I get it all the time when I’m speaking or pitching: “What’s my ROI, and how fast am I gonna get it?” I hear ya. I’m part of the instant gratification generation as well. I want my Amazon order right now and my Door Dasher to, like, seriously dash. And look, I get that we’re all looking more closely at our budgets these days. 

Part of the reason social media gets a side-eye from the person writing the checks is because it’s a top-of-the-funnel marketing strategy. What does that mean? Well, there’s a whole journey that happens in between getting a customer’s attention and actually having them pay for your product or service. In the biz, we call it the “marketing funnel.” At the top of the funnel, marketing’s job is to make people aware that you exist, and to tell them what exactly it is that you do. Your subsequent efforts drive your prospect “down” the funnel, from consideration through to intent to buy through to the actual purchase. Obviously, at the bottom of the funnel it’s way easier to measure whether your marketing has worked – did they buy your product or not?

But at the top of the funnel things are less concrete. How do you know if your social media is actually doing anything, or if you’re just shouting into the void? Well, there are a few ways.

1. Tracking Links

Tracking links help you monitor traffic coming to your website from your social media posts. You can use tools like Google Analytics or social media management platforms to create unique tracking links for each social media post and measure the traffic, leads, and sales each post generates. We love this approach, and use it from Day 1. In fact, when we’re setting up strategic SMART goals for your business, we take a look at how traffic is currently coming to your website and devise a strategy to shore up those numbers even more.

2. Social Media Metrics 

Another way we track the impact of social media on your business is by monitoring your social media metrics, such as engagement rates, reach, and follower growth. By analyzing these metrics over time, we identify patterns and trends that will help you optimize your social media strategy. Zoom out, and you’ll start seeing how your social media efforts are funneling prospects towards being paying customers.

But Don’t Miss Seeing the Relationship Forest for all the Data Trees

Don’t get me wrong: I love me some data. But the value of social media goes beyond what you can measure in your Google Analytics console. At its heart, social media is about building relationships. It’s where you can connect with your community of customers (and even fellow businesses) via quality content that sparks conversations, interest, and engagement. It lets you put yourself out there and give your brand a whole extra digital shopfront that people can use to window shop, chat with you via messages or DMs, or even share your content with their friends.     

Ultimately, social media is a long-term investment with a bunch of different success metrics, and it’s important to keep in mind that the results may not be immediate or directly measurable in dollars and cents. However, by consistently showing up on social media, providing value to your audience, and engaging with your followers, you can build brand awareness, loyalty, and trust that can pay off in the long run. 

Ready to get started building your presence – and that ROI? Check out our Fan Firestarter Framework, and let’s fan those flames for business success!