You’re probably always hearing about how important it is to have a strong social media presence. How you need to be active, engage and build your profiles. But, what is it actually getting you? It’s hard to measure results when you don’t know what the right key performance indicators (KPI are to track? And if you don’t know what to track, and how to do it properly, social media can look like a waste of time. However, it certainly isn’t. So with this blog post, I’m going to show you how to measure social media ROI for eCommerce businesses.

Why you need to measure your social media ROI

Since you’re investing time and money in your social media, you need to know whether the resources you’re investing in are paying off. And, perhaps more importantly, measuring your social media ROI for eCommerce can help you identify the issues in your strategy so that you can optimize it and get better results in the future. When you measure your results regularly, you can see more clearly what works and what doesn’t. You can see what takes you one step closer to achieving your goals. And, what’s keeping you from achieving your goals? By knowing all of this information, you can then evaluate your social media strategy to see how it can be optimized to get better results.

Before you start measuring your ROI

The most efficient way of measuring your results from social media is to set clear goals first, but setting the right targets is not so straightforward. The reason is that not all goals are easily quantifiable, especially monetarily.

For example, say you want to reach more people; although you can find this metric very easily, what does it really mean? What effect would it have on your online stores’ success? More often than not, it just means that “this many people” had the opportunity to see your update – but did they actually take any action? Or even read it for that matter, or just scrolled past to the next update?

These types of metrics are often referred to as “vanity metrics.” While they can make you feel good about your progress, at the end of the day, they don’t make that much of an impact on your businesses’ success.

One of the best ways to set goals is to use the S.M.A.R.T. method. Whenever you set a goal, make sure it is:

  • Specific – Get nitty-gritty. Make sure your goal is as specific as possible. For example, If you want more traffic to your website, mention exactly how much traffic you want to get, as well as the time period allowed. Otherwise, just saying you want more traffic doesn’t mean much – technically, if you’ve got 1% more traffic, you’ve basically reached your goal and yet, that little extra traffic probably won’t make much of a difference
  • Measurable – As I mentioned earlier, some goals are very difficult to measure – in fact, some are darn near impossible. When you set your own goals, make sure you’re very clear on how they’ll be measured beforehand, otherwise it won’t help you much.
  • Attainable – Don’t set yourself up for failure. For example, while you may want to double your traffic, that doesn’t mean it’s feasible. Plus, setting yourself up for failure is totally demoralizing.
  • Relevant – Ask yourself, how relevant are these goals to your overall business goals and will achieving this goal help you grow your online store? Will it help you get more customers, or generate more leads? Whatever your business goals are, keep them in mind every time you set a new social media goal.
  • Time-bound – Goals need to have a deadline. After the deadline, you can see whether or not you reached your goal. If not, you can see what the data has to say, and uncover what went wrong. With this information, you can set the same goal and optimize it for the next time period.

Goals also have the benefit helping you focus on one clear objective. You’ll be able to build a better social media marketing strategy that will include clear, actionable steps to reach your goal. Then, once your goals are set up, and they’ve reached their deadline, it’s time to start measuring them.

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Popular goals when measuring social media ROI for eCommerce

To give you an idea of the types of goals you can set up, here are some of the most popular options:

  • Brand awareness – this is one of the biggest reasons why businesses are using social media: to reach more people and generate more awareness for their business.
  • Lead nurturing & conversions – social media is a great platform for engaging with your audience and therefore for nurturing leads and making more conversions
  • Sales – for ecommerce businesses, there’s nothing more important than making more sales
  • Customer support – customers are increasingly using social media platforms to ask questions about products and services and to make complaints
  • Traffic – social media is one of the biggest sources of referral traffic

Measuring brand awareness

Is your social media audience starting to take action? For example:

  • Signing up for a newsletter
  • Watching a video
  • Downloading something
  • Buying something
  • Signing up for the free trial

The best way to measure this is with Google Analytics goals. To create goals in Google Analytics, you have a few different options:

  • Specific link/destination: the goal is reached when the (social media) visitor views a specific link or destination on your website
  • Duration/time spent: whenever someone stays a certain amount of time on your website (set by you), your goal is reached
  • Number of pages visited per session
  • Event: track events, such as viewing a video or downloading something

Create Goal in Google Analytics

By setting up goals this way, you can then clearly see which goals you’ve achieved for all of your social media traffic.

Measuring sales

To measure your sales from social media, you can once again use Google Analytics goals. One of the things that you can do with these goals is that you can assign them a monetary value in the last stage of setting it up:

Google Analytics Goal Value

One of the ways that you can use this, is to set your goal destinations as your ‘thank you’ pages for your products and assign them the value of each product. If you’re using social media ads to promote your products, then use the insights provided to count towards your goal.

Measuring customer support

Are you handling your customer support on social media as well as you could be? Studies have found that 67% of consumers have used social media to ask for customer support. They’re expecting speedy delivery, too – and most businesses believe that they’re providing it. As many as 80% of the businesses surveyed in a study said that they consider their customer support to be “superior” and yet, a mere 8% of their customers actually agree with them.

To ensure you’re offering good customer service, track:

  • Your response rate: how many of your messages and mentions are you responding to?
  • Your response time: how quickly are you responding? Most customers are likely to get annoyed if you’re not responding within an hour–at the most!

To measure these results, you’re going to need a tool that can track your management capabilities. For example, you can try Agorapulse, which is a social media management tool with customer service capabilities (as they have a have very capable social media CRM tool built-in) that also offers community management reporting.

Agorapulse social media ROI for eCommerce

Measuring traffic

Traffic is probably the easiest metric to measure; all you need is Google Analytics to quickly check the exact numbers of traffic you’re getting from social media. Simply go to Acquisition -> Social -> Overview to see all of your social media traffic.

You can also use a custom shortened URL like goo.gl to track your results – however, it’s not as accurate as what you get on Google Analytics. When you measure your traffic, look at its quality as well: are your visitors spending time on your website or leaving it immediately? How many pages are they visiting in one session? Are they taking any actions?

Conclusion

Measuring social media ROI for eCommerce businesses regularly is very important if you want to improve your sales (and other goals) and make sure your resources are well spent. Set goals, measure them and learn from them – then, you can optimize your future social media marketing efforts to further improve your results.