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Seven Tips for Achieving Social Media ROI

March 25, 2011  

We recently talked about how, in 2011, the most important priority for brand-side marketers and agencies will be squeezing an identifiable ROI out of their social media efforts. That drive may partly explain the influx of community manager jobs popping up over the course of last year, as well as other efforts to formalize social media marketing in the enterprise. The race is on!

Happily, eMarketer has issued a whitepaper (free download!) detailing seven guidelines for achieving ROI from social media:

  1. Establish clear goals for your product or brand, then identify social measurements that support those objectives.
  2. Organize your measurements and metrics in a logical framework.
  3. Apply a long-term outlook to social media interactions and measurements. It's a commitment, not a campaign.
  4. If hard ROI metrics are difficult to track, consider a range of softer metrics that link back to desired business outcomes.
  5. Determine a dollar value for customers that opt in and engage your brand via social networks.
  6. In your ROI calculations, don't overlook the value of cost savings that result from ongoing social listening and tracking.
  7. Build technological capabilities to measure your customers' complete digital footprint—in real time.

Consider implementing these ideas in your daily executions, and be as empirical as you can without forsaking the qualitative benefits of social media. It's possible! And your company will thank you for it! (Eventually.)

The Po!nt: Don't sail off on the seas of user opinion without a compass and a clear destination. Take charge of your efforts by understanding the key factors that go into effectively building social media ROI.

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  • by Mike Fri Mar 25, 2011 via web

    Thanks for these helpful tips! One that I would add is to make sure you have a strategy in place for tracking ROI which includes make sure that when you start your "commitment" that you strated assessments at the beginning. Staying organized throughout and measuring social media as you go along is much more easy and useful in real-time.

    Thanks again,


  • by Johanna Fri Mar 25, 2011 via web

    Great point about the ongoing listening and tracking value that's often overlooked. I'm going to forward your article to our Founder, Tom Pisello, who has created a free Social Media ROI Calculator that may be helpful to you/your readers.You can find it at

  • by Nick Stamoulis Mon Mar 28, 2011 via web

    I think the trick to measuring social media ROI is that you can't look at it through the same eyes as how you measure other marketing tactics. A lot of the benefits from social media marketing are intangible, so it's harder to assign a dollar amount to them. You have to create new ways to measure success that make sense for the platform.

  • by Crystal Higgins-Peterson Thu Mar 31, 2011 via web

    Love the simplicity of this article, and I would also add in the "ROI calculations" arena that brands should engage with their highly-satisfied customers (aka Brand Advocates) via social media.

    Beyond just listening and engagement with social media - to drive actual sales and leads.

    Karloyn Anderson at Zuberance discussed t this subject and asked "Would you rather reach thousands who like or hundreds who advocate?" here:

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