4 Easy Steps to Measure Your Social Media ROI

by Julia Borgini

Last updated on September 28th, 2017

Okay, so you’ve decided that this is the year you’re going to DOMINATE social media. You’re going to send out messages regularly, be active in your community, and create a pack of raving fans for your brand.

After all, 74% of marketers saw an increase in website traffic after spending just six hours per week on social media in 2013…

And the fastest growing demographic on Twitter is the 55-64 year age bracket…

While Instagram gets 1000 comments per second on shared photos.

So, how are you going to know whether you’re succeeding on social media? Are you going to count up all the reposts, comments, and followers you have? That could take you a while.

Let’s talk about some ways you can measure your social media ROI that are a little less labor intensive.

One method that popped up in my research is the CLEAT method created by Stephanie Frasco at Convert With Content. It’s a pretty simple method that lets you track more than just numbers.

CLEAT stands for Conversions, Leads, Engagement, Affect, and Traffic. You use it to track things like:

  • Sales conversions
  • Lead generation
  • Community engagement
  • Emotional effect of your brand
  • Traffic to your site or content

This sounds great; however, it’s more of an overall strategy than a nuts & bolts approach to social media analytics. What should you actually be doing to measure your campaigns?

Here are four easy steps you can take right now to start measuring your social media results.

Measuring your social media reach social media analytics

Step 1: Decide what you want to measure

Perhaps it’s re-tweets and re-posts, or comments and shares, or likes and forwards of emails. The point is, you have to determine what stats you want to track.

To start, take a look at your current social media campaign, and pick three items you want to track.

As you get better at overall analytics, you can add in more; however, for the moment, start with three.

Step 2: Use a metric reporting system to track your stats

There are lots of free and paid systems out there for you to use, so make sure to choose the one that fits your budget and social media platforms.

For example, Social Report and SproutSocial let you track all the major social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and Instagram.

Here’s a quick list of some of the metric reporting systems you can use, though there are many more out there:

Step 3: Add in the social media account to track and set up campaigns/goals

Using the tool you picked in Step 2, it’s time to add in the social media accounts you’re going to track and the three items you want to track for it. For example, you may want to track:

  • Newsletter audience growth
  • Twitter audience engagement
  • LinkedIn reach and activity
  • LinkedIn demographic details about your audience (location, age, etc.)
  • Keyword search usage

Step 4: Run reports on a regular basis

After setting up your tool, it’s time to run reports. These should be done on a regular basis, to see how your social media campaigns are stacking up to your goals.

Each of you will have an individual reporting schedule, but at a minimum, you should be checking your stats on a monthly basis. This gives you enough data to determine what’s working and what’s not.

If your tool supports it, set up automatic emailing of the report, or exporting of it into another tool to create a dashboard for better visual presentation of your stats.

Tools like Cyfe will let you export your data to other tools like Google Analytics, WordPress, AWeber, FreshBooks, and Moz, so you can publish and share your results more easily.

Once you’ve started, don’t stop

Measure your social media analytics

Your data is only good to you if you use it. It’s great to track data points, but if you’re not doing anything with the information, then you’re wasting your time and money.

Revisit your targets on a regular basis, and tweak your campaigns. Review your reports on a regular basis and see how you’re meeting your targets. After all, you want to make sure you meet, and even even exceed them, right?

What are you tracking in your social media campaigns? Have you noticed anything unexpected in the data? Hit the comments and let me know.

Read other Crazy Egg articles by Julia Borgini

Heartbeat image source: Alex White

Traffic image source: MorgueFile



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Julia Borgini

Julia Borgini helps Geeks sell their stuff. A self-proclaimed Geek & writer, she works with B2B technology & sports companies, creating helpful content & copy for their lead generation and content marketing programs. Follow her on Twitter @spacebarpress to see what she's writing about now.


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  1. Kenyetta Morath says:
    October 18, 2017 at 12:50 pm

    Do you think Instagram marketing is more effective than Twitter?

  2. Westly says:
    April 20, 2016 at 6:55 pm

    I think that your first step is the most important. Before you even start, you need to know what you want to measure. Personally, I think that measuring re-tweets is a good way to see how your messages are being spread around. Thanks for the other tips as well. I learned a lot from reading!

  3. Mike Bailey says:
    February 11, 2014 at 7:33 am

    Hi Julia – your article caught my eye as I have a client facing exactly this problem right now. He sells an SaaS social-media tool and his customers (mainly corporates) almost always want to talk ROI.

    The client’s view (and mine) is that while you can measure the return/outcomes exactly as you suggest, where do you position the investment side of the ROI equation? Jason Clegg described it beautifully in an earlier post on Convert with Content ; social media is “the glue that builds a bridge between all of your campaigns … so who gets the ROI credit [for the resulting revenue]?”

    All of which makes me believe that ROI is the wrong metric to use when you’re evaluating social media. I found some interesting ideas in one of the LinkedIn groups that we share and here’s where I see the answer:

    “Measuring reach, impressions, mentions and engagement for an item (all now accepted by the Public Relations Society of America as metrics for social-media measurement ) is entirely within the capabilities of most social-media analytics packages. It makes for easy comparisons with traditional forms of marketing, and delivers the type of metrics (CPM, CPP) familiar to CMOs everywhere.”

    How do you see the “I” element of ROI?

  4. Stephanie says:
    February 10, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    Thank you for including CLEAT as part of your Social Media ROI post. I love how you break down this complex topic into digestable steps. 🙂 Thank you again!

    • Julia says:
      February 10, 2014 at 1:55 pm

      My pleasure Stephanie. Thanks for coming up with CLEAT in the first place! =)

      • Bhavesh Patel says:
        February 13, 2014 at 12:59 am

        As a newbie in blogging I never know about CLEAT. Through this post I know something about CLEAT thanks for that Julia Borgini.

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