Conversion rate and ROI are probably some of the most thrown-around words in the world of internet marketing. And rightly so because these metrics are super-important and can determine the entire growth curve of any business.
Social media is being widely used as one of the primary sources for generating leads, driving brand awareness, and converting customers. So, determining social media conversion rate and ROI is essential if you want to improve your social media strategies.
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Measuring Social Media Conversions is not Straightforward
Social media conversion rate refers to the percentage of visitors converting as a result of your social media marketing efforts. These may be the percentage of visitors coming to your landing page and converting after going through a social media post that you put out.
Social media conversion can refer to any action that is taken by the user in favor of your business. These can be any of the following:
- Signing up for your newsletter
- Filling up a form
- Making a purchase
- Signing up for a free trial
- Contacting you for a product demo
- Or, even engaging with your website
But, simply measuring these metrics using your analytics wouldn’t suffice. This is because, apart from driving direct sales, social media also helps you improve your brand awareness.
Branding exercises on social media overtime can also lead to sales. Hence, it is important to take into consideration the conversions that result from these branding exercises as well.
Therefore, apart from tracking conversions using your analytics, you should also measure the effective conversion rate from all of your social media branding efforts.
The same goes for social media ROI also. Traditionally, the ROI is simply measured using quantitative metrics calculated by taking the percentage of net profits compared to the total cost of marketing investment.
However, this value of ROI doesn’t account for the social media engagement and change in brand perception due to the same marketing investment.
How to Calculate Social Media Conversion Rate?
The formula for calculating your social media conversion rate is the following:
Social media conversion rate = (Conversions driven through social media / Total visitors) * 100
For calculating the conversions driven through social media marketing, you should consider the following social media metrics:
- Metrics related to the number of website page views, number of downloads, number of form sign-ups, and similar other metrics should be taken into account. These can be measured using analytics tools such as Google Analytics, Facebook Analytics, Twitter Analytics, etc.
- Metrics related to shareability should also be accounted for in your conversions. Were your posts shared and linked to from social media? These can, again, be measured using social media analytics tools.
- Conversions should also take into account the number of direct sales made through social media platforms. This can be as simple as how much money did you make from a social media post or the number of purchases made from a social media ad. You can measure these by including trackable CTAs in your social media posts. For eCommerce, analytics on your eCommerce platform will give you a measure of this.
- As discussed before, branding activities also contribute to an effective social media conversion rate. There can be various ways to measure the effectiveness of your branding efforts. These may include the number of Google searches for your brand, the number of brand mentions on social media, metrics related to PR activity, amount of referral website traffic, etc. You can track your brand’s share of voice to measure the buzz created around your brand after your social media marketing campaigns launch.
Based on the above categories, you can decide upon the social media metrics that you’d want to consider for your conversions.
Based on these factors, you can come up with a more accurate and inclusive social media conversion rate for your social media marketing campaigns.
How to Calculate Social Media ROI?
Similar to conversion rate, you will need a more holistic approach for calculating your social media ROI. It is interesting to note that many businesses and marketers struggle with this.
Instead of simply relying on financial metrics to determine your ROI, you should have a wider perspective that will help you work on long-term improvements to your ROI.
The formula for calculating the social media ROI is:
Social media ROI = (total returns from social media – total investment in social media marketing) / total investment in social media marketing
While calculating social media marketing investments, traditionally, you would consider the money spent on organic and paid social media efforts.
Apart from these investments, you must also include other costs that are involved in these campaigns. These may include investments in social media tools and agency costs if applicable.
For calculating the return on investment, you should, obviously, include the returns generated from direct sales and purchases made from your customers.
Apart from the returns from direct sales, you must also take into account the following factors that directly or indirectly contribute to your returns:
- Customers’ perceptions of your brand significantly alter after your social media marketing campaigns. These can lead to improved brand awareness, word-of-mouth referrals, and brand advocacy. You must include these factors while calculating your ROI. You can do this through brand marketing research using techniques such as cookie tracking or surveying your customers.
- Social media marketing also results in a better perception of your organization’s culture by your employees. These will, in turn, result in increased employee engagement and satisfaction. You can also consider including metrics related to these factors in your ROI calculations.
Calculating your social media ROI after consideration of these factors will provide you with a more holistic picture of your returns. This will help you make more informed decisions and tweaks in your social media strategy to bring about huge leaps of improvements in your social media ROI.
How to Improve Social Media Conversion Rate and ROI?
Now that you know about all the factors that affect your social media conversions and ROI, we can talk about how you can go about improving these metrics. For improving your conversion rate and ROI, you should, again, have a holistic approach.
1. Improve Tracking User Data
No doubt, having an omnichannel social media strategy will help you get better results. But, how do you track all your user data? The easiest way to do so is through IP or cookie tracking.
Every social media post that you put out on any channel can generate sales and conversions for your business. For keeping track of these, you can use a shortened call-to-action link and track it by placing cookies whenever the user clicks on the link.
This way, you can track the number of conversions generated by each social media post or channel.
2. Use a Personalized Marketing Approach for your Social Outreach
If social media outreach is a part of your strategy, it is a good practice to use personalization to achieve better conversions and sales.
Sending large-scale, generic messages to users on LinkedIn and Twitter may seem like a good approach. But the results you’d get out of these wouldn’t be satisfactory.
You should personalize your social media outreach and ensure that it is tailored to the user you’re sending it to.
You can talk about some common interests you share, talk about the user’s previous social media post, or even compliment a pic of their pet. Or you can even include an image in the personalized message to grab their attention instantly.
3. Automate your Social Media Marketing
As you’d already know, consistency is key for posting on social media. Posting regularly at the right time can make a huge difference to your social media engagement and ROI. But doing this might feel overwhelming.
To make sure that you stay on top of your schedule no matter what, you should automate social media posting. You can use some of the top social media management tools available to bulk schedule your posts.
4. Nurture your Customers to Trigger Repeat Purchases
Did you know that a 5% increase in customer retention can increase your profits by up to 95%?! What does this say about your conversion rate and ROI? You should be focusing a lot more on repeat customers to boost these metrics.
Social media is a great tool to nurture your customers and trigger repeat purchases. The users who made one purchase from you might have forgotten about you in awhile. You can engage and nurture them on social media to reduce your churn and boost the ROI.
You can nurture your customers through various social media strategies, and run retargeting ads on social media platforms. Or, you can use user-generated content to urge the customers to take notice of you and revisit the funnel. Having a consistent presence on these platforms and leveraging the latest trends will also help.
5. Keep Track of your Social Media Reputation
Online reputation, specifically social media reputation, is an essential tool that you can leverage in your favor. Managing your social media reputation will not only help you improve your brand’s reputation but will also help you increase your conversion rate.
You can manage your social media reputation by tracking your brand’s handles and keeping track of branded searches. You should try to respond to both positive and negative feedback promptly.
Social media can be a great customer service platform, and you should make full use of it to improve your conversions.
Start Working on Improving your Social Media Conversions
Social media conversion rate and ROI are two vital metrics that can help you stay on track with your competitors and grow your business exponentially. But, many businesses make the mistake of having a very narrow view of these metrics.
Using the tips and strategies mentioned in this guide, you’ll be able to get a wider, more accurate view of these crucial metrics. This approach will help you have a better view of your success metrics and accelerate your growth multiple folds.
Author Bio: Anand Srinivasan is the founder of Hubbion, a suite of business tools and resources. He loves building viral micro products and shares his experiences on his blog, Rafrador.com. His latest project is QuickXLS, an easy way to share spreadsheets online.