Measuring the ROI of Social Media, Explained

The number-one question I get about social media — by far — is:

How the hell do you measure its return on investment?

While I generally believe that you shouldn’t answer a question with a question, please allow me to answer this question with a few questions of my own.

How do you measure emotions?

How do you measure what people think and feel when they interact with your business or organization?

How do you measure customer service and delight?

How do you measure the opportunity to stake a claim in people’s phones, computers and other devices on a day-to-day basis?

How do you measure good stories?

How do you measure the image of your business or organization in the mind of the customer?

How do you measure awareness, relationship building, and trust?

How do you measure the ability to make people more intelligent, motivated and confident about your product or service, and what it represents?

How do you measure making people smile and laugh?

How do you measure the ability to answer people’s questions, eliminate their concerns, and clear up confusions about your product or service — before they bring them to your attention?

How do you measure Maya Angelou’s words, when she said: “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

How do you measure unexpected and relevant value outside of the traditional business-consumer relationship?

How do you measure customer loyalty, advocacy and word-of-mouth?

How do you measure the ability to establish relevance in people’s lives before they’re ready to buy what you’re selling?

That’s how you measure the ROI of social media.

Josh Hoffman (better known as Social Media Josh) is an international social media consultant, instructor and speaker, as well as the creator of The Social Media Freelancer. Connect with Josh on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn, and sign up to receive his weekly column.