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If You Can't Answer These Questions, Don't Ask Me About Your ROI

In the last couple of weeks, I've participated in a couple of classes to help me hone my social media marketing skills. I've found that it doesn't matter if you've been in the business for years and you're attending Social Media for Beginners...chances are you're going to learn something.

The first class I took was on Google Analytics because every other little workshop I've taken on the subject makes me want to run screaming from the room. I was hoping this time would be different.

And it was. This course was taught by a professional who uses analytics daily and who can put together a spreadsheet like some sort of Google ninja.

It was a little overwhelming.

But I got a lot out of it and by the end of the class, I had decided to sign up for another one he was teaching that week - Social Media ROI.

Now, I've always found ROI a little illusive in my industry - that of a marketing professional who works with service providers. Many times my clients aren't selling a product. They aren't running sales. They don't participate in giveaways or contests. So, I've found that not marketing a product with an actual price on it can make determining ROI difficult.

And it turns out it is. But it's not impossible.

The Purpose of Social Media Marketing

My main goal with my clients through social media marketing has always been twofold:

1. Brand awareness

2. Traffic back to the website

Both of these things are a little hard to quantify with an actual number. All we know is that we need to have a presence, be active, engage our potential customer and do some digital networking.

Determining ROI

As I sat there in the class, I realized that there were some things I was doing right and some things I could definitely improve on. I knew some of the tricks of the trade and picked up tips on others. And through the second half of the class, as my mind was spinning with calculations and formulas, reports and data-gathering...a thought occurred to me.

"I can't give my clients any sort of ROI calculation unless they know what their clients are WORTH."

Yes. Since I'm not selling a tangible product that has an actual price on it...the burden of determining ROI is not on me (at least in the beginning). It's on my clients.

So, before you ask what your social media ROI is, you need to know the answers to the following questions:

  1. What is a client worth?

  2. What is a lifetime client worth?

  3. Do I know how many people have contacted me through my website? Or my newsletter?

  4. Do I have Call to Actions that are easy to find throughout my website?

  5. If I decide to invest in advertising...where do I want the potential client to GO?

  6. Do I have a "freebie" on my website that will allow me to capture leads?

If we decided to really dig in...more questions would come up. But the two MAIN questions a client should be able to answer is the value of a potential client.

What is that worth?

Without knowing that, there is nothing to measure. Sure, I can talk to you about bounce rates, click rates, audience engagement, and if a blog post was popular.

But finding out if your social media marketing is actually working and making you money...that starts with you.

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