How to measure Social Media ROI – TOOLBOX

Last week, Ryan Murphy responded to the “What’s your Burning Question about Social Media” inquiry with “How do you measure ROI?” That’s pretty complicated, so I saved it for its own post.

Don't avoid the question - tackle Social Media ROI head on!

The thing is, in order to measure “social media ROI (Return On Investment),” i.e. “what am I getting out of paying you to tweet for me” in client terms, you need to specify what your expectations and goals are; those will be different depending on the company or individual. BUT for the sake of answering the question in a useful way, here are some hot tips on how to literally measure your impact, reach, and interactions.


Crowdbooster pulls stats from Facebook and Twitter in a super cute interface. It also gives you a snapshot of your most influential tweets and the insights of a tweet. It additionally sends you weekly reports on how you’re doing – which include new followers, RT’s and other helpful info. Also all the cool kids are tweeting about it:

Hootsuite Analytics
Hootsuite is a favorite tool among social media managers because it allows you to schedule out posts in advance, works with Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn and generates custom reports to track click rates and top influencers. It also integrates with Facebook Insights and Google Analytics. Aaaand Hootsuite just acquired Geotoco – a super neat location-based analytics and marketing tool.

Great point, Aura…I just want to take this opportunity to note that unless you’re running specific types of “boom” campaigns, you’re not going to see immediate, measurable results with your social media efforts. It’s all about building long-lasting relationships and that doesn’t happen over night.

Google Analytics (custom reports)
Wondering how to set up badass custom reports in Google Analytics that specifically measure the initial traffic and continued relationship from a customer to your website via social media? iSeatz Analytics guru Mike Leikin gives the 411:

Still confused? Analytics Aristocrats meets every Friday @ Noon at the IP (643 Magazine St., New Orleans)

Sprout Social Analytics
Very few people have been tweeting about Sprout Social, so I’m going to consider it a well-kept secret. Molly Oehmichen introduced me to it recently and I’m hooked. It’s the HOLY GRAIL of affordable social media management. Facebook and Twitter scheduling, insights, outreach, keyword feeds, location tracking AND it predicts the best time for you to send out your posts. Seriously – LOOK at how adorable this interface is:

You’ll notice I didn’t mention Facebook Insights – because they suck.

So there, you’ve got your tools – now what do you do with them? What you’ll be monitoring really does depend on your goals, but in general you want to measure traffic to the website (and when that traffic generates sales), new fans and followers, interaction (Sprout Social is the best at this) and your overall growth. Package* that all up into nice monthly reports, and if you’re doing your job right (and actually generating the sales/interactions/brand awareness that they are looking for), your client or boss will be really happy.

*I suggest this “package” submitted as a nice .pdf. Save paper, people.