By Daniel Hunter

Research has revealed that while 65% of those running businesses agree that it is important to measure their social media’s ROI, a staggering 83% of managers do not actually have any tools in place to measure how successful their social media strategy is.

It is true that there is no standard measurement of success for social media; do you go on how many ‘likes’ you get on Facebook? How many views your blog gets as a result of a link on Twitter? How many posts need to re-pinned on Pinterest before one results in a conversion?

Many of the benefits of social media are intangible to businesses, but effort must be made to track ROI using certain metrics wherever possible, says Scott Dylan, digital marketing consultant and expert on all things social media.

“Conventional metrics are certainly difficult to establish when it comes to tracking ROI on social media, but there are definitely a number of useful ways to measure a business’ success in their social networking endeavours,” he said.

One of the best ways to track ROI is to see how you stack up against leading competitors. What share of the industry’s online voice does your company possess? If your business has just 100 followers on Twitter and a few Facebook fans, in comparison with an industry behemoth with thousands of consumers following them on all networks, it is fair to say that a business’ share of the industry voice is fairly low, and the ROI will be low, too. It is also important to track engagement in this sense; a large business with many fans but no low levels of interaction with their consumers might have a much lower ROI than a smaller business which regularly engages with their followers across every network.

Another great metric to use for measuring social media ROI is considering how much time is spent engaging with a brand. It is estimated that one ‘like’ on Facebook takes seven seconds per person, and that ‘like’ will often show up on other friends’ feeds; these friends will take around five seconds to digest this ‘like’. Analysing this type of data helps to give an in-depth outlook on a ROI metric that can show engagement in a different light.

There are also a number of third-party apps and tools which can help track different elements of ROI for social media. Bitly is a URL shortener with a tool which analyses the posts that drive the most clicks to a business’ website or blog. Radian6 and even Google Alerts help to track how much consumers are talking about a brand, and there are countless apps out there to track retweets and calculate the reach of a tweet based on how many followers the people retweeting have.

Once a business establishes how they can track ROI, they can use the vital information to decide how better to engage with their audience and get higher conversion levels. Finding out exactly how consumers interact with a brand on social media is the key to achieving a better social standing in an online capacity.

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