Are my social media efforts worth it?By now you will have heard all the ins and outs about how important social media is to your business.  I’m not going to poke a hole in that – at least not in this post.  I do agree that is it essential to anyone who has a business of any size.  However a growing concern I’m noticing is how to measure its worth in terms of ROI (return on investment.

There are a host of companies and online services out there that will track your ROI.  Of course at a premium fee. I haven’t really found any that were free that offered good enough services to mention.  I should mention though that any type of marketing should be weighed and measured by the consumer.  Regardless of who is performing the service, you should have your own check and balance system in place to gauge against whatever results someone else is providing to you.

So for starters you need to get your web site statistics.  This will consist of daily page views, referring links, pages per visit, and unique visits. Most web hosting companies offer this within your online control panel. We use 1and1 for tracking all our client managed domains.  If you’d like to see a sample email me and I’ll be glad to send you one.  Some hosting companies charge extra for this, and if you’re does you can try a third party application like Google Analytics.  I love Google Analytics and I will be doing a write on their FREE analytics application soon.  All you have to do is plug in some of your site information and they generate a custom code for you to install on all of your pages. Once installed you can then accurately track all of these metrics and more.

Google Analytics screenshot

Next thing you need to do is draw up a simple spreadsheet.  Use whatever medium you like so long as you can refer to it weekly and continue to add more data to it.  You’re going to measure how many tweets, posts, links, blog posts, email, etc you push per day each week for each month.  Sort them by your social media apps that you are using.  Create a column for responses like post backs, comments, replies, RT’s, and mentions. Lastly, create a column for your leads that were created from any of these mediums.  When you look at all this data at the end of a week or the month, you’ll see how much time you’ve invested in all of these, which brought back the most traffic, which social media platform was most engaging, and those that lacked performance.

The process is simple enough when you think about it.  However try juggling this with the everyday issues of your business, life, and whatever else pops up.  And yes it is time consuming. It is totally justified that some companies may charge anywhere from a few dollars an hour to $2,500 per month or more.  Again, with this new spreadsheet you too can see how much time and money Social Media marketing is worth to your business and make judgement on whether or not you want to pursue it yourself or outsource it.  I’ve actually created a spreadsheet in Excel that I’d be happy to share if you’re interested.  Sign up to the blog and its yours!