ROI and Social Media. Finding new ways to measure your effectiveness.

By: Steve Scaffidi, Account Executive, Leonard & Finco Public Relations

Return on Investment, or ROI, is often the determining factor when it comes to committing to and staying with an advertising or public relations campaign. Did the campaign work? Has it created new customers? Did it deliver visitors to a website, landing page or social media site?


Unlike traditional advertising campaigns, measuring ROI for social media can be a challenge. It’s easy to use analytics to track increases in page follows or likes. However, determining the effectiveness of those efforts is still tied to traditional measurements such as increases in sales and/or new customers. With social media, it’s important to incorporate new measuring terminology.


Buzz is a commonly used term associated with the popularity of a post or tweet. It’s used to describe the amount of online sharing of a specific post or tweet. Buzz is still fairly nebulous as it essentially measures something that’s inherently difficult to measure creating a true “know it when you feel it” scenario.


Viral is another term. We all recognize social media campaigns that have gone viral, including well-known examples like the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and Dove’s “Real Beauty” sketches. They often take over our social consciousness and for a brief moment, seem to be the only thing people are talking about.


When designing a social media campaign, or simply creating an interesting post to promote a client or product, think about ROI while you’re still early in the creative process. This includes evaluating the following:
  • How does the post help your client?
  • Does it grab their potential customer’s attention?
  • Does it make the reader or viewer, in the case of a video, want to know more?


In many instances, using humor is a very effective way to reach your social media audience. When done well, it certainly can make people want to pay attention to your client’s message.


Providing relevant or actionable information is also a great tool for a social media campaign. Asking someone to do something is always a leap of faith and, delivering on that expectation, can establish a trust that delivers real results for a client.


Although exploding in popularity, social media is still in the early days of its incredible potential for reaching consumers. Taking some chances on the creative side can give you the ability to tell your client’s story in an exciting, new way. Be bold, and don’t be afraid to innovate.


What’s the most memorable social media post or marketing campaign you’ve seen?