Reiterating Social Media ROI – how can you realistically calculate value?

Working at a social media agency in 2015, you would be surprised at how many people in the industry still only track social media by size of community.

And yep you guessed it, this really does mean nothing.

Forbes published a timely and pertinent article late last year around the importance of quality over quantity and this is something we have always emphasised – especially in B2B.

Consider the Pareto principle in the world of Social Media. Whilst you may have a very large audience, applying the Pareto principle means that actually only around 20% of them are engaged with your brand.  (The Pareto principle states that roughly 80 percent of your results will come from 20 percent of your audience. Hence roughly 80 percent of your revenue will come from 20 percent of your customers.)

So with that 20% that are engaged – how can you track how active they are and crucially if they are in fact revenue generating?

Here at Immediate Future, we track social media based around 4 main areas:


Brand awareness

You could say that these are similar to your traditional PR and digital stats. The main metric that this measures is reach and impressions / page views delivered etc. Exactly how traditional PR tracks coverage via column inches and media buying tracks impressions delivered on a served ad.

Share of voice

What it says on the tin! There are tools and methods that we use here that apply your number of brand mentions by yourself and other users in relation to your nearest competition to give you your percentage share of voice.


As stated above – it’s about quality not quantity! Are your audience made up of who you want to talk to? For example if you are selling business technology products but your audience are made up of college students, what immediate value can that offer your brand?

Social & digital metrics

These are all the fluffy metrics us marketers love to track but also include actual engagement. So these would cover clicks, where content is coming from, followers and number of social interactions etc.

But more importantly in the middle – you have money! There is no excuse in social media these days not to track conversion to sale or conversion to a lead. If you currently aren’t doing this you really need to ask yourself why? From a B2B perspective most large enterprises – and even medium for that matter – CRM systems are built to track lead flow and where leads have come from and at immediate future we ensure that we are tracking this as ultimately this is what we are measured on. Aren’t you too?

As social media marketers, we’ve all got to make social media accountable to ensure it has the same status as other marketing tactics, which it rightly deserves.

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