How to Calculate Social Media ROI

No one wants to invest in a marketing method that doesn’t get results! Social Media ROI, or return on investment, is how businesses measure what they’re getting back from all the time, money, and resources that they put into their social media accounts. While measuring return on investment for social media may sound silly at first, in a world where social media is one of most business’s primary advertising strategies, it pays to know whether current marketing efforts are being met with success.

When polled, 96% of businesses stated that they were beginning to look beyond sales goals and web metrics to identify the value of social marketing efforts. Yet while 65% of business managers agree that it is important to measure social media ROI, a full 83% do not even attempt it. The reason for this lack of action? For many managers, it’s just too challenging to tie social media ROI into overall success. This article seeks to provide tips and strategies for determining ROI  and the role that it plays in a company’s overall success, from setting goals, to crunching the final numbers.


When determining social media ROI, businesses must be able to come up with two numbers:

  1. Current monetary investment into any social media accounts
  2. The physical cost of any social media goals



Measuring current monetary investment is the first step towards determining social media ROI. When a business knows its social media investment, it is easier for it to determine whether or not the money that its spending is too much or not enough relative to its goals.

Costs that can be measured to calculate monetary investment include:

  • Any social media technology or paid social platforms
  • Agencies and consultants
  • Advertising
  • Labor and time
  • Training
  • Business overhead



Next is the trickier part! Calculating return can be challenging because it means different things to different people, and doesn’t necessarily involve physical profit.

Before calculating return, consider the following questions:

  • What do you want your social media efforts to achieve?
  • What are these goals worth monetarily?


After determining the business’s goals and their monetary value, track their progress. For website-related goals, such as sales, sign-ups, and page views, try setting up tracking by going into Google Analytics and clicking Social and then Conversions. For social media-related goals, such as likes, shares, and follows, try tracking their progress using Buffer or a social media posting platform with similar features.

Calculating Return

Having determined the brand’s goals and tracked their progress, it’s calculation time. There are several methods through which social media return can be evaluated. Here are a few popular approaches:

      • Lifetime value – how much do you expect to earn per customer in a lifetime?
      • Lifetime value x conversion rate  – what is the average lifetime value of a customer multiplied by the number of subscribers or account holders who become customers?
      • Average sale – how expensive is the average purchase on the site?
      • Pay-Per-Click costs – how much would you be willing pay in advertising for a new follower, like, website visitor, etc. relative to current unpaid-for efforts?


Finally, add up [(earnings – costs) x 100] / costs for each social media platform and endeavor to determine their ROI.


Why is it important to measure social media ROI?

Measuring ROI might be tricky at first, but knowing a business’s current ROI will allow its managers to determine whether their social media efforts are paying off, in addition to showing them how and where they can improve to maximize their returns. A high ROI percentage value for one social media platform means that past marketing efforts have been met with success and to continue investments in it, whereas a platform with an ROI percentage value in the negatives may need an adjustment in marketing strategy or to be removed from the current social media strategy completely.

Socially Bold is a digital marketing firm located in Jacksonville, Florida providing marketing services to small to mid-sized local businesses.  Specializing in social media and content marketing, Socially Bold focuses on aligning with clients, the ‘Socially Bold Community’, to deliver innovative ideas and translate those into refreshing results.  For more information about Socially Bold, visit  Join the #SociallyBold conversation on Twitter @sociallyboldjax, Facebook @sociallybold, Instagram @sociallybold, Pinterest @sociallybold or Google+ @sociallybold.

Request a Consultation

Complete the form below to schedule a consult for digital marketing services #BeBOLD

Build your package

Select the services you would like to receive.