How to Prove and improve Social Media ROI

ROI in social media is often thought to be hard to prove, as there may not always be precise data to show results through social media campaigns. Luckily, it is not as hard as you may think when you know what to look for. To find ROI through social media, you have to know your value can be anything such as link clicks, brand awareness, brand perception etc. So, to find your ROI, your business would compare your value to the investment. The investment could be hours spent working on the campaign or the budget spent on a couple of examples. By dividing your value by your investment and multiplying it by 100, you will get the percentage of your social media ROI.

To improve social media ROI for your business, you will need to optimise your work. Let’s say that you are a fitness brand that is wishing to sell more training packages to consumers, and you want to access which form of social media marketing is best. To do this, you would need to start by trying out multiple social media marketing methods, such as Instagram stories, paid ads, and boosted posts. By doing this you can look at the analytics and review which of the techniques get your company a better ROI. Then through using this data you can focus on using that specific technique more, and less on the other ones – as you now understand which method gets your firm the best ROI.

What Social Media does best?

Social media marketing is 100% measurable and delivers tangible results that can be tracked and analysed through the channel’s insights or Google Analytics. We can help you to hone your metrics, so you measure the right data at the right time to deliver the best results from your social media activity.

Looking at in-platform insights and Google Analytics allows your business to look at the finer details. These metrics could be interactions, shares, engagements and even customer opinions. Being able to access this information and utilise it will help your business tremendously as it allows you to pinpoint the specifics and look further into your ROI.

Start with your strategic goals.

Strategic goals are essential for any and every business as they are vital for reviewing your business output. Regarding social media ROI, SMART goals are necessary for your business to measure how and when to reach your overall aims.

SMART stands for:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant, and
  • Timely

With SMART goals, ROI is much easier to calculate as you understand which metric you are looking for improvement in. This allows your business to identify what to do. In my opinion, it is also a good idea to measure past performances, as this enables you to create benchmarks and then use SMART goals to improve on the past results.

Social Media Objectives Drive Social Media Metrics

Once you have set objectives, your business needs to act on them and define what the value means to your brand. Putting meaning behind the value urges you and your company to push and work harder to gain better results, which will ultimately lead to a more significant ROI.

I believe that thinking of various ways social media objectives and results can create value for your business is extremely important. For example, working towards gaining consumer loyalty makes value. If your brand puts time into building up a relationship with the customer, it can lead to repeat trade which is of great importance as this creates more revenue for your business.

Don’t improve what you cannot measure.

In respect of ROI, your business must look at measurable data as trying to look at data you cannot review or calculate ROI for is near impossible. Unmeasurable information could be the offline benefits – if a customer has seen one of your social media ads and not acted on it via the social platform, but has then made a purchase in-store. Trying to improve this would be difficult as you would not know where to start and most importantly it cannot be measured.

Focussing on measurable metrics is the way forward. Accessing data and acting upon the results is vital as it enables your business to recognise what went well and where to improve for the next campaign. Measurable information is far more critical as you get real data. Such as:

  • Reach
  • Audience engagement
  • Site traffic
  • Leads generated
  • Sign-ups and conversions
  • Revenue generated

Brand Health

Brand health is several metrics that show if your brand is ‘healthy’. By aiming to improve ROI, your business will naturally gravitate towards having better brand awareness, perception and engagement. Each of these is important for brand health.

Brand Awareness

For brand awareness, you want your business to gain more traction and engagement through social media. To receive a good ROI for brand awareness, organic content is perfect as it has no cost if done in-house. If consumers engage with the content, shares are likely to occur. By looking at the post analytics, you will see the number of shares the post got. This will allow you to spot trends in the content that performs well and in turn, share more of this content type on your social feeds.

Brand Perception

Brand perception is vital for every company and having an overall positive perception is good for brand health. Investing in being perceived as a likeable firm will be beneficial for your business as it can make consumers engage in your posts/ads, leading to a more significant ROI.

Brand Engagement

All businesses often use brand engagement as an excellent way to monitor ROI and can be crucial to having a healthy brand. If consumers are engaging with your firm, it shows interest that can amount to purchases of products/services. By investing in brand engagement, you guarantee more capital going into brand awareness.

Each of these points works together holistically.. By gaining a more positive brand perception, more people are likely to talk about your business which builds brand awareness, leading to more engagement and vice versa.

Research & Planning

Market research is vital for improving ROI as it allows you to acquire detailed information on your target audience. You may want to ask yourself who will be most engaged with our businesses product/service? What is the best way to reach them? What platform? What time to post? Use of organic posts or paid ads? And so on.

By gathering this market research, you should learn which type of campaign to run to get your businesses best possible results. If you require more data, you can trial campaigns to see which get the most engagement and are the most cost-efficient.

