How Can You Use Data to Improve Your Social Media ROI - in 6 Simple Ways

June 4, 2023

90% of companies fail their Facebook advertising efforts, according to digital marketer, Ben Heath. Weebly, back in 2017, conducted a survey and found out that 62% of small businesses miss their expected social media marketing targets. So, how can you improve your social media marketing?

In the digital marketing world, data is everywhere -- your audience's interests, the engagement rate of your posts, your email list's click-through rate, you name it. Even data from your competitors could be helpful to you. One efficient way to use it is to improve your brand's social media marketing. According to Smart Insights in 2021, more than half of the world's population uses social media now. Without a doubt, you’d want to be investing in social media marketing.

But like anything you'd funnel resources in, you should expect an ROI. Here's how you can use data to improve your social media ROI.

Is Social Media ROI Important?

Yes, Social Media ROI (Return on Investment) is important for any business that uses social media as part of their marketing strategy. If you are not getting a return from your time, effort, or monetary investment then you need to re-evaluate your strategy.

Here is a list of reasons why Social Media ROI is important.

  1. Justifying investments: Helps businesses justify the resources allocated to social media marketing.
  2. Evaluating effectiveness: ROI provides insights into the effectiveness of social media campaigns.
  3. Optimizing strategies: Analyzing ROI enables businesses to identify areas for improvement.

What Is The Best Way To Calculate Social Media ROI?

In order to calculate ROI on any social media marketing strategy, you will need to do a few different things.

  • Define/Set Clear Objectives: Know your goals or you won't know if you hit them
  • Track Data: Use tools like eclincher to measure data (views, likes, favorites, etc.)
  • Calculate Costs: Know how much you spent to implement your campaign.

1. Including UGC in content marketing

When you're going out for dinner with friends, would you go to the restaurant that one of your friends recommends, or go to the one with a giant neon sign?

User-generated content, otherwise known as UGC, is one of the most effective forms of content marketing. Think of UGC as a form of recommendation from another customer. It can take different forms: testimonials, reviews, comments, or images. For example, the Pedigree Instagram account uses pictures from their customers in their social media content:

screenshot of UGC from @pedigreeus instagram account

Source: Pedigree US

According to TINT, users are 62% more likely to click on UGC content than branded content. You can leverage user-generated content for your social media ad campaigns. You can incorporate them in your video ads, independent posts, and testimonials. But how would you gather user-generated content?

You'd want to look for data such as:

  • Brand mentions
  • Hashtags used
  • Referring domains
  • Product reviews are also user-generated content
  • Google Analytics traffic data

Staying on top of the data mentioned above will lead you to user-generated content surrounding your brand. You may need a media monitoring tool such as Brand 24 and a hashtag tracker like Hashtagify to track brand mentions.

You can also see what sites and blogs link to your website using a backlink checker like Ahrefs or Moz. Google Analytics may even surprise you when you see traffic coming from online communities, and other places you didn't think would link to your brand.

Gather your product reviews too. Usually, people who take the time to review eCommerce products write well. Following the source of these brand mentions all over the web will give you amazing content to use for your social media marketing.

2. Create better buyer personas

Whether you're running ads or collecting data from your email opt-in leads, there are some data that your marketing platform collects:

  • The age bracket of most engaged users
  • Gender of most engaged users,
  • The interests of your most engaged users. Meta Business Suite shows you the liked pages of your following. Some CRMs such as Hubspot allow you to track what internal blogs your leads have read.
  • What websites, blogs, or online communities are linking to your content? Use backlink monitoring to track these links, leading you to a narrower idea of your optimal audience.
  • Google Analytics. Where in the world is your traffic coming from? Are your daily visitors from the US, Europe, Asia?
  • A/B testing different audiences will show you which audience is most likely to engage with your ad, click your CTA, make a purchase, among other KPIs.

Use that data to improve your social media ROI. You can analyze tons of data to determine your best buyer persona. But ultimately, it boils down to seeking out four categories -- demographic, geographic, interests, and behavior. You can also use a sprout social competitor to make managing social media easy!

target audience demographics graph

From this data, you may formulate your buyer persona as a 30-year-old male from Munich who loves to work out and posts gym pictures almost every day. Alternatively, your buyer persona could be a 21-year-old female from San Francisco who's starting a small business and has just put up an Instagram account for her brand.

