Jun 07, 2016 / by Katie Gaab

Your brand is present on a variety of social platforms, but can it prove the impact of its posts and campaigns? Only 15 percent of marketers have proven social’s impact quantitatively. In other words, the majority of brands aren’t able to map their efforts back to business objectives.

Being able to showcase earned dollars isn’t the only benefit of measuring your social strategy though. Social ROI can also provide important insight about what needs improvement and how you can make changes to see your brand succeed in the future.

Here are three main steps to navigating the social ROI lifecycle:  

1. Find the “Why”


After determining your campaign goals, benchmarks and investment strategy, it’s time to calculate your social ROI. Analyzing the results won’t be simple though. In fact, if you’re simply subtracting spend from revenue, you’re missing out on a very important detail: the “why” behind your data.

Making a clear connection between social spending and revenue will help pinpoint variables that impacted your social performance and inform future decisions.

To do this correctly you need to be tracking every channel, campaign and post as well as denoting any changes made to your sales strategy when they happen. When analyzing the data collected, don’t forget to look at seasons in correlation to performance. You may find some platforms perform considerably better in certain months, while others fall flat during a national holiday, for example.

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2. Showcase the Results

Once you’ve gathered your data and determined the “why” behind the results, you’ll want to report your findings. Make the results easy to digest by using visuals such as charts and graphs.

When presenting your findings to executives, shareholders or other stakeholders, always explain the thought process behind your “why” as well as provide options of what you could do next to improve your social efforts.

Focus on educating  the group on the importance of your social strategy to the business and use these key figures to collaborate on ways to improve.

3. Decide on a New Plan


Once you begin to analyze your full social lifecycle, you can make more data-informed decisions to help you reach your goals. With input from key stakeholders, think about which of your new ideas or suggested changes would be the next best step keeping in mind that social ROI is not a one-and-done process. Platforms are constantly updating algorithms and adding new features to their offerings, which can affect what you measure, how you approach your strategy and why a campaign succeeds or fails.

By regularly reevaluating, you’ll increase your understanding of what works for your brand and ability to achieve results. The more you know about the challenges your brand faces on social, the more tailored your communication approach will be to the right audience on the right platform at the right time.

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About Katie Gaab

Katie Gaab is a content marketing specialist for Cision. Previously the senior editor for Help A Reporter Out (HARO), she enjoys connecting audiences to exciting, new content. She's a dancer, avid concert-goer, foreign language nerd and book worm. Find her on Twitter @kathryngaab.