Marketing Optimisation

By effectively planning your campaigns, you will begin to see what is best for your business. By running trials, you allow your company to see what is working best, and then through the analytics you can review which campaign is doing well. For example, with Facebook ads, you may be running six ads, and four of them are getting good engagement, but the other two are not and are costing more to run than the others. You can turn of the less cost-efficient ones to optimise your marketing.

You may find that your business gains the most engagement from a particular platform and that the others aren’t getting as much traffic as you had wished, it may be better for your business to focus more on that specific platform. This can be due to your target audience being more active on this outlet.

Measurement & Reporting

The best way to measure your ROI is:

Value / investment X 100 = social media ROI (as a percentage)

From this percentage, you will be able to see if you have had a positive ROI (over 100%) or negative ROI (under 100%). This will not take into account everything, as some things are unmeasurable, but will give your business an excellent basis to go off. You will most likely have to do multiple calculations on each specific metric. This is because if you try to do numerous at once, it may get confusing, and some may be qualitative data.

From calculating this data, you are now ready to create a report. In this report, you should create a spreadsheet and review your overall ROI. This will highlight what has gone well and what you may need to improve on next time.

Finding the Right Tools

Knowing what to use is very important for gathering data from social media marketing. Luckily for you, there are impressive softwares that can clearly show you the analytics from your campaign. Google Analytics is a useful software for your firm to use when measuring the ROI of social media. The software can show you insight including which social media platforms are getting the best results, which specific ad is doing the best and how people are engaging in it.

Google Analytics also allows you to build a URL to input information that enables the software to know what the campaign is, what it aims to do and where people had clicked the link. This tool is essential because it can directly show you if your social media marketing is the source of new consumers engaging in your business.

Other platforms also have built-in analytics that allow you to view engagement.

If you wish to learn more on ROI software click here

Measuring Organic / Tradition Management ROI

Through using Google Analytics and building a URL, it will allow you to track who has come from which post. Therefore, if you attach a link to your organic posts on Twitter for example, Google Analytics will allow you to see that the consumers have specifically come from Twitter and from that exact post. Through this, you can see the number of conversions your organic content has gained.

Furthermore, likes and shares are good indications of engagement as they show how many people are interested in your company or product. Most platforms have built-in insights that allow you to see how many likes and shares the post has. This helps show ROI as it directly correlates with conversions as people who interact with brands on social media are more likely to purchase from them.

Measuring Paid Social / Ad spend ROI

Measuring paid ads is very easy as it tells you on the platform the overall statistics and the results from each advert. If you were running ads on Facebook, the Ads Manager tool would show you the total reach, results (clicks/purchases) and budget spent. This shows a clear ROI as you can see the amount paid and compare it to the campaigns overall results.

Also, using the built-in platforms insights will allow you to see the engagement on the posts. This is also positive as it gives your business more data to use when reporting after the campaign.

Using the Google Analytics URL builder will also allow you to see each ad’s conversions, giving you further information on which ads performed well to meet their objective.

Quantify the value of traffic

To know the value of traffic is critical to understand as it can work as a motivator for your team to do better. What is traffic worth to your business? If your company has low traffic, it’s likely that it isn’t making much capital which means that expenses are more significant than revenue and overall, your business is getting a bad ROI. However, if your company is getting a lot of traffic, your business will likely make a profit and gain from marketing which shows a positive ROI.

By being able to recognise when you have little traffic and its cost, it incentivises you to try to improve your methods to gain more traffic. Improvements may be from the platform you are using or specific details from the campaign that need tweaking and so on. But by quantifying the value of the traffic, you recognise the need for improvement.

Make your goals campaign-specific

Setting overall business goals will not help you when it comes to social media marketing as they are very broad and may not be relevant to specific sectors. By making your goals campaign-specific, it allows you to apply thought on the campaign’s purpose. This includes considering what are the main goals you are hoping to achieve through this campaign? Any side goals, such as broadening your team’s knowledge of social media marketing or refreshing their memory for specific platforms.

It is crucial to keep in mind SMART goals and make sure that you make them campaign-specific. as you will want to make sure that they are tangible. This is good to keep in mind as working towards an unachievable goal can be demotivating for you and your team.

Measure your goals

An excellent way to measure your goals is to look into your statistics from the campaign. These will allow you to see if you have made a positive or negative ROI. From your ROI, you will see what went well and what hasn’t and if you should run another campaign similar to the one you have just done based on the results. If not, it may be a good idea to look into different methods or seek further training in this sector.

It may also be useful to look at past content and reports (if you have any) as this should clearly show overall improvements from previous campaigns. Or if you have made less of an ROI, you can compare past results and see if it was the same with the other campaigns. This should give your company actionable feedback on what to change next time around to enable more successful campaigns.

