Yikes…tricky question, but one that’s worth asking for sure. This answer is dependent on the type of results you’re looking for. Of course, revenue is the mecca of results. However, you have to take into account how long-term brand recognition and a dedicated following can contribute to purchasing decisions down the line.
You can track quantitative results through Analytics tools offered within your social media accounts, though we use several different tools to provide accurate, detailed reports for our client. You can also measure results based on followers/fan counts, traffic referrals and engagement rates. See how you stack up against your competitors and what you can offer that they aren’t. Sharing discount codes exclusively on social media can be another great way to track the source of a conversion. You can speed up the process by posting consistently and including a call-to-action in your posts.
Key Performance Indicators
It’s imperative to identify your key performance indicators (KPIs) before getting started with a social media strategy. Consider whether revenue or brand awareness is more important for your company right now. Without this base to work off, you won’t be able to measure your ROI. Once you’ve chosen your KPIs, assign value to each one of them. You can calculate monetary value for your brand based on how much each customer will spend on average, how much a potential visit is worth to you based on the percentage that converts, what the average purchase amount is from your site, and how much you would end up paying if you went with paid ads (AdAge).
If you choose to go with paid social advertising, you’re going to see a higher influx of traffic and conversions. This comes at a price though, so we recommend trying an organic strategy first. Your brand may already be popular enough to not need paid social! Brands that already have a leg up on the competition include clothing stores, brands with more freedom of voice, humorous brands and any company that deals with puppies (those cheaters).
While this may not provide an answer to the question, these optimization tips should ensure you’re seeing results as fast as possible. Just remember—you get what you put in!