Is it Strange to Expect ROI from Your Social Media?

Is it Strange to Expect ROI from Your Social Media?

Is it Strange to Expect ROI from Your Social Media?

This is probably the #1 question that potential clients ask. They always want ROI (Return on Investment). But gaining ROI is a tricky business, and there are a number of factors to consider. For instance, what if I drive customers to your website, and it’s a mangled mess of spaghetti where they become lost for hours?

Social Media Managers Can Only Do So Much

As social media managers, we can only do so much. We can’t fix your badly damaged website. Sorry to be so blunt, but a bad website will make users leave immediately, with a bad taste in their mouths. You might like this article: What Can a Social Media Manager Do for You?

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What is the Customer’s Journey?

The customer’s journey must be considered when thinking about social media and the ROI. Here’s an example. A friend of mine recently tried to order medical supplies on a website. She received a message to order over the phone. She ordered over the phone, supposedly with success. One week later, she received a text that her doctor had not written a prescription, immediately before a four-day weekend! She still has not received her supplies, and she is not only frustrated, but she pities the people who have to work at the medical supply company. If you’re looking for a better website design, hiring a designer like my friend Karen Sielski’s Level 10 Creative could really help.

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What Do You Sell?

Another consideration is what you’re selling. So driving traffic from a tweet to buying a car? That’s a huge leap. But we can make your potential customers aware of your business, and perhaps lure them with an open house or a special offer (for brick and mortar stores). For online businesses, driving traffic to sign-ups for classes is also possible. We can help create trust and rapport through social media engagement. The sales part is up to you for the most part. Here’s a guide to social media engagement that you might like: How to Engage on Social Media: the Complete Guide.

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Measuring ROI Is Possible

That said, measuring ROI is possible, as this article Ultimate Guide to Measure Social Media ROI outlines. And notice the modest goals chosen to measure (email list sign-ups, for instance), transforming a casual user into a lead.

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How Do You Measure Success?

I’m certain that I’ve left something out. What ways do you measure your success? Leave me a comment! And thank you!



  1. One of the best ways measure ROI internally is page or profile views. Since what I do is based on social interaction and not reach, this is the top of the funnel. How well are we doing at driving interest in others to want more? The second level of the funnel is moving readers from social media to the client website. I obtain Google Analytics access to monitor traffic sources to the website and set up conversion goals/events to see if social traffic is leading to conversions and how that compares to direct, organic, referral, and even paid traffic.

    There are more layers I can add, from looking at traffic flow to know what is being consumed via social traffic and the use of UTM codes to know exactly what social content is driving traffic. Both allow content to be tailored (social and blog content).

    • Hi Robert,

      Page views do lead to more interest in what a brand offers, and those are excellent ways to measure. Traffic is one measure that clients with more experience and knowledge seem to “get.” Others want a direct line from being on a social media platform to getting the big sale on Day One.

      Thank you for all your comments! Always a pleasure to read them.


      • Social media is a lead generation tool. It’s at the very top of the marketing funnel. That means large sales are less likely. The interesting thing about social media – it has the ability to deliver the big sale or client without web traffic, especially over time. There’s a very different marketing funnel at work – one based on relationships.

        • Hi Robert,

          Yes, I agree with you 100%. Occasionally, a large sale may occur as a result of social media, but it’s rare. It’s a long timeline to reach the bigger clients and sales. It’s relationship marketing.

          Thanks for your comments!

  2. Hi Carol,
    I like that you are blunt. I always hope that my engagement ( mostly on Twitter and G+) leads to others following links to what I share. In my business situation, I don’t really know who purchases my products except for first name, city, and state. Sometimes I can tell what SM site lead to the sale with a tracking code but so far that’s not from the two SM sites where I’m most conversant. Weird I know.
    Thanks, again for all you share with us.

    • Hi Patricia,

      It’s interesting that you use G+. How did you decide on Twitter and G+ as your two platforms for sharing?
      Thank you for sharing and being so engaged on social media.

      I do appreciate all that you do!


      • Thank you, Carol. I started on Twitter long ago when I was beginning a journey into stock photography. The powers to be recommended it for promotion purposes. How the thought behind it has morphed.
        My original account has changed more socially over time after I left stock photography. I started on G+ for the same stock photography reasoning and stayed since I was reminded that it is a way to get links indexed.

        • Hi Patricia,

          Yes, Twitter has changed a lot since the beginning, hasn’t it?

          I’m on the fence about Google+, to be honest, although I share a little bit there. I hope you’re having a successful time there!

          Thanks again,

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