Social Media Metrics and KPIs

You and your team need to understand each of the metrics areas. This is useful when trying to calculate ROI for each specific one. I have listed below what each metric is and given a little information about each one.


Engagement is ultimately interactions. It is how many people have liked, shared, clicked etc on your post/ad. This can be measured through platform insights or Google Analytics.


Growth is how many new followers you have gained throughout the campaign. Development can be how many more interactions there have been during the campaign. You can measure growth by looking at before the campaign data, and then checking after the campaign, the difference in your development.


Sentiment is the feeling or attitude felt towards a company. This can include emotions and opinions. Sentiment analysis involves collecting and reviewing information in the posts that people have shared from your company on social media.


Impressions are how your brand is perceived – how consumers overall view of your company. You can see impressions through comments on your page or general conversations about your brand online.

Audience Reach

How many people have seen your post/ad. This is not just interactions, but the total number of viewers. This can be measured through insights or Google Analytics.

Click-through rate

Click through rate refers to how many people have clicked on the link on the ad/post to get to your company website or another sales platform. These can be tracked through Google Analytics URL builder.

Sales/Direct ROI

This refers to the number of sales from the campaign compared to the budget spent on marketing. This can be seen through insights and Google Analytics.

Tracking Influence

Tracking influence is how you see how your brand has affected someone to interact with your business. This can be measured through Google Analytics URL builder as it can be put on a post/ad, this would allow you to see a correlation between the post and if the consumer was influenced.

Report and Improve

Your company needs to create a report on the campaign you have run once it has ended. This will give you the means to highlight areas where your business did well and where requires improvement. By creating a spreadsheet, you will be able to work out your ROI and clearly review the positives and negatives of this campaign.

Through reviewing your report, you can now start a new plan to improve your campaigns. By coming up with SMART goals, you can identify what marketing strategy to use to improve on previous results. Once the next campaign is over, you will also have the last report to compare statistics from which is beneficial as it should show clear overall improvement.

Revenue Generation

Effective social media campaigns should aim to increase their value, whether that’s in terms of brand awareness, brand perception, brand engagement or other metrics. Aiming to improve any metric should generate revenue because it will make consumers engage with your business – which means they are more likely to purchase from you.

Revenue generation can be maximised through laying down the foundations to receiving great ROI, and I know this because, as a business, you will want to have the most engaging campaign you can to drive more sales. However, I also know that you will use the most cost-efficient technique for your business to receive a great ROI. Therefore, by cutting costs in the marketing sector, more revenue is available in the business to be used elsewhere.

Operational Savings

Social media marketing offers excellent opportunities for your firm to get great ROI due to how much you can optimise campaigns for this purpose. You can also save more capital in the operational sector. This is because social media is so measurable; your brand will know where to invest and where not to because of the reports you will have done for your campaigns and calculating your ROI.

By knowing your ROI from a campaign and reporting on it, you will clearly see what aspects you are gaining in and what needs improving. By narrowing this down and visiting these weaknesses, your brand can focus om inputting more money for improvement and not needing to invest more in marketing that your business has already mastered.

Customer Experience

Brands that create positive customer experience bring in 5.7 times more revenue than brands that push it to the side and don’t offer good customer experience. This is a clear indication to why this is important, as it can allow your business to be a step ahead of your competitors. Customer experience is also very cost-efficient, which offers a great ROI.

If companies invest capital into customer experience, they are more likely to recommend others or purchase products themselves. Also, this will show a great ROI as that one investment to the campaign or organic posts that have engaged the consumer or given them a positive view of your brand can be passed on to their friends, who can also purchase from your business. This causes a chain reaction all from having a positive customer experience.

Can you defend your investment?

Social media marketing is beneficial for your brand, and every company has the potential to get a good ROI from their campaign. This shows that your investment is valid and is entirely worth putting time into social media as you are very likely to invest back if you accurately use the platforms to optimise ROI.

The only time you should question your investment is if you are not seeing the results that you are wanting. This may be due to bad planning or not enough knowledge on how to use the platform effectively. In that case, it may be more useful for your business to invest in more training in this sector as it will help you to earn more revenue so that your investment is then justified.

Why consider Social Media Training by Prohibition?

Prohibition has years of experience training people all over the country in different aspects of the public relations world. As a recognised name in the PR industry, we have worked with many big brands, such as Skipton Building Society, Goldsmiths, The Royal Shakespeare Company, Northumbria University, Engie, Barbour, Keepmoat Homes, Bonmarché, Leeds University, Manchester Metropolitan University. Through years of experience, we know exactly what to train you on for you to be social media marketing able.

Our courses can be delivered in a half-day or full-day format.

For enquiries on costs, please feel free to contact us.

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