There is no standard formula to measure the ROI of social media—it’s that simple. In order to have success with your social media marketing campaign, you must understand the stages of social media ROI and how to implement them. These will help guide your vision of social media in both the short- and long-term.

Stage 1: Launch

The objective of this stage is to establish a social media presence for your company in all the major social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn. You really won’t see any major results from these efforts; they are merely executional.

Stage 2: Management

The objective of this management stage is to engage your potential customers so they will connect with your brand in a significant way. Measure ROI of Social MediaThere is an emphasis on specific metrics such as Facebook “Likes,” Twitter followers, click-through rates, and inbound links. Companies may choose to start to get to know their following better by tracking responses to customer surveys and polls. Overall, many companies like to test their new ideas and track the results from potential customers.

Stage 3: Optimization

Many large companies are finally entering this phase of the social media ROI cycle. Instead of merely managing their social media platforms, they are converting their leads and reaping the results. Testing out different landing pages and seeing which one is more effective is a common practice, while analyzing the qualitative and quantitative results is a must. Thus, the objective in the optimization stage is revenue growth.

Create Your Own Formulas

A content manager for BFG Communications Measure ROI of Social MediaHal Thomas stated, “We often approach social media like it’s the destination rather than the vehicle.” This statement speaks volumes when a company realizes, for example, that the goal is not “to be on Facebook,” but rather that Facebook is a communications tool that can be used to create an active and participative fan base (learn here how to enhance your Facebook presence).

Moving through these three stages of the social media ROI cycle effectively will increase brand awareness and loyalty not only for your potential customers, but for your own company as well. Conversations generated on these social media platforms can relate to every department. Depending on how well you listen, you will be able to create your own formulas for how you wish to track and improve your social media ROI.

Jamie Bates