If you’re running a successful ecommerce store or other online business, chances are you’ve already built a strong social media presence for your brand on multiple channels. And you’re probably also running some paid campaigns and seeing some results.
But when it comes to your marketing effort on social, you might be asking yourself: How do I measure my success? Am I getting the best results possible?
Social is clearly beneficial for brand identity, building an audience, and being part of the right conversations. But likes, views, and shares are meaningless without conversions.
What you really need to be tracking is your ROI: whether you’re getting more than a dollar back for every dollar spent.
Check out our recent piece on how to properly analyze your social media ROI.
Once you know your number, it’s time to set about improving it. There are proven ways to squeeze every penny out of that marketing spend, and a bunch of excellent tools to help you.
I’m going to take you through my favorite tools and the advanced tactics you can use to leverage to get the best bang for your buck.
Tools and Tactics to Improve Your Social Media ROI
Content Management and Analytics Tools
Improving the efficiency of basics like posting and scheduling content will no doubt improve your social ROI, but let’s dig a little deeper and look at the tools that include advanced analytics features to inform your decision making.
Analyzing where you are doing well, and which areas you could be doing better is key to informing your strategy moving forward. These tools can show you where you can get more return from your social efforts.
Hootsuite is one of the biggest names in social media management. The online software allows you to manage multiple accounts on multiple social platforms from one dashboard.
When your goal is improving ROI, analytics are all important. One of Hootsuite’s best features is its advanced analytics dashboard. You can drag and drop widgets, each reporting different stats and metrics, to give you a convenient overview of how you’re doing across social networks. This makes reporting results super easy too.
Hundreds of metrics are available from basics like fans or followers numbers, engagement and impressions across networks, to more advanced measures like post clicks by location, inbound Facebook messages by sentiment and Twitter clicks by referrer. You can view the stats on interactive line charts, tables, tree-maps and more.
Plans for small teams start at $99 per month, increasing as you add more users and accounts. The increase in efficiency with a tool like this will quickly outweigh the cost when managing multiple accounts.
The advanced analytics Hootsuite provides are excellent for an overview across networks but it doesn’t offer the ability to delve very deep into individual metrics. What you really want when you see a spike in engagement, is to be able to dig into the details and see what you were doing right.
You can figure it out yourself by looking back at your social schedule of course, but it would be useful if Hootsuite added the ability to dig into the day-to-day figures as well as providing the overview.
Even given this drawback, the volume of tools Hootsuite provides will certainly help you measure your performance in order to adapt and refine your strategy to improve your ROI.
Buffer does a similar job to Hootsuite, providing social media management on one dashboard and analytics tools to track engagement and conversions. A nice feature it offers is a visual content calendar where you can drag and drop posts. Great for visual learners like me!
Buffer’s analytics tool comes with a handy feature to maximize engagement for your top performing posts. Re-Buffer tracks your best content and allows you to repurpose and repost it within a few clicks.,
Given that one of your biggest costs on social is the investment of time needed to create content, this feature is an easy way to squeeze the most value out of money you have already spent.
Coming in slightly cheaper than Hootsuite with options to increase users and number of social accounts, Buffer allows you manage multiple accounts across the biggest social networks from $65 per month. Good news is the Re-Buffer feature is available on even the cheapest plans.
Lithium is a powerful platform that allows you to schedule posts, manage multiple accounts, and also monitor conversations on the major social networks.
Its most powerful feature is Lithium Social Intelligence, which monitors your entire social impact using real-time analytics, social listening and historical monitoring data.
A really smart feature, the Community Health Index works like a credit score for your community. It uses six key engagement factors to help you understand your audience so that you can tailor and time content to maximize the return on your efforts.
Prices are available only on request but it comes in at the higher end.
Monitoring and Research Tools
Staying on top of trends in your industry is crucial so that you:
- Understand your audience, their pain points and problems
- Create content at the cutting edge which engages the right people
- Stay at the forefront of the social conversation
- Grow your audience with even more engaged followers
All of these considerations will help to focus your strategy so that you get the most out of your spend. Here are the best tools to keep you on trend.
