Much like measuring the results of traditional marketing (TV ads, billboards, ect), it’s difficult to analyze exactly what your social media efforts are doing to help promote your brand. In it’s purest form, “social media” is essentially the digital representation of social interaction. How do you truly measure the ROI of attending a network event? Or talking with someone about your business? You don’t- because you can’t but you do these things because you know that it’s piece of a bigger puzzle and can eventually lead to future sales. The same is true about social media: the impacts of engaging are not entirely known. But, if you are willing to spend a bit of time and put your thinking cap on, you can analyze some data and provide some tangible results.

In my last post about measuring social media ROI, I left you with some “homework”. I asked you to think about a few questions to help you identify goals for your social media efforts. Do you remember? Just in case you forgot, I’ll remind you:

  • What do I want to know about my social media efforts?
  • Why do I want to know those things?
  • Why are these metrics important to my business?
  • In a perfect social media world, what would I measure?

Setting your Goals

Personally, I think this is the hardest part of measuring social media ROI. Most companies will say that they want to know the impact of on the bottom line. Great, but how the heck do you measure that?

A more realistic goal would be to drive additional traffic to your website. This can easily be measured in Google Analytics by using Tagged Links for all your social media postings. Tracking this will tell you how effective various mediums are at driving people to your site and give you the opportunity to test your work by tracking the tone of the content or the tactic you used to post it.

In this example, you’ll also want to consider what your goals are once they get to the site. If you are trying to generate leads, it would probably be a good idea to set up a call to action for them to contact you, along with setting up some goal conversion tracking in GA. Try to tie your offline measurement tools with your online measurement capabilities when possible to give you a bigger picture analysis of what the impacts of social media are having.


When setting up goals for your company’s social media, think about the action(s) you want the user to take as a result of your social media. Remember that this is rocket surgery- there is A LOT of data available and you can get in the weeds very quickly. Keeping your goals and objectives in mind will help you stay on the right track and focus on the measurements that are important to your company.

Christina Torri works with Social Media and Internet Marketing clients for Mindscape at Hanon McKendry