How To Go About Calculating The ROI Of Social Media Marketing?

Posted on Jul 17 2013 - 11:16am by Samantha Bartlett

With social media marketing now one of the top routes used for promoting a brand and driving sales, it is important that companies makes the most of it. However, how do you know if what you are doing on the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Google + is paying off?

Social Media Marketing

Return-on-investment (ROI) will make sure that you are making the most of your social media activities and are not wasting your time on the wrong things.

Why use social media marketing?

Before you calculate what ROI and value social media marketing can add to your company, it is important that you know what can be achieved by the process. Social media may seem a bit pointless to some who just think it might be about sending a funny tweet on Twitter, or posting a photo on Facebook, however it can provide extraordinary benefits to your company.

One of the main benefits is that it can strengthen the brand of your company. Public social media sites can get your content and services noticed by a whole range of people around the globe that may not have seen it before. What’s more, if you are providing good, solid and trustworthy information, you will definitely become a trusted brand, which may convince the public, or other companies, that you are a good firm to do business with.

This can lead to a generation of sales, as well as generating new contacts. Social media can also be used to collect competitive intelligence, maybe through interacting with the public and finding their insights into the work or services you are carrying out or providing.

What are the main ways of calculating ROI?

Now you know what you are achieving through social media, it is important to find out how successfully you are doing it and what benefits it is bringing to your company.


To start off with, you should consider the reach that your company social media profiles provide – this is how many people that will be able to see your posts or will be reached by your information. To do this, you will need to add up all your Facebook, Twitter, Google + and even LinkedIn fans or followers – this will be the number of people directly linked to your information.

Content Reach

However, people on the likes of Twitter and Facebook also have friends or followers who will also see your article if it is re-tweeted or ‘liked’. So, to get an even¬†more accurate content reach, you should add the number of your followers to the number of your overall shares and then times this by the amount of followers they have. Here’s an example: Say you had 100 followers and 1 per who had 1,000 followers shared it, you would had the 100 followers to the one re-tweet and multiple this by 1,000, meaning you would have a content reach of 1,100.

Content engagement

Content engagement will help you to see if your content is resonating with your audience. This calculation consists of adding the number of shares and replies together and then dividing it by the total pieces of social content. Alternatively, you can also measure content engagement through clicks divided by content reach.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics will enable you to create social media-specific campaigns for different links, so you can see how many people are coming from each landing page. This will help you see what content is working for your company and what needs improvement.


When a customer comes to you with their business, ask them how they found your company and it was through a particular story. You can also ask customers more general questions about your social media accounts, such as whether they link they provide worthy information.

Different Links

Make sure you use different links in your social media posts as this will help you to determine the source of the traffic easier. For example, make sure you have a different link for your Facebook post to the one you use for Twitter.

Photo Credit: Flickr/opportplanet

About the Author

Samantha Bartlett is a news, evergreen and blog content writer who works at social media marketing agency Red Rocket Media, based in Portsmouth, UK.