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Being able to show return on investment for your social media is probably more difficult than you think.... at least it is in monetary terms.

Many of the bean counters will probably disagree, but return on investment on social media is not always something which can be shown by simply using a pound sign.  Gaining value from social media isn’t going to be the same at every company, and in some cases that value doesn't necessarily mean revenue.

Measuring activity for shares, reach, impressions and engagement (amongst other things) is a great way to start quantifying and even optimising your social media performance.

So, should you bother? Isn’t it too much effort?

Take Twitter for example…  Twitter provides some useful analytics, however they’re not exactly enlightening.  But to be fair all the data you could need is available to you.

Twitter provides free and comprehensive data, all of which you can download.  It’s what you do with it that starts to yield the necessary answers and - trust me - it isn’t really that difficult to get yourself some great insights.  Gauging the most effective times to tweet or even how many User Profile Clicks you've been getting can help you to optimize your performance. 

So… yes, you should bother!

Maybe the biggest problem in measuring ROI is being able to attribute traffic, sales or conversions to social media. Why? Well because we cannot see exactly where all traffic actually comes from.

Tracking visits using appended URLs or UTM codes with Google Analytics however, is more than worthwhile.  In fact, it is priceless to some businesses.  The problem comes with the lack of attribution, known as ‘Dark Social’, thought to be anywhere between 40% and 70% of traffic, which can cloud matters somewhat.

All-in-all there are ways and means to track your social media return on investment. They're available to everyone and can help you to see what you’re getting and how you’re performing….. just, without the pound signs!

About the author

Tony Walton is the head honcho here at Excelsier, and he knows social media both inside and out. Not only that, but he's a fine fellow who loves nothing more than to help other businesses grow and flourish via their use of social media. He also brews a mean cuppa, so if you fancy learning more about how social media can be used effectively to boost your business AND enjoy a decent beverage at the same time, then you couldn't be in better hands.

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