One of your colleagues recently asked:

What can I expect in terms of an ROI from social media? 

And this is a great question that I get a lot. I 💗 numbers – After all, I’m a CPA

However, focusing solely on the numbers can lead you to make short-term decisions that impact your long-term success – especially in areas like marketing or social media.

Examples of ROI and Return on Time

Most success from social media comes from consistent, calculated efforts over time, rather than from a single action. Let me give you a few examples. 

  1. A few weeks ago, I posted about an offer of mine with just five spots left.

    In hours, the spots were filled.

You could say that single social media post worked for me to fill up that offering,

but the truth is, I’ve been consistently building and growing on social media for years now.

Had I made that post without putting in the reps over the years, would I have gotten the same outcome? 

Likely not.

  1. Over the summer, I attended a conference.

    From a numerical standpoint, it might have seemed like a poor decision upon departure because I didn’t walk away with a new client.

    However, I made numerous valuable contacts.

    A bit later, one of these contacts introduced me to their friend, who has since become a client.

I could give countless other examples, but the point is: 

Your return on time can lead to long-term ROI, but it’s not always easy to tie a single action to revenue.

With this idea that a single action may not be providing an ROI but a cumulation of actions leading to a return, let’s get back to the question at hand.

What Kind of ROI Can You Expect From Social Media? 

No one can answer this question for you. 

Unfortunately, there are too many variables and ways to measure and calculate returns. A return can be:

  • Sales
  • Reach
  • Mentors
  • Friendships
  • Conversions
  • Engagement
  • Employement Opportunties
  • Opportunities, such as speaking events, podcast interviews, etc. 
  • Or something else

Facebook is known for offering a 22% ROI, but when can you expect to see these returns?

In general, when it comes to social media, I’ve found that in the first few months of posting and being active on social media, things are often slow and stagnant.

Somewhere around the 3 – 6 month mark, things change. 

This is when you’ll often start seeing a return of some kind – whether that be positive signals or a monetary return.

💡I’ve written a long blog post on measuring the ROI of your content that I recommend reading through if you need further guidance on understanding your return on investment.

Tips for Measuring Your Social ROI

Your goals will determine your ROI. For the one post, I mentioned above, I wanted to gain new clients, and it worked well. However, if you only have posts that are trying to sell to your audience, you will end up with radio silence.

Your audience doesn’t want to be sold to all the time (that’s no surprise).

What I recommend when evaluating your software media efforts is:

  1. Focus on channels and NOT individual content pieces. Pieces of content always perform differently.

    If one post results in 5 booked calls, it’s probably not just due to that single post. Consider it in the context of all your previous content.

    For instance, when I posted an offer and quickly filled 5 slots, it wasn’t just that single post. It was the cumulative trust and authority I’d built over the years that enabled me to attract and convert leads.

    Take a step back and look at what channels are contributing to your overall goals. 
  1. Look at quality and signals. Social media isn’t just about conversions.

    You might notice more comments on your posts or likes from ideal clients, and this is an indication that you’re seeing positive signs.

    Your follower count may not be increasing as fast as you want, but if you see more comments or notice the right people sending you more messages, it’s a great sign that what you’re doing is working.

    Don’t stop.
  1. Stop comparing non-similar content. You need all types.

For example, content that has a strong call to action like signing up for a call might lead to more revenue BUT it’s also probably not going to build your audience like other content, content that drives engagement.

Content that gives your audience more of an inside look into your life might not get someone to sign up for a discovery call but you build a deeper connection with your audience 

And building a deeper connection with your audience is a must if you want to drive sales from your content at some point.

It’s all about having a balance of content. All content works together, and thus you shouldn’t compare one piece of content to another.

Steady posting, connecting with your audience, and focusing on providing value will lead to social media success and a positive ROI over time. 

That’s a wrap on this Dear Katie question.


Now I want to hear from you. Do you have a question? 

Submit it here

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