Having an ideal buyer persona is that your marketing team knows what tone to use and what audience parameters to target, overall making your social media marketing more cost-efficient. Having a defined buyer persona improves your social media ROI, considering that social media marketing platforms charge less for engaging ads.

3. Analyzing the competition

You'd want to see how you perform relative to your competition. There's no shame in taking inspiration from your competitors. Among the things you'd want to analyze from your competitors are:

  • How often are your competitors posting on social media?
  • On what social media platforms are they posting?
  • What type of content are your competitors posting?
  • What ads are your competitors running? Facebook allows you to see ads run by a particular Facebook page by looking at their 'Page Transparency' section.
  • What keywords are your competitors ranking for?
  • What hashtags are your competitors using on their social media posts?

You'd want to be looking into multiple competitors to have a better idea of your marketing environment. Ideally, you'd want to be looking for competitors in the same industry and competitors with similar branding to yours.

After that, you may replicate some of your competitors' methods to gain better social media ROI. Use your best judgment, however. If you feel that your competitors' actions won't benefit you, then don't replicate them. The entire idea of assessing your competitors is to see how you're performing relative to the industry, not to copy a different method.

4. Include social media into the sales funnel

There are various ways you can incorporate social media into your sales funnel. However, you need to tailor your social media content for specific stages of the funnel.

graphic marketing funnel from simplilearn

Source: Simplilearn

Most analysts divide funnel content into top of funnel (TOFU), middle of funnel (MOFU), and bottom of funnel (BOFU). Let’s look at the differences and similarities of content produced for each funnel stage.

Social Media as ToFu

When you're not confident with your SEO abilities, it's unlikely that your leads may stumble upon your website through a Google search. In this case, you may use social media marketing to drive traffic to your site.

Include a link on your ad that viewers may click on. Have a compelling CTA to encourage viewers to click on the ad. When creating traffic campaigns, you'd want to measure metrics such as reach and link click-through rate.

Social Media as MoFu and BoFu

When a lead searches for their problem on Google and finds content from your website in the search results, you’re not yet assured of a click-through. In contrast, social media is ingrained in most internet users' everyday lives.

You can use social media marketing for retargeting your initial website visitors, improving your social media ROI. Integrate Facebook Pixel onto your website to allow Facebook Ads Manager to track your website activity. Your marketing campaign can retarget those who have performed specific actions on your website, even if they haven't seen your social media page yet.

5. Social media as a part of customer service

There would also be instances that your leads will message you on social media due to your social media ad campaigns. You may have a hotline to call written on your website and your social media page. But it's also crucial that your customer support team operate their stations on social media messaging platforms.

eclincher inbox

Training your team specifially to take care of social customer service could be an option. However, you can also consider investing in a tool to improve your social media ROI. eclincher’s Reputation Management and Social Inbox features are a good way to get started on monitoring and analyzing your online reputation and streamline every interaction funneling in from any social profile.

It's one thing to have a fully fleshed-out social media marketing strategy, but your team should also be ready for when interested leads send you a message on social media. This will leave a positive customer experience, making the most out of your social media ROI.

6. Build a better communication strategy

The data you’ve acquired by following this article should have given you an accurate idea of your market by now when it comes to communication strategies, whether for marketing or PR resolution, you should know how to speak in a way that resonates with your audience.


Source: ProductTribe

Here are some tips to follow when building a communication strategy.

  • Use a tone that resonates with your market.
  • Identify the ideal marketing channels. Would it be through LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram?
  • When is this market more active? Do you picture them having day jobs, making it ideal for putting out a social media post at lunch or after 5 pm?

Whatever the purpose of the communication plan, you’ll effectively disseminate your message and meet your goals if you have the data mentioned above.

In Closing

User-generated content is a modern word-of-mouth method that shows users that you're a compelling brand that they can trust. You can track brand mentions, hashtags, and referral links to bring you to UGC that you can incorporate into your social media marketing.

You can analyze marketing data from your most engaged leads to create an optimal buyer persona, resulting in ads that resonate more with your audience. Analyze the competition to see how you perform relative to the industry standard. Incorporate social media into your sales funnel and as part of your customer service. This creates a positive lead and user experience that maximizes your social media ROI.

Gathering marketing data also lets you formulate a better communication strategy, apart from marketing purposes. Apply all these tips, and you'll improve your social media ROI in no time.

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