Sophisticated marketers measure everything from website traffic and pageviews to form submissions and email click-through rates. But when measuring social media, most rely on fluffy metrics, such as "new followers" and "increased brand awareness."

Only 1 in 3 marketers can measure the ROI of their social media efforts, according to Social Media Examiner. In other words, most businesses have no idea whether their social strategy is even working.

That wouldn't have been surprising not too many years ago, when the world was still trying to make sense of Twitter and Facebook; as long as companies were present on social sites back then, marketing was doing its job. Today, though, these channels should be second nature for marketers, and not measuring their impact on the company's bottom line is a big mistake.

Marketers are expected to double their social spend within the next five years, according to the CMO Survey, so being able to prove the value of social media to your business is more important than ever. The C-suite doesn't want to hear that a good chunk of Marketing's budget last quarter was invested in social buzz; it wants to know how that buzz fueled real results—not to mention how you're using those results to influence and shape your marketing strategy.

Luckily, marketers today have tools, data, and insights at their fingertips to tie social efforts to hard metrics.

It's time for businesses everywhere to start thinking of social media as revenue-building, not just brand-building. Here are four ways to tackle your social efforts with a results-driven approach.

1. Set tangible goals

Measuring your social media efforts starts long before you even tweet, post, or publish anything. From the get-go, you should have clearly defined goals for what you want to accomplish with social. The trick is that those goals have to be tangible.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
image of Mike Volpe

Mike Volpe is the CMO of HubSpot, an inbound marketing and sales software company with over 11,500 customers in 70 countries.

LinkedIn: Mike Volpe

Twitter: @mvolpe