BuzzSumo allows you to easily keep track of the latest trending posts and the biggest influencers in your industry or niche. You can also track your own impact and refine your strategy to adapt and improve. Plans start at $79 per month but the benefits could outweigh the costs for larger brands operating with higher stakes.
Google Trends is a free tool that utilizes the wealth of Google data to show you what’s trending. Many pros use this completely free tool to monitor keywords and hashtags to stay ahead of the pack, which is vital in fast-moving industries like ecommerce and tech.
Feedly gathers together posts and blogs from relevant influencers and puts them all into one feed so you can easily keep up to date with what’s happening in your area of business. Plans start from $5 per month.
Conversion Optimization Tools
A key factor in your ROI equation your conversion rate. A high conversion rate will lead to more sales and higher revenue.
Jumper has tools specifically designed to boost your conversion rates from social channels.
Jumper offers a host of tools to improve conversion rates and allows you to manage your social commerce activities from within one dashboard. Creating a frictionless path from a user’s feed to checkout improves conversions and keep customers happy.
With Jumper, you can create chatbots that engage users on social media channels and guide them through the checkout process. Automatically answering any questions, the chatbots smooth the path to purchase, delivering impressive results.
Entertainment juggernaut Disney, which has a giant audience of obsessive fans on social media, created a chatbot which engages fans on social channels like Facebook Messenger and YouTube comments, and then guides them through to a ticket purchase for the latest Marvel movie.
By bridging the gap between social engagement and ticket sales, Disney saw an incredible 18x page engagement rate resulting in a 68% conversion rate.
Jumper offers flexible options. You can start with a free account and pay a percentage based on what you sell or opt for a monthly plan. Start with a free demo to explore how Jumper can improve your brand’s ROI.
Maximizing Your ROI from Social Media Advertising
Paying for social ads, or boosting your posts to get more eyeballs on them is a cost-effective way to drastically improve the reach of your content. Let’s take a look at the cost of paid promotion on different networks versus the average conversion rates for each to see where you should put your money.
Especially popular with advertisers in e-commerce and retail and with the largest audience by a distance, Facebook offers both CPM (cost per thousand impressions) and CPC (cost per click) advertising models.
With CPM, you pay for every 1000 views of your ad. With CPC, you only pay when interested people click on your ad. Typically CPC prices are higher but you are only paying for qualified leads so in theory the ROI is better.
Average prices for CPC hover around $1-$2 across industries so there is a low barrier for entry. But things get more expensive as you increase your reach.
Facebook also offers boosts on specific posts which will get more eyeballs on them.
At 9.21%, the conversion rates are far higher than the social media average. Facebook remains the favorite option for most social media advertisers.
Twitter ads have a bit of a bad rep these days but there is certainly some value in them, even if just to be present on multiple platforms.
Twitter prices its ads based on a bidding system, and you set your budget upfront. Your costs are determined by which type of campaign you choose and your bidding strategy.
There are three options: promoted tweets, promoted accounts and promoted trends. You’ll pay a premium to promote a trend but promoted tweets can provide a good ROI with rough costs estimated at the following:
- Website visits campaign: $1.68 – $10.00
- Followers campaigns: $2.50 – $3.50
- Tweet engagements campaigns: $1.50 – $2.50
- App installs or re-engagement campaigns: $1.95 – $3.25
- Awareness campaigns $6.00 – $8.00
It’s tricky to find concrete data on Twitter conversion rates but they have been estimated at 0.5% across industries. It is good to have a presence on Twitter and you be able to get results if that’s where your audience hangs out.
LinkedIn advertising is unsurprisingly a B2B affair. It doesn’t have the reach of the larger networks, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, but with over 150 million engaged professionals all looking to hire or be hired, it is one of the best options for good ROI for the right kinds of industries.
LinkedIn allows you to choose your audience based on industry, seniority, job function, company size, geography, number of connections, or membership of LinkedIn groups – which are all indicators of someone’s likelihood for engagement. You can use LinkedIn ads for as little as $50 and for B2B, you’ll be sure to find engaged leads.
