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So, how DO you calculate the ROI of social media?

The question no social media guru wants to actually answer



2:13 pm on Jun 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

How much longer are social media gurus going to be given a free pass to dismiss the “how do you calculate the ROI of social media?” question?

I don't mean using the latest buzz words to avoid answering it while looking down your nose at the person asking. I mean answering it the way every other form of marketing it required to justify itself.


3:44 pm on Jun 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



10:24 pm on Jun 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I find myself wondering if lack of quantifiable ROI is a valid reason for non-participation in Social Media, or even a reason to challenge it.

Some people can be wrong all of the time ... and all people can be wrong some of the time ... but I would find it astounding to learn that all of these people and businesses are this significantly wrong.

[youtube.com ]
(Note the the 2:48 and 3:30 marks)


9:22 am on Jun 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member


why is it difficult to track ROI from social media?

we tag all links back to our site and can see how successful our posts are and can adjust future posting accordingly.

we also check stats year on year and can see the growth in traffic to the site and resultant conversions from social media sites.



10:19 am on Jun 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

So, how DO you calculate the ROI of social media?

...same way you do it with anything else

how much do you put in - how much do you get out = ROI


7:55 pm on Jul 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

how much do you put in - how much do you get out = ROI

Yes, but direct marketers (i.e. pay per click advertisers) typically want to know how many of their clicks translate to sales on the first visit. That is their ROI


2:24 am on Jul 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Is there a real return from social media? I'm serious, naive and curious about it. I read lots of threads here and post all over WM and most of the usernames I'm familiar with (and read constantly) laugh about social media marketing. I tried myself with one site but even as I maged to get some sort of traffic increase, there was no noticeable increase on earnings (AS).

The company I work for is now investing a lot of money on social networks and producing content for FB, TWT and even sending SMS but I don't see any ROI. The marketing department says "everybody is in it, we can't be out of it" but is a nonsense to me. Ill keep reading this thread.


5:41 am on Jul 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Is there a real return from social media?

...for some niches yes, for some maybe, for some probably not, it depends on so many things, in my niche for example it would be suicidale not to be involved with social media.

The next question one has to ask is what to you mean with return? Simple Sales? Reaching new customer base? Expanding your communication line? Every calculation should start with realistic expectations, what do you want? Just jumping in Social Media without a plan is just as bad as jumping into Adwords without a plan....


12:23 pm on Jul 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

The kind of return that impacts my bank account and the R in ROI that's been the basis of pretty much every other form of internet marketing.


10:06 pm on Jul 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I am NOT a "Guru" but i do have the answer that your looking for and I will warn you now, its most likely not the answer that you are looking for or wanting but its the %100 truth.

I will only speak about facebook as that is what i know best. so to answer "“how do you calculate the ROI of facebook" I say this.

Facebook marketing is a lot more complex then adwords or most other pay-per-click type traffic. It is also totally different then getting buyers from google search as when people are searching for a product in google search, they are most likely looking to buy.

On the other hand, when people go to facebook, they are looking to browse and are very seldom in the "Buy now" mode SO, if you try to sell them you stuff on facebook ads, there's a great chance that you will lose all your money.

On the other hand if you create a following on facebook via. a fan page with targeted people that you got throw facebook ads then you CAN and will be able to get a great ROI IF you engage properly with them "DAILY" and don't try to always sell them your stuff.

True, getting a ROI from facebook can be tricky but if you either take the time yourself to learn how to get fans and engage them and so on or buy a course that teaches you these things (which I DO offer), then you will indeed enjoy that elusive ROI you are searching for.

Let me leave you with one last thing, do you REALLY think that companies can measure the ROI of a T.V., Bill Board, or Radio ad? NOPE! but last time I checked, all three of those media outlets are still getting advertiser.

If you are still not convinced that your company can make a positive ROI from facebook, contact me directly and I would love to help/work with you.


10:28 am on Jul 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

There are ways to calculate ROI from advertising in all types of media. They will be somewhat less accurate than the guy who says, I got 10 clicks and 2 bought my product. But even that is somewhat misleading as some people who click only become a customer later.

How you measure ROI also depends on what your marketing objectives are. Different businesses have different metrics that help measure success.

It's been stated before on this board that huge brands are spending lots of money on Facebook. Well, that's because most of their marketers have experience in consumer products marketing. In that classic discipline, in the world before the web, there was rarely an easy way to instantly correlate ROI with marketing activities. Consumer products companies and Brand Managers (gurus?) are comfortable with such a world and have many ways to measure the effectiveness of their marketing.

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