Author and CEO of Social Media Explorer, Nichole Kelly, stopped by #bufferchat to share her great insights on measuring social media ROI. Be sure to check out her great book on the subject!

See the full Storify recap here!

“ROI” means “Return on Investment. Calculated by direct impact and influence on sales volume, revenue and cost deflection.”

via @nichole_kelly

Getting started in tracking ROI: 10 expert tips

Tips from Nichole:

  1. “Start tagging your links to get data into web analytics. Use hidden fields to pass data through forms to get it into CRM.”
  2. “ROI may not be the “best” measurement for social, but we can’t avoid it if we want to get bigger budgets.”
  3. “Social tends to start the relationship while traditional marketing tends to convert it.”
  4. “If you are measuring with last touch attribution you may be missing 95% of social’s influence on ROI”
  5. “Google Anaytics users can use this  It’s free and too many aren’t doing it. :-)”
  6. “Last touch attribution is social media’s nemesis. Understand your attribution model.”
  7. “Start using control group analysis to understand social’s influence on biz metrics. Social users vs. non-social users.”
  8. “Remember that you can’t measure ROI in a “social” tool. It can only be measured in reports from CRM.”
  9. “The number 1 thing you can do immediately is track your links. Start doing it. It’s game changing.”
  10. “In GA use this  Source = Network promoted on Medium = Content Type Campaign = Content Title”


Tools to track ROI:


Final thoughts on ROI and marketing:

More words of wisdom from Nichole:

  • “ROI is the most important skill a marketer can develop to advance their career.”
  • “CEO’s don’t trust us. 69% of CEOs have stopped enforcing key business objectives on marketers. -Fournaise Report”
  • “20% of CEO’s consider their marketers to be ROI marketers who could go onto senior management. Fournaise Report”
  • Your ROI will be negative when you start measuring. Prepare for it. Then optimize it like nobody’s business. ;-)”


Huge thank-you to Nichole Kelly for all her great insights!

Thank you to everyone who participated! You can join us every Wednesday at noon Eastern; 9 am Pacific for a brand-new #Bufferchat.

Between chats, check out our Google+ community to get the latest news and connect with new friends you’ve met at #Bufferchat!

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Written by Nicole Miller

Community Champion at Buffer 🙂 When I’m not connecting with amazing community members, you can find me writing, reading or blogging about my urban homesteading adventures with 15 chickens, four ducks, two dogs and a horse.

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  • ROI measures the efficiency with which business is using its available
    resources. It’s a key metric for public companies with shareholders to
    satisfy, but even if you’re a small business or sole proprietorship it
    is a key way to tell what’s working and what isn’t.

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    other people have to work for so much less. This is what I do,,,,,,,,,,,,,,


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  • Alec Matias

    Another company I think should be on the list is Inside Social. They’re the social ROI experts here in Seattle and their tech is super-cool.

    • Brewster Stanislaw

      Thanks for the shout out @disqus_U6JmyjJByF:disqus! Nichole has some great insights here and many of the strategies she suggests are baked into our core product.

  • Nomadic Knight

    I keep hearing very opinionated ideas about last / first touch attribution modeling. Any resources you recommend reading to decide what works best for my business?