on your audience. They can be analyzed as a solo campaign or you can measure them against other campaigns in a series, allowing you to adjust future campaigns based on the strengths you’ve identified.


There are several things you can do to assess how effective a campaign’s success may be. For example, if you are promoting a free e-book or white paper, checking the number of downloads is an easy step. Or you can follow your post hashtags to see what kind of traction they’re getting.

Primary considerations to ask yourself before even launching a campaign include:

  1. What are your campaign goals? Have clear objectives. Are you looking for basic product awareness? Positive online buzz? A large number of shares and likes? What does success look like? Write down your goals and objectives and then assign metrics to each.
  2. Set up metrics to measure those goals. To truly assess success, you need to track the right performance metrics. Renowned marketer Neil Patel shares these tips for how to best measure your campaign’s success:
    • “If you want to measure awareness, then use metrics like volume, reach, exposure, and amplification. How far is your message spreading?
    • If you want to measure engagement, then look for metrics around retweets, comments, replies, and participants. How many people are participating, how often are they participating, and in what forms are they participating?
    • If your goal is to drive traffic to your website, then track URL shares, clicks, and conversions. Are people moving through social media to your external site and what do they do once they’re on your site?
    • If your goal is to find advocates and fans, then track contributors and influence. Who is participating and what kind of impact do they have?
    • If your goal is to increase your brand’s share of voice, then track your volume relative to your closest competitors. How much of the overall conversation around your industry or product category is about your brand?”
  1. Which social media platform is best for achieving your goals? Each social media platform has its own feel and audience. Some people love the brevity of Twitter. Some find the visual stimulation of Instagram appealing. Some like that Facebook offers both the personal and professional approach. Still, others prefer the purely professional atmosphere of LinkedIn. Each has its attributes. Which works best for the campaign you want to begin? If your campaign has a playful approach, a fun visually-inspired campaign on Instagram might work best for engagement. If you’re strictly focused on a B2B sale, LinkedIn might get you the most bang for your buck. Aligning your campaign with the most relevant platforms and tailoring your campaign messaging to them will best set you up for success.
  2. Know how much your platforms are costing you. While most social media platforms offer free access, are you paying for a premium version? Do you use a third-party paid platform to calendar your posts? Are you paying to boost posts or to do any additional campaign-specific advertising on social? Calculate the cost of all of these—plus any cost for content creation and time spent by your employees to post and monitor your online performance. That figure will factor greatly into the social media ROI calculator below.
  3. Measure, Record, Re-adjust. Using your defined metrics, monitor and measure your effectiveness. Depending on what metrics you’ve chosen to measure, your social media platform may offer analytic tools to help you dive deeply into your results. There is an array of social media monitoring services that can give you a quick look at how your social media efforts stack up against your competition. Keep track of your results, acquiring knowledge through a sustained timeframe. Make tweaks to your campaigns as you gauge effectiveness. Throw out what isn’t working and focus on what is. Having the immediacy to change direction as needed is one of the beautiful things about social media that a traditional print campaign, for example, just can’t offer.

Our partner HubSpot recommends considering these five social media metrics as well:

  1. “Start to measure social media networks together and separately. 
  2. Track visit-to-lead conversion. 
  3. Track lead-to-customer conversion. 
  4. Score leads and monitor the sales cycle. 
  5. Watch site behaviors from your social media traffic.”


To calculate your social media ROI, add up all revenue gained from your social media efforts, and subtract from that your investment (boosted posts, paid platforms, content creation, people hours, ad budget, etc.) to determine your profit. Divide that profit number by your total investment to get your social media ROI. If you want to know that ROI as a percentage, times your subtotal by 100.

For example, if you made $1,000 in revenue from social media on a $500 investment, your profit is $500. You then divide that $500 profit by your $500 investment, multiplying it by 100, to show that you received a 100% return on your investment. A pretty wise investment, by any standard!

From using Bitly and UTM Codes to track behavior to setting up Google analytics for social tracking, there are so many factors to consider when improving your social media marketing ROI


If you’re looking to strengthen your approach to social media marketing, check out Spot On’s blog post on 10 ways to step up your strategy.

Spot On has a long track record of success in helping companies measure social media ROI and we’d love to assist you as well. Just set up a time to chat and we can get your social media performing in ways that deliver the most efficient return on investment. Spot On can bring you the expertise and strategy to cut through the clutter.

Rebecca Graves
Published by Rebecca Graves

Rebecca Graves co-founded Spot On in 2012. As a partner and leader of client services, she takes immense pride in being in charge of “client happiness.” The role allows her to wield her problem-solving skills while fostering big-picture perspectives and team building. Rebecca’s more than 35 years of experience have equipped her to translate strategic planning expertise for the advancement of tech companies transforming the healthcare, financial, and legal industries.

To learn more about Rebecca, visit our Company Page.

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