A Hubspot study put LinkedIn conversion rates at 6.1% across the US. An impressive number which shows despite having fewer users, LinkedIn’s members are more engaged and ready to click.
Instagram ads can be an excellent choice for e-commerce brands and industries like fashion and F&B which rely on visuals to sell products and whose ideal audience is active on the platform.
Instagram offers some of the best engagement rates of any platform, but it’s been considered less effective in terms of conversion rates, hovering at around 1-3%. Not great, but the average order value on Instagram purchases is one of the highest at $73. So if the conversion rate problem could be solved, Instagram has the potential to offer an excellent ROI.
Users have cited security concerns and difficulty in navigating to checkout as two of the major issues stopping them from converting. In March 2019 Instagram release a new feature, Instagram Checkout, in closed beta, to counter these problems.
While it is being tested, only certain major brands have access to the feature, but it is due to be rolled out to everyone once it is ready for release.
The new feature allows users to checkout within the Instagram app, initially using PayPal as the payment method.
Here’s a summary of how it works from our recent article on Instagram Checkout (which you should check out if you’re interested in the new feature!)
How Instagram Checkout works:
- Tap on the product you like
- Select your preferences (color, quantity etc)
- Click on “Checkout on Instagram”
- Enter payment details (only for your first purchase)
- Click Place Order
Instagram Checkout is likely to drastically improve conversion rates, which would send Instagram up to the top of the social marketing ranks.
If you can’t wait for the new feature, there is an alternative designed to solve the same problem. Jumper allows users to check out right from their Instagram or Twitter feed, from YouTube comments and other channels, providing a frictionless checkout experience to maximise conversions.
Sign up for an account today to try Jumper out for free.
Tracking the Success of Your Social Media Campaigns
While simple metrics like engagements, impressions, clicks and conversions are useful for basic measures of campaign success, the true measure of ROI, as discussed in our piece on how to accurately measure ROI, must take into account the long term effects of your campaigns.
The way to do this is by looking more closely at customer acquisition versus customer retention:
- Acquiring a new customer is 5 to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one
- Increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%
Loyal customers are a huge factor when calculating return on investment. Not only do they keep adding to your revenue without you spending any more, ideally they also act as brand ambassadors, attracting new customers as well.
The two metrics to look at to measure this long term success are customer acquisition cost (CAC) and customer lifetime value (LTV).
CAC versus LTV
CAC is simply the cost of acquiring a new customer:
CAC = Marketing campaign costs / total new customers acquired
This differs from cost per acquisition (CPA) in that it relates only to new customers, so you should only be measuring new customers acquired in this calculation.
LTV is the projected amount of revenue a customer will provide over their entire relationship with your brand:
Customer Lifetime Value = Average Customer Spend Per Purchase X Average Purchases Per Year X Years In A Lifetime Cycle
The way to look at your long term ROI is to look at the relationship between the two.
You are looking for LTV to be higher than CAC. This way, your initial spend for each customer is covered by their lifetime spend with you.
To be achieving a good ROI, you want the ratio to be at least 3:1. A 1:1 ratio will be losing you money as there are always going to be hidden costs.
A 3:1 ratio represents a solid business model that sustainably generates more than is spent for each new acquisition.
Any higher is excellent, and means you should be reinvesting to get the maximum ROI from the situation as you grow.
How to Ensure a Positive ROI
It’s clear that by tracking the right metrics over single and multiple campaigns, and using the free or nearly free tools available, there’s plenty of opportunity to improve your social media marketing ROI.
Using the analytics tools we’ve discussed, you can keep track of your best performing content and make informed decisions on where to promote your content and how to improve its performance.
If you decide to go the paid advertising route, the costs are relatively low and all the networks provide options for you to pay for as many clicks as you receive. It’s up to you to choose the most appropriate platform for your brand and optimize your ads to achieve the best ROI possible.
Increasing conversions requires testing and optimization. Tools like Jumper can support your efforts by improving conversions and offering management of your social commerce directly from one dashboard.
If you think your brand could benefit from some of these tactics to generate a better ROI from social media, get your free trial with Jumper today.