As a marketer, the struggle to grow your budget can be difficult. You need an increased budget to fuel the growth of social media campaigns, and CEOs want to see the ROI of previous marketing campaigns in a concrete numerical value before they dish out more cash. Unfortunately, 54% of brands struggle tying social media ROI to overall business results.
If your social media campaigns are effective, or at least you feel that way, the issue may lie in the format they are reported on and presented.
75% of marketers intend to boost their spending on social media this year. The others are those who can’t successfully create reports that prove the ROI of social media to management and budget approvers. By tracking social media effectiveness and aggregating the information required to influence senior management on a continuous basis, can improve how your organization views social media and how it’s budgeted.
Track Relevant Metrics
The first part of building an impressive report is to understand what metrics need to be analyzed. When you began your social media marketing endeavors, it's most likely that your team came up with a set of goals. Based on these goals, decide which relevant metrics, or Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), are essential to the achievement of your goals and track them as you build your social media campaigns.
While it's extremely important, tracking multiple KPIs from multiple social media outlets can be a daunting task. Fortunately, there are solutions that are specifically designed to track and measure social media metrics. Using a social media management platform allows you to build comprehensive reports, from individual profiles to entire divisions, tracking metrics based on not just clicks, but also conversions, sales and lead attribution.
Once social media metrics relevant to your goals are readily available, you can begin assembling them into reports. Below are some sample reports that can push your marketing budget to the next level:
To show a reliable ROI for your social media, you should be aware of exactly how much budget was spent and where exactly every dollar went. Consider the following breakdowns to illustrate marketing spend:
- Human Resources: Whether you hired a dedicated social media campaign manager, or took on the bulk of the work within your team, employee costs are not to be overlooked. If you didn't hire a social media campaign manager, you will need to calculate the amount of time you or your colleagues spend maintaining social media channels.
- Advertising: Merely sponsoring social media posts will not guarantee ROI. Like any online paid campaigns, spend should be carefully measured and tracked. If you can’t track your online paid campaigns from clicks to sales, then you probably shouldn’t be using this channel.
- Consulting Fees: If you're outsourcing social media management, check exactly what services are being provided. Are the services measured according to your goals, metrics and KPIs?
- Management Platforms: While the use of a social media account has no immediate cost, integrating your campaigns with social media management and analytics tools will incur in additional expenses. However, because these platforms improve how you manage and track your social channels, they can actually reduce the overall cost of social media marketing.
Campaign Specific Reports
Your overall marketing effort is the sum of each individual campaign. Some campaigns are focused more on specific social media platforms, some are targeted towards certain audiences and others are carried out with an explicit end goal in mind. Tracking key metrics per campaign affords the opportunity to review clicks, conversions and engagement for each campaign as its own entity as well as all social media campaigns as a whole. By categorizing KPIs into specific campaigns, you bring transparency into the marketing efforts that make up the overall ROI of your social media spending.
72% of marketers researched claimed that social media assisted in closing business. The challenge is actually proving it. In many cases, others functions of the marketing team or company divisions may be responsible for website conversions or sales. When multiple functions, from SEO to online marketers to sales are all taking credit for the same revenue, being able to showcase social media campaigns as significant lead attribution can help justify the social marketing budget.
Presenting Your Reports
As you prepare the social media reports, remember that your goal is to motivate management and budget holders to continue and support social media marketing programs. Don't overwhelm them with data in an attempt to look impressive and prove you are working hard. Offer high-level views of important information and dive deeper into certain metrics only when it is necessary to help clarify decision making points. Also, don't be afraid to highlight negative results, just as long as you're able to provide a solution for each. A successful presentation will result in your CEO understanding how social media spend is attributing to the top line.
You work hard to put together successful B2B social media initiatives. By failing to present that success in a clear and actionable manner, you are depriving yourself and your team with the opportunity to keep doing that excellent work. Take the time to track the metrics you need to measure and present them in the best way possible.
What Key Performance Indicators do you include in your social media reports? Leave a comment